Old becomes new
As 2013 draws to a close, Guy Davis shares his picks of TV’s hits and misses.
There was the odd splash of originality and innovation on our television screens in 2013, but for the most part it was a year of sequels, reboots and reimaginings, some of which were welcomed with open arms, some of which received a bit of a cold shoulder.
Contests and competitions remained as big a drawcard as ever, whether the arena was the kitchen, the weapon the ability to hit a high note or TV’s version of true love.
Let’s start with cooking shows, shall we? After all, we seemed ravenous for them, what with Seven’s My Kitchen Rules rating its chef’s hat off.
However, Ten’s MasterChef Australia and its side project, MasterChef: The Professionals, went off the boil a little, despite The Professionals boasting the charismatic presence of celebrity chef Marco Pierre White. And Nine’s The Great Australian
IBake Off wasn’t perhaps the taste sensation the network anticipated it would be.
Talent quests continued to attract viewers like crazy, as the ongoing popularity of The Voice and The X Factor
Davis: ‘ Ten’s was the way to go. It was, for mine, the best
new series of 2013.’
demonstrated. But it may only be singing that gets the punters hooked, given the way Nine’s attempt to reignite Australia’s Got Talent was met with only middling interest.
As far as other reality- TV programming went, well, Nine persisted with Big Brother. Yeah, I’m a little confused about that as well, but I guess enough people tuned in for the first season to justify a second one. Hopefully everyone involved has now learned their lesson.
And Ten took a chance on romance by launching Husbands continued on its affable, competent way, and Seven’s A Place to Call Home was a mildly engaging family drama in the Downton Abbey vein.
Over on Ten, Wonderland, a stylish but ultimately uninvolving rehash of The Secret Life of Us, tried hard but failed to connect. Luckily, the network had an ace up its sleeve in Offspring, even if it did traumatise its legions of loyal fans by bumping off adorable hunk Patrick ( Matthew Le Nevez). Seriously, the howls of anguish could be heard around the nation.
Crime and punishment continued to win over audiences, with the ABC enjoying two successful sleuth sagas in the form of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and The Dr Blake Mysteries.
The Singapore- set Serangoon Road had ambition and a strong international