DIANNE BUT­LER OUT OF THE BOX

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SU­SAN thinks of her chil­dren as fledglings, to Ben they’re more like ticks. Ei­ther way, they’ve gone, free­ing up time for Ben and Su­san to do all those things they never could be­fore.

Let’s start here on the sofa, Ben sug­gests, or maybe on the kitchen ta­ble. ‘‘ I’m not talk­ing about sex, Ben,’’ Su­san says. ‘‘ I’m talk­ing about things we can both en­joy.’’ Ren­o­vat­ing. She’s talk­ing about ren­o­vat­ing.

And this is all just a pre­lude to a knock at the door that ush­ers in a ridicu­lous sto­ry­line, even for a man­nered sit­com. But that’s all right, they’re al­lowed. I would just pre­fer more com in my sit.

Stand­ing on the front step is a guy with a loaded back­pack and a piece of pa­per with Ben’s name and ad­dress at the top of it. His mother knew Ben at uni, even though Ben has no rec­ol­lec­tion of her – can he stay here for a while? No room, says Ben. Of course, says Su­san, who im­me­di­ately puts him to work on the house.

This episode is called The Mel­bourne Iden­tity and the kid’s also got a didgeri­doo stick­ing out of the top of his bag, the do­mes­tic ver­sion of the baguette.

And then he opens his mouth. God. Do some of us re­ally sound like that? No. No, we don’t. Bit cheeky, not giv­ing an ac­tual Aus­tralian the job, just hir­ing some English guy and then al­low­ing him to walk around with this ter­ri­ble fake ac­cent. A ter­ri­ble authen­tic ac­cent would’ve been much bet­ter.

I don’t think I need to draw you a map here – Ben is maybe this kid’s fa­ther. But it takes Ben, ap­par­ently an ed­u­cated man, ages to fig­ure it out, and even then he moves his lips while he does the sums in his head. But surely his big­ger worry is keep­ing Janey (Daniela Denby-Ashe) from sleep­ing with her new brother. My Fam­ily ABC1, 8pm

Fledg­ling: Daniela Denby-Ashe

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