The Cab wasn’t worth fol­low­ing

Herald Sun - Switched On - - On The Couch -

IM STILL reel­ing over that Han­som Cab show on ABC1 on Sun­day night. Not reel­ing with plea­sure ei­ther. It was like a Cap­tain Peacock din­ner the­atre pro­duc­tion with a dead body in a li­brary and a po­maded guy twirling his mous­tache.

I can’t re­call see­ing some­thing as bad on a Sun­day night for ages. On a Sun­day night are the key words here, be­cause this is where you put your best shows. Home­land. House Hus­bands. Killing Time. You’d be happy to have any of them in your line-up. I mean, Killing Time is re­ally a sem­i­nal Aus­tralian drama that once upon a time would have been an ABC pro­duc­tion.

And so here I am once again try­ing to fathom why the ABC has a se­ries such as Red­fern Now, which has ac­claimed British writer Jimmy McGovern as story pro­ducer — not that it nec­es­sar­ily needed him, when I look at who else is in­volved— and when’s it on? Thurs­day night.

OK, look. Rake was on a Thurs­day and did all right busi­ness. But only all right. I can see why it was there though— nowhere else to put it. It’s a waste on a Fri­day or a Satur­day, Wed­nes­day’s for com­edy, Mon­day and Tues­day are se­ri­ous.

It was con­sid­ered too grubby for Sun­day. It wasn’t. We got a step-by-step les­son in how to make a sui­cide vest on Home­land, and it’s on Chan­nel 10 at 8.30 on a Sun­day night.

We’re adults. Rake was fun that was de­lib­er­ately with­held from a larger au­di­ence by nanny pro­gram­mers. This is my the­ory any­way. My other the­ory is the ABC le­gal coun­sel made them run it on a Thurs­day, be­cause it suited them bet­ter for what­ever rea­son.

All the ABC’s le­gal dra­mas are on a Thurs­day night — Crown­ies, Silk ...

Based on the first episode Red­fern Now is the kind of pro­gram peo­ple would love on a Sun­day night. I hope the name doesn’t put any­one off.

You know how some peo­ple are, their per­cep­tions. I read the syn­op­sis and looked at the pic­tures on the press kit and gee, ev­ery­one seemed grim. So I went into it fully ex­pect­ing some con­fronta­tional fam­ily drama and I thought, yep, they’re bury­ing this be­cause it’s so hard­core.

But when I watched it, re­ally, it’s no harder than Justin’s (Fi­rass Di­rani) cus­tody dis­pute on House Hus­bands. It’s lov­ing and fam­ily ori­ented.

To some gen­er­a­tions, some parts of so­ci­ety, the name of it is loaded. I don’t know why it’s called that. Un­less there’s go­ing to be some big race thing later on.

So far it’s com­pletely colour-blind. It’s pos­trace. And so it’s a shame there’s been an op­por­tu­nity missed here for a wider au­di­ence to see what is es­sen­tially a warm, solid fam­ily show, with act­ing that’s a mil­lion times bet­ter than any­thing we got dur­ing Sun­day night’s Mys­tery of a Han­som Cab.

And that’s go­ing to be the last time I write those words. Un­less I do a worst-shows-of -theyear col­umn.

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