Is this the end?
Mystery finale has Offspring’s future up in the air
FOR five seasons, fans of Offspring have laughed, cried and, sometimes, just about torn their hair out in frustration at the antics of Asher Keddie’s alter- ego Nina Proudman and her crazy extended family.
Now, as a controversial fifth season – billed by some as the darkest ever of the comedydrama – ends, the show’s future remains up in the air, with Channel Ten and producers John Edwards and Imogen Banks still negotiating the show’s future.
But if this Wednesday’s season five is the end, it’s a fitting farewell, which offers resolution – and hope.
“If this is the end, I think you could leave it there,” says Kat Stewart, who plays the erratically lovable Billie.
“The full year is put away – it closes that tumultuous year of Patrick’s death and Zoe’s [ Nina’s daughter] first birthday. It’s a lovely way to come full circle.”
Nina’s traumatic season has divided fans, but Keddie “didn’t want to cheat the audience to move through some of the grief”.
“By the same token we had to move forward,” Keddie has said of the season.
“You do feel the spikes of grief … but you also see her trying her darnedest to re- emerge in the world and to choose to live.”
The finale unfolds on the eve of the anniversary of Nina’s beloved Patrick’s ( Matt Le Nevez) death, and the first birthday of the tiny anchor that has seen Nina through a tumultuous year – baby Zoe.
It’s vintage Offspring, with touchstones to all the relationships and the comedy and wackiness that have defined the show. Especially poignant has been the changing relationship between Billie and Nina – cherished even amid criticisms the year has held too much grief for Nina.
“We haven’t had the sisters getting together this much since the first series,” Stewart says.
“I know some have been upset at the amount of sadness, but the message I take away is even when so much has gone wrong, there’s that idea of even in grief there is also hope.
“Zoe is the personification of that, the symbol of renewal and hope and the big juicy mess of life and celebrating both the fantastical bits of life and the shitty things that happen.”
Keddie adds: “When Zoe comes on screen you go, ‘ Oh my god – that is what Nina has to live