Is this the end?

Mys­tery finale has Off­spring’s fu­ture up in the air

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - FRONT PAGE -

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

for’.”

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