Nice guy’s race hits top speed

From 0 to 100, Dr Doug gets the girl and a whole lot more, writes

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TV -

HERE’S an old say­ing: the only thing worse than not get­ting what you want is get­ting what you want.

To il­lus­trate the point, let’s ex­am­ine the case of Dr Doug Gra­ham (Tom Wren), res­i­dent nice guy on Chan­nel 7’s drama hit, Win­ners & Losers.

For most of the first sea­son Doug was al­most sidelined, which was sur­pris­ing. Af­ter all, he’s a good-look­ing fella with a pres­tige job in emer­gency medicine. He wasn’t short of fe­male com­pany, his heart was set on only one.

The woman? So­phie Wong (Me­lanie Vallejo), one of Win­ners & Losers’ friends who re­unite 10 years af­ter their hellish high school days.

So­phie could be de­scribed as high main­te­nance, but that didn’t stop Doug from car­ry­ing a torch for her – a torch So­phie didn’t re­ally no­tice.

By the end of sea­son one, things had started to turn around.

‘‘He fi­nally gets the girl,’’ Wren says. ‘‘In the sec­ond sea­son, you see all the tri­als and tribu­la­tions that en­sue when you ac­tu­ally do get the girl. It’s not nec­es­sar­ily as easy as you might hope.’’

What sort of tri­als and tribu­la­tions? Well, they come in the form of a lit­tle bun­dle of joy set to ap­pear six or so episodes into the new sea­son.

‘‘I had a bet with Zoe Tuck­well-Smith (who plays Bec on the show) the writ­ers wouldn’t go through with it, but they did, and So­phie ends up hav­ing a kid, which throws a lit­tle bit of a span­ner into what should re­ally be a sort of hon­ey­moon pe­riod for So­phie and Doug,’’ Wren says.

‘‘So the sec­ond sea­son deals with how you have a new, blos­som­ing re­la­tion­ship that’s never re­ally al­lowed to de­velop slowly. It goes from zero to 100 pretty quickly, and that’s the pace for our whole sec­ond sea­son.’’

Wren says the new sea­son of Win­ners & Losers will have the show’s four cen­tral char­ac­ters – there’s also Vir­ginia Gay as Frances and Lo­gie win­ner Melissa Ber­g­land as Jenny – of­ten shar­ing scenes to­gether, but the show is also frag­ment­ing some­what. That, he adds, gives each mem­ber of the core quar­tet a lit­tle room to move.

‘‘In some ways it’s like we’re all go­ing off into our own dif­fer­ent shows,’’ he says.

‘‘I’m ac­tu­ally cu­ri­ous to watch this sea­son be­cause I’ll be see­ing it as sort of an out­sider. I’m aware of what’s go­ing on in some sto­ry­lines, but there are oth­ers that just didn’t cross over at all. Things are go­ing to be quite sep­a­rate, and I’m in­ter­ested to see how it’s go­ing to work.

‘‘The ben­e­fit is the world of ev­ery char­ac­ter gets a lit­tle richer and deeper – they were all set up in the first sea­son and now they all get to ex­plore their own sto­ries in th­ese new episodes.’’

But one thing will re­main the same: Wren be­lieves Win­ners & Losers will con­tinue to ap­peal to a sur­pris­ingly di­verse fan base.

‘‘The fun thing for me is I never thought guys would pay much at­ten­tion to it,’’ he says.

‘‘I’ve ac­tu­ally been stand­ing at a uri­nal when I’ve gone to the footy and some bloke will say to me, ‘I hope you end up get­ting So­phie, mate. She’s a pain, but she’s prob­a­bly worth it!’’’

Tues­days, 8.30pm, Seven, Prime7.

Tom Wren.

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