Pa­per Gi­ants: Mag­a­zine Wars

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television -

Sun­day, 8.30pm, ABC1 While this sec­ond sea­son of Pa­per Gi­ants lacks any sin­gle char­ac­ter with the clout of Asher Ked­die’s re­mark­able in­ter­pre­ta­tion of Ita But­trose in the first se­ries ( The Birth of Cleo), Mag­a­zine Wars keeps the drama tick­ing over like a well-oiled Bent­ley. This time the fo­cus is on events in mag­a­zine pub­lish­ing in the late 1980s. Last week’s de­but cov­ered the fall­ing out be­tween New Idea col­leagues Dul­cie Bol­ing (Rachel Grif­fiths) and Nene King (Mandy McEl­hin­ney) and the sub­se­quent rise of Woman’s Day un­der the van­quished King. Cu­ri­ously, while we seem vir­tu­ally to walk in King’s shoes, fol­low­ing the ups and downs of her home life, es­pe­cially with de­voted boyfriend Pa­trick Bowring (An­gus Samp­son), we see pre­cious lit­tle of Bol­ing’s home life. Per­haps this is in keep­ing with her un­der­stated char­ac­ter. Both leads are sen­sa­tional, with McEl­hin­ney’s gift for com­edy fu­elling King’s out­ra­geously ex­tro­verted be­hav­iour and Grif­fiths hold­ing the line as the dig­ni­fied dame. Fol­low­ing her suc­cess at Woman’s Day, the ex­cel­lent Rob Carl­ton as Kerry Packer gives King ed­i­torin-chief sta­tus at The Aus­tralian Women’s Weekly, just as Prince Charles and Diana for­mally an­nounce their split. But King strug­gles to revitalise the Weekly and soon faces un­fath­omable per­sonal tragedy.

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