Paper Giants: Magazine Wars
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.