The Time of Our Lives
Sunday, 8.30pm, ABC1 This contemporary Australian family saga from the people who brought you The Secret Life of Us has the usual suspects in key roles: Justine Clarke, Shane Jacobson, William McInnes, Stephen Curry and Claudia Karvan. It’s ‘‘ the secret life of us now that we are in our 30s and 40s and have kids’’. The show follows the extended Tivolli family, a bunch of fundamentally decent people who live and work in Melbourne. There is an unfortunate tendency towards soap that needs to be hosed down, and there is enough gloopy kid stuff — lingering on the little ones in school performances and so on — to make Nine’s House Husbands blush. Thankfully this is balanced to an extent by the obvious helicopter parenting of Caroline (Karvan), who is convinced of her son’s specialness without a shred of evidence. Caroline also has a horribly toxic relationship with husband Matt (McInnes) and their scenes together are harrowing. The show-stealing Michelle Vergara Moore, pictured, is stunning as adopted orphan Chai Li, especially after the character is stood up at her wedding, an event that becomes the show’s central mystery. The second episode is stronger than the first. After that, love them or hate them, you’ll find yourself wanting to see more of these people.