pick of the week
The Gods of Wheat Street
Saturday, 8.30pm, ABC 1
There’s a lot going on at 14 Wheat Street, Casino, in northern NSW. This is the story of the Freeburns, a contemporary extended Aboriginal family. At the head is Odin (Kelton Pell — The Circuit, Redfern Now), a big bear of a man who promised his dying mother he’d keep the family together no matter what. Easier said than done given his wife’s bolted for the bright lights of Sydney leaving him with two young daughters, one brother is in jail, another has fallen in love with the blonde daughter of a sworn enemy, and his young sister has her heart set on a career in fashion, and not in Casino. Throw into that mixing pot his sisterin-law Libby (Lisa Flanagan, Look Both Ways), who gives her heart and soul to the family. She and Odin — Odie — have romantic inclinations towards each other but progress is slow. Although the storyline operates on several levels and there’s no shortage of biff, you wouldn’t call the six-part series action-packed. It just develops at an easy, subtle pace complemented by a quality cast. In the first episode last week, Odie’s employer, the owner of Colpepper & Sons mechanics, dies and the business is put up for sale. In tonight’s episode,
The Fighting Freeburns, Odie tries to raise the $300,000 needed to buy the business. But someone else has an eye on it. Created and written by Jon Bell, the series hooks you in; haunting, heartbreaking but also mischievous.