pick of the week

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television -

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.

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