The unbearable whiteness of Australian TV


I hardly ever watch Australian made television but recently, a couple of series cropped up and I gave them a go: The Slap, Laid and Rake. They were good enough for me to take some heart and poke around what was being made, what was popular. As I trawled through various review sites, it began to dawn on me that by far the majority being broadcast were white: white cast, white plot-lines, white everything.

I also noticed that I wasn’t alone in noticing this. There’s a good recent (02/2012) article here about it. Given that the article has covered everything I want to say, I thought I’d be a little more proactive and list some possible TV series that I would like to see made.

1) Footscra(z)y or Footscary. Set in one of Melbourne’s most diverse suburbs, this drama plots the trajectory of four typical families living in the same street: the Nguyens (Australian born Vietnamese), the Mancinis (Australian born Italians), the Artolis (from Sudan), the Wilsons (Australian born English). The first season introduces the families and the main antagonist: a developer who is looking to build a very large apartment building on the street. The families need to work together to fight off the developer and discover that working together is as challenging if not more so.

2) My big fat italian/iranian wedding. Set in Melbourne or Sydney, this dramedy mini-series examines the clash of cultures resulting from a double wedding between two Italian siblings (a brother and a sister) to two Iranian siblings (also a brother and a sister). Featuring a huge cast of Italians and Iranians, their large immediate families and their even larger extended families. The complex plot features sibling rivalry, generational conflict, skeletons from the old countries,  family feuds, long lost relatives, contested wills, the ultimate victory of true love and huge feasts. The sound-track melds classic Italian cabaret and Iranian traditional music.

3) The Block. Set in Redfern in the late 1960s and 70s, this drama follows the path set by recent period TV series such as Mad Men but from an indigenous perspective. With a majority indigenous cast, the first half of the first season looks at the events leading to the Aboriginal Housing Company allowed to purchase housing in the Block with the second half following the trials and challenges faced by the AHC and its primary driving force, Bob Bellear. Gritty and uncompromising with unsurpassed production values, The Block will serve as a lens to examine contemporary indigenous issues.

Yeah, I know: dreamin’.

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