A big issue in the Australia-US FTA debate last year was the possible implications for local content on tv. It’s reasonable to ask whether there is that much compulsively watchable Australian tv around at the moment. Certainly, as just about every tv reviewer in the country has remarked, Secret Life of Us is a shadow of its former self. So I was interested to watch Hell Has Harbour Views on the ABC last night, billed as a break in the drought of good Oz drama. Who could resist “a modern day tale of love and litigation”? The blurb was certainly promising:
The closer you get to the top of the greasy pole, the more slippery it becomes. Hugh just manages to hold on … until he finds himself the only witness to a frantic, sexual indiscretion on the boardroom table, and the centre of a bitter power struggle between two warring factions within the firm’s senior partners. He seems damned whichever way he turns, and that harbour view is becoming more and more elusive…
I was a tad disappointed. It was well-acted, but the plot seemed a touch predictable and the comedic potential was underplayed. Steve Bisley was great as the bankrupt business spiv with a heart of gold, but I thought the ubiquitously applauded Lisa McCune was pretty average, and her character seemed to lack motivation and development. I’m so over the whole soliloquy to camera thing as well… It was interesting to see a different perspective on the everyday lives of lawyers, but I still think the cutting edge was a touch blunt.
ELSEWHERE: There’s a roundup of reviews, and some commentary on the book on which the show was based, at David Starkoff’s law blog Inchoate.