love is a four letter word: articles

Love Is A Four Letter Word

Liz Reidy chats to the multi-talented Peter Fenton about a great new Aussie drama series aimed at the 20-30 something’s.

Who out there watches Temptation Island? Don’t be shy, admit it, at least to yourselves. Admittance is the first step in the process of your recovery. The second step is to tune into the ABC on Tuesday nights at 9:30pm and catch a fantastic new 26-part Australian drama series entitled Love Is A Four Letter Word. Set in and around an old-school inner-city pub, with bands, pool tables and not a poker machine in sight, the series follows the lives of a group of friends all wrestling with the ups, downs, and madness of modern living.

Starring Peter Fenton (Praise) and Kate Beahan (Chopper, Strange Planet), as co-owners of the pub in which the series is set, Love is a Four Letter Word plays on the lifestyle quirks of the 20-30ish age bracket. Whether dating or studying, making life-long decisions or trying to avoid them, there is a little bit of something in it for everyone, and the broad range of characters is identifiable to audiences across the board, including a financial director, a publisher, a lay-about and a work experience boy. There are plenty of fantastic one-liners and comic parodies of typical Australianisms, the best of which is proabably stated by the character Brent Duffy, a national rugby league hero and Aussie icon: “My life coach says if you hang out with people you want to be like… you turn into them. It’s called ‘osmostly’. Yeah, it’s like their good qualities start to rub off on you… mostly.”

Another fantastic reason to tune in and check it out is for the music. Love is a Four Letter Word takes a unique approach, incorporating Australian music as a feature of the show, with weekly guest appearances by prominent local acts. The musical styles vary from week to week in accordance with the episode’s theme, so the performers range between Tim Freedman, Endorphin, Sunk Loto, Machine Gun Fellatio, Jackie Orszaczky and many more.

“The musical aspect was one of the most appealing parts of the idea behind the series,” says Peter Fenton. “People can really define their musical tastes as part of themselves, so we cover a range of different styles.” Fenton, who started out performing as a singer with the band Crow, admits that the script also enticed him, with the whole inner city pub setting somewhat mirroring his own experiences as part of a band. He also felt playing Angus O’Neil gave him the opportunity to play a more everyday character, post Praise, and to explore his diversity as an actor.

Made on a very tight budget, Love is a Four Letter Word relies on fantastic scripts to create the characters, and talented actors and musicians to enhance each episode. Even if its just in the ad breaks of Temptation Island, be sure to check it out.

By Liz Reidy
March 28, 2001
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