SeaChange: articles

TV: SeaChange is a pearl from Down Under

Sigrid Thornton stars in the Australian comedy-drama SeaChange, (tonight at 8 p.m. on Vision TV) set in the idyllic coastal backwater of Pearl Bay.

If you're a fan of the quirky British shows Ballykissangel and Hamish Macbeth, Vision has a show for you tonight.

It's the wryly funny Aussie series SeaChange (8 p.m., Vision TV), set among the eccentric denizens of the little seaside hamlet of Pearl Bay.

The bonus in watching this entertaining comedy-drama is having the pleasure of becoming reacquainted with Australia's hugely popular actress Sigrid Thornton.

Under-appreciated in North America, Thornton is a fine actress who was too good for her material when she appeared in the films The Man from Snowy River and Return to Snowy River, and the 1988-91 western Paradise which starred Lee Horsley.

Thornton shines in this outing that has her playing workaholic big-city lawyer Laura Gibson whose life falls apart on one really bad day. That fateful day is chronicled in tonight's opener, the first of 26 [sic] shows in Season 1 (SeaChange ran for three).

First up she learns she's been passed over for a promotion at her firm, her slimedoggy philandering husband has been arrested on fraud charges, her adolescent son has been kicked out of school and she almost kills the family cat.

As Laura watches her life swirl down the toilet, she is compelled to grab her two spoiled children and get out of town. But where to go.

Recalling one idyllic vacation the family had in the tiny seaside community of Pearl Bay 10 years before, she takes a job as the town's magistrate, calls local realtor Bob Jelly (John Howard) to rent a house and is duped, via a bogus auction Jelly stages by phone, into buying the picturesque waterfront cottage where the family had stayed.

Of course, when they arrive, kiddies kicking and screaming all the way, the place is a dump with a noisy caravan park built around it. And Jelly, who fancies himself the town boss, disavows responsibility for his shoddy actions, leaving Laura no choice but to make this awful situation work.

The supporting cast includes David Wenham as charming hunk Diver Dan, in charge of the ferry, Alice Garner as dippy writer Carmen Monahan and Kevin Harrington as lazy local handyman, Kevin Findlay.

By Bonnie Malleck
January 22, 2002
The Kitchener-Waterloo Record (Canada)