The Wrong Girl (premiering Wednesday on Channel 10) is something of a parable for all modern young women in their 30s, with some clear lessons.
Don’t shag your best male friend and think things won’t change, don’t let your drunken mate save a draft of an email on your phone so you can mistakenly send it whilst hungover, and, above all, stop lusting for what you don’t have and get on with your life!
Lily Woodward (played as ably as always by Jessica Marais) is a producer on a lightweight morning TV show.
She’d rather be making documentaries and keeps suggesting worthy and meaningful ideas on the role of women, but is knocked back in favour of trite makeup tips and cooking segments.
No guesses which real morning TV show this is based on – pick any one of them!
News producer Dale Collins (David Woods) laments the passing of real news and says he keeps doing what he does because he wants to be there “the day it dies”.
“I want to bear witness to its death and I want to feel proud that I tried, however fruitlessly, to keep it alive.”
Despite the occasional forays into semi-seriousness, this series is shaping up to be a fun romp through contemporary modern life.
Great characters propel the story and there are a couple of standouts for me: Lily’s brilliant flat-mate, Simone Bryant (played perfectly by Hayley Magnus) and Lily’s closest male friend, Pete Barnett (played by Ian Meadows).
After a typical boozy night, Pete’s consoling of Lily, while she laments her failed ambitions, leads to sex and, despite Pete trying to head it off at the pass (“these conversations always end badly”) he gives Lily an honest answer when she asks who he last slept with.
So wrong, on so many levels and, naturally, it all turns to custard.
“Why are you telling me about this woman?” asks Lily.
“Because you asked!” replies Pete before he’s booted out of bed.
Pete is supported by his dad Ivan (played by Neighbours’ Kevin Harrington) and the conversations both Pete and Lily have with their parents remind me of Packed to the Rafters – why I reckon this series will have a broad appeal.
Pete admits to his father that he has “hooked up” with Lily.
“I don’t know what hooked up means,” admits his dad.
“Shagged,” explains Pete.
“You stuffed up,” his dad responds.
But they have both “stuffed up” really. More so Lily, who mistakenly sends an appalling email drafted by her flatmate to her boss and to the sexy chef the show is trying to work with, Jack Winter (Rob Collins).
The email talks of “turds” and “sh*t sandwiches” – exactly what we see Lily eating for much of the episode as she tries to repair her friendship with Pete and her professional relationship with the chef.
My one complaint? Lily is a wonderful character, surrounded by really interesting people in a vibrant world. I hope she doesn’t bang on for too long about “making documentaries” or keep angsting about what she has to do because the series premise is strong and, as such, doesn’t need the whinge factor.
Veteran actors abound. Steve Vizard and Kerry Armstrong play Lily’s parents, Craig McLaughlan is one of the show hosts and Hamish Blake (of Hamish & Andy fame) is the weatherman – to name a few.
This show is based on a book of the same name by Blake’s wife Zoe Foster Blake – beloved by Australian women for her witty musings on social media and for her skin care range.
After seven successful books, anything Foster Blake does has an in-built audience before it even begins.
A photo posted by ZOË FOSTER BLAKE! (@zotheysay) on
Channel 10 has generated a buzz out there already. Almost 10,000 people saw it online when it was up for 48 hours as a preview last week – nearly double the usual amount of viewers for these previews.
So, roll over Packed to the Rafters; the new kid on the block has arrived.
Watch the trailer for The Wrong Girl below: