That 90s Show
Hello Wisconsin! The Formans are back for more shenanigans in a new decade, with Netflix's revival of late-90s, early-00s sit-com That 70s Show - but now it follows a new generation. That 90s Show sees Leia, daughter of Eric and Donna from the original show, spending her summer break with grandparents Red and Kitty in good old Point Place.
The house is the same, the basement is the same, Red and Kitty haven't changed at all, and there's still a love interest living next door.
What also hasn't changed is the laugh track (are we not yet over canned laughter?), the cloud of marijuana smoke and the sophistication of the jokes. The humour is surely too young for fans of the original series, yet young people wouldn't feel nostalgia for the original, so it's a little confusing figuring out who this series is aimed at.
The acting is also reminiscent of Disney TV shows from the 2000s - far too expressive and obvious.
Leia, as soon as she arrives in town, immediately becomes best friends with Gwen, the alternative (in dress only) girl next door, and is adopted into her friend group. There's half-brother Nate, his girlfriend Nikki, their sarcastic friend Ozzie (who seems a lot younger than the rest), and finally Jay. Jay Kelso. That's right, Michael Kelso (Ashton Kutcher) ends up married to Jackie (Mila Kunis) despite That 70s Show ending with Jackie and Fez (who also pops back up and is perhaps the best callback to the original series) together and Kelso well and truly being old news.
Even support players Leo (Tommy Chong) and Fenton (Jim Rash) make cameo returns in this revival, though the controversy-plagued Danny Masterson (Hyde, always the best character) is nowhere to be found.
One bit of nostalgia that is welcome, despite the dorkiness, is the fun little transition moments with characters randomly dancing and jumping in front of colourful backgrounds. They make less sense in a 90s setting than they did in an acid-fuelled 70s setting, but they're still fun and silly.
There's a total of 10 episodes, all between 20 and 30 minutes, and the ending is set up for another season. We'll see if that happens.
Matt Nable is everywhere on Australian TV.
He played a pivotal role in The Twelve, appeared in Russell Crowe's Poker Face, is the voice of NRL on Fox League and now he's come along with Transfusion. The Stan Original film is written and directed by, and starring, Nable.
The film follows Ryan Logan, an SAS soldier who struggles to fit back into civilian life and raise his increasingly reckless and troubled son, Billy.
Sam Worthington plays Ryan, and delivers a strong, nuanced and moving performance. It's probably some of the Avatar star's best work.
The trouble is the film's slow pacing. It's very much a character piece, focusing on the internal hardships that come with moving on from grief and the military lifestyle, and parenting. But that lack of story propulsion means it's a bit of a slog to get through the movie.
Transfusion also stars some great Aussie talents in support, including Phoebe Tonkin, Susie Porter, Jeremy Lindsay Taylor, George Houvardas, Alison McGirr, Sam Parsonson and Sam Cotton.
Extra props for the casting of Gilbert Bradman and Edward Carmody as the young and teen versions of Billy. Both do a great job.