Lots to love about dramathon weekend


Cover shoot of Claudia Karvan for The Guide.She has done a tele-movie for SBS TV. Pix by Quentin Jones. qcj090317.001 SPECIAL 102420Television crush: Claudia Karvan. Photo: Quentin Jones

How dare Claudia Karvan agree to play a character with whom, at first blush, it appears to be very difficult to fall in love? Doesn’t she know how much I love falling in love with her on telly?

Karvan is Caroline Tivolli in <i>The Time of Our Lives</i> (ABC1, Sunday, 8.30pm), the new 13-part drama from Judi McCrossin and Amanda Higgs, who together brought us The Secret Life of Us.

Caroline is an overindulgent mother, a controlling wife; all shiny, hard veneer. Even her hair is a helmet. You know the type – you see her on the sidelines of the kids’ footy or at the blue light disco and you get stuck in a conversation about the genius of her child while you search for an escape route.

Here, Caroline is pouring energy and intellect into the vessel of her ”gifted” son, Carmody, while her husband, Matt (William McInnes), rolls his eyes, and the space between them in their bed widens.


And that’s just one couple in this family drama that sets up beautifully in the first episode. It’s the perfect introduction to the Tivolli family, since we’re invited to a wedding with a crisis.

The time of these lives is, for the most part, their 30s and 40s, with the regular issues – love, lost love, kids, money, mortgages, career, compromise and the need to still have fun.

The cast is stellar, with Karvan and McInnes joined by the likes of Shane Jacobson, Stephen Curry, Justine Clarke and Tony Barry, whose moment late in the first episode with Michelle Vergara Moore playing his adopted daughter Chai Li is a beauty.

By the end of this first instalment, Caroline may be no more lovable, but there are cracks in the veneer. Over coming weeks, Karvan will do the rest.

It’s now an Aussie dramathon in this Sunday timeslot, with The Time of Our Lives lining up across from House Husbands on Channel Nine and A Place to Call Home on Channel Seven.

Drama producers are blessed when it comes to relationships. They’re bound to get sticky or just go horribly wrong at some point. Love and Marriage: a 20th Century Romance (SBS One, Friday, 8.35pm) has been telling us that for weeks.

This detailed documentary series ends, like so many relationships, in divorce. We’re offered five case studies, with the couples involved far more open, honest and prepared to reveal why things didn’t work than is evident in most divorce proceedings.

There’s more vigorous romance on display in Wild Life at the Zoo (ABC1, Friday, 8pm), with Lazarus the lion given a road trip and the chance to get up close and bitey with a couple of ladies from Dubbo’s Taronga Western Plains Zoo. It’s good to be the king.


My Big Fat Gypsy Valentine LifeStyle You , 8.25pm

Sixteen-year-old British ‘‘traveller’’ girls and their husbands-to-be go about the business of courting.

The Body Farm 13th Street, 8.30pm

Tara Fitzgerald stars in back-to-back episodes of the Waking the Dead spinoff.

Football Seven, 7.30pm

Chris Judd plays his 250th game as Carlton takes on Hawthorn at Etihad. The bad news for the dual Brownlow medallist is the Hawks have an excellent recent record against the Blues.

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