There’s something incredibly confusing about Australian television.
It can be gritty, interesting, authentic and diverse, and more often than not the stories are incredibly important.
Even though the acting is spot-on, Australian television is not often celebrated the way one would when it comes to TV series from the overseas markets.
It’s no wonder that our most talented actors seek greener pastures for the role of a lifetime overseas because over there, talent is nurtured by the fans.
Of course shows like Offspring, Packed to the Rafters, Neighbours and Home and Away all have their place, but it’s the series like The Other Guy, The Gloaming and Bloom which is more often than not, misplaced.
It is here that I must discuss the second-coming of the series Bloom, which is currently streaming on Stan — which was not only perfectly timed but well-written and well-performed.
While it seemed that season one had tied everything up in a neat little bow, there were of course allowances for another instalment. The magic berry, a fountain of youth, has grown once more and it was ripe for the picking.
In this most recent season, the rural town of fictional Mullan (which had the real backdrop of Clunes, Victoria) is awash with the fountain of youth once again, as our heroine Gwen (Jacki Weaver) has now become young again (Phoebe Tonkin). Husband Ray (Bryan Brown) who would do anything for his wife, has chosen to stay old. But for how long? This time around, the berry’s effects seem to last a lot longer — prompting the couple to consider Ray joining her in an eternal youth.
But there are more complications in this next series. More and more people are discovering the effects of the berry and with this, we meet biochemist Anne (Jacqueline McKenzie), her youthful husband Luke (Ed Oxenbould — a clear stand out) and their young daughter Eva (Ingrid Torelli) who are in search of more berries to combat her terminal cancer diagnosis.
Then, there is local priest Father John (Toby Schmitz) with a drug-addled past, who threatens to expose the plant as a “miracle” for a secular craving of redemption.
WATCH: Stan’s Bloom: Season 2 official trailer. Story continues…
Of course, some of the old storylines remain with Anne Charleston returning as Loris grieving the loss of her husband Herb (Terry Norris) and Genevieve Morris as Rhonda, the local police sergeant who is more like her alcoholic father, Donnie (Gary Sweet) — who also makes an appearance as young (Oliver Ackland) — than she could ever realise.
At the very core of the series are storylines in which (minus a magic berry) are relatable and poignant. There are distressed familial relationships, the grief of loss, and finding acceptance at whatever stage of life you are in.
If there’s one thing that I realised having watched every episode in one full and glorious swoop, is that the berry stands to bring justice to those who take it.
Whether it be letting go of past hurts, reconnecting with loved ones or simply understanding what it is like to live, Bloom season two is the perfect subsidiary of the first season.
But most importantly, the series grapples with the thought of death and in turn, highlights how important our elderly generations really are.