Originally published at http://www.ivillage.com.au/the-best-show-australian-television/154880
Australian television has reached a new level of brilliance with Channel 9’s drama, House Husbands.
The show explores the lives of four Melbourne men who take on the role of primary child carer while their spouses and partners earn a living. House Husbandshas proved to be a thought-provoking and heart-warmingly entertaining series.
Retired builder Lewis (Gary Sweet) is in a third marriage to Gemma (Julia Morris). This oldest house husband hopes to be a more committed parent to their young daughter than he had been to his now-adult offspring from his previous marriage.
Rhys Muldoon plays the character of Mark; a middle aged man working part time whilst his wife works intensive, long hours as a doctor. The demanding career of Mark’s wife and the sacrifices he must make accordingly put a strain on the couple’s marriage.
Gyton Grantley’s character Kane is Mark’s brother in law, and a man in a same sex relationship looking after his partner’s orphaned niece.
Lastly the youngest of the quartet is ex AFL player Justin Baynie (Firass Dirani). After landing in the centre of a scandal damaging his football career and marriage, Baynie is fighting for custody of his three sons.
The show’s appeal lies in the truth behind the relationships and issues explored and the credibility that the cast deliver to the storylines. The changing roles of men, working parents and demanding relationships centralise the plots and the four main actors have managed to portray their roles with the right combination of comedy and drama to realistically reflect their ‘daddy antics’.
Pairing traditional comedian Julia Morris with the historically more serious actor Gary Sweet makes for a surprisingly sweet relationship and believable onscreen chemistry that is enjoyable to watch.
Firass Dirani’s raw and emotional performance as the AFL player diminishes any generalisation of us watching a typical ‘football sex scandal/custody battle’. His multi dimensional character’s marriage, career and custody battles bring together the four house husbands a lot of the time. Dirani’s versatility must be commended, having switched from playing Underbelly’s ‘King Of The Cross’ to this family orientated figure. And the same can be said for former ‘Underbelly’ actor Gyton Grantley as he portrays a more emotionally aware, homosexual man.
House Husbands reflecs an array of family situations in Australian society, introducing the transition from the typically blokey man to the sensitive, new age guy.
Producer Drew Proffitt tells the Sydney Morning Herald, ‘’We want to show a variety of aspects of being a father: that there isn’t one rule book of what makes a good family…Fathers make mistakes and do sometimes behave ridiculously, so we’re not trying to do a show about the new ideal dad. At the same time, we’re not setting in stone how a father should behave.”
This is a show daring to touch on a societal issue that is rather prevalent yet not explored widely on television. It is relevant to Australians and is not a duplicate of international productions.
Australian journalist Julietta Jameson’s tweet the other day highlighted the appeal in Australian television that this drama demonstrates. She wrote:“You know what will happen? Hollywood will remake the divine House Husbands and f*** it up. Such preciously good TV.”
Through its captivating themes and versatile actors, House Husbands epitomises the brilliance of our Australian television industry. So if you haven’t done so already, tune in to ‘House Husbands’ this Sunday for the season finale. The episode promises to have plenty of drama that will continue throughout season 2.
Are you watching House Husbands?