Love My Way-Complete Series 1 (2004)
|Year Of Production||2004|
|Running Time||450:07 (Case: 504)|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Multi Disc Set (5)
|Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||
Roadshow Home Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||Yes|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The recent chatter in the media lamenting the death of Australian drama has been a little premature if this outstanding series is any indication. To put it quite simply, Love My Way is one of the finest dramas ever produced in this country and it is a real shame that it was only available to those with access to Pay TV's Fox8 channel, resulting in a great number of people not even being aware of its existence, let alone being able to watch all 10 episodes of season one.
It's a real blight on the commercial networks that not one of them thought production of this series was a good idea, preferring instead to go with shows of the dire quality of Headland or reality garbage such as The Biggest Loser or Big Brother. Kudos goes to Foxtel for having the foresight to realise just what they had on their hands here. Quality Australian-made drama, with solid stories, a great cast and intelligent scripts - a rare combination.
Love My Way has been likened to The Secret Life Of Us for thirty somethings. This comparison is no accident with actress Claudia Karvan starring in both, producer credits going to John Edwards and the script writing duties handled by some of the same people including the talented Jacqueline Perske. It is perhaps a little edgier and grittier than Secret Life with some fairly frank dialogue dealing with drug use, extra-marital affairs and casual sex.
Newlyweds Charlie (Dan Wylie) and Julia (Asher Keddie) have it all - or so it seems on the surface. Charlie's an architect, running his own firm which is about to make it big. He and Julia live in a renovated and very chic warehouse apartment with gleaming appliances and every modern convenience at hand. Julia is a control freak who likes everything labelled and in its place, and even though chaos is looming as she is about to have the couple's first child Julia is determined to be a perfect mother and wife and still keep things in their place. This is Julia's first child, but it's the second time at fatherhood for Charlie after he had a daughter with his former lover Frankie.
Claudia Karvan is the free-spirit Frankie Paige, an aspiring artist who in between selling the odd painting also works at a large daily newspaper as a lowly illustrating artist in order to pay the bills. Frankie lives with her and Charlie's eight-year old daughter Lou (Alex Cook) and Charlie's brother Tom (Brendan Cowell). Despite the fact that Charlie and Frankie have split, there appears to be little bitterness between the two who equally share the responsibility of raising the gorgeous Lou as best they can.
But things aren't as glossy as they first appear. Julia's obsession with neatness and her approach to pregnancy is a little different (complete with a home birth in an inflatable pool), and while always appearing a little too infatuated with herself, her mood changes even more dramatically once the baby arrives. Charlie also faces some personal dilemmas after the baby enters their lives and the pair are going to have some major issues to resolve during the next few months. Meanwhile Frankie is having the usual problems with the men in her life going through the proverbial revolving door (count how many she sleeps with during the series - it's a little scary) and dealing with the increasing drug use of her slightly unstable flatmate Tom.
This is not a particularly happy or uplifting series and virtually none of the characters display any real endearing qualities. In fact there is so much selfishness on display you may often find yourself shouting at the screen for them to extract their heads from their rear ends, get a life and bloody well stop thinking about themselves so much.
But this is life I guess and it is at its most open and raw. These are real people that you can easily relate to with everyday problems facing the challenges that everyday life puts in front of us. Life is scattered with the scourge of relationships, mental problems, drinking and drugs, family tragedy, and so much more and these are dealt with in each episode in a series of stories that are often uncomfortable and a little confronting.
Season one consists of 10 episodes (season two is currently airing, again on Fox8) which must be watched sequentially as the stories and the characters slowly evolve over the course of the season. Of particular note is episode eight - A Different Planet - which must surely rank as one of the most heart-wrenching 45 minutes ever put on the small screen in this country. I dare anyone not to be misty-eyed at the very least after watching this episode (my wife cried buckets).
A quality drama series that is compulsory viewing for all in this country, especially those naysayers who believe local drama is dead. If you don't own this one go and get this series now - you will not regret it.
This is a lovely video transfer benefiting from modern digital cameras. It is presented in the widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is also 16x9 enhanced.
All the vision is incredibly sharp and detailed, and is consistently good throughout. There isn't a trace of edge enhancement and there are absolutely no problems with shadow detail. There is some grain, but it is well controlled and is barely an issue.
The colours are excellent, with deep saturation and even and consistent shading. Reds and blues come out especially well and the skin tones are perfect.
There are no MPEG artefacts and video artefacts are also absent. All up, this is a very, very clean image with no problems to report.
The English subtitles are excellent.
All five discs are dual layered with two episodes per disc and the layer change located between episodes.
There is just one audio soundtrack on this disc, and somewhat unusually for a television series and even more rare for an Australian television series it is a Dolby Digital 5.1 effort encoded at a bitrate of 448Kb/s.
I was suitably impressed by this soundtrack effort. It is solid, dynamic and powerful when required. There is some surround activity and heaps of movement across the front soundstage.
The dialogue is perfectly balanced, clear, and easily understood. It is very prominent in the overall soundtrack, and there are no problems with audio sync.
There is a little surround channel use. Fill in streetscape, the beach and the local park is about the limit of the surround activity.
|Surround Channel Use|
Sadly there are no extras in this five disc set.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
This series has yet to be released in Region 1 or Region 2.
Forget the complete lack of extras. This is five stars all the way almost based solely on the plot and is proof that Australia can produce world-class drama. 10 episodes of pure world-class drama.
The video and audio transfers are excellent.
There are no extras.
|DVD||Denon DVD-3910, using RGB output|
|Display||Loewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).|
|Speakers||Front - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10|