Mortified-Volume 1-Episodes 1-13 (2006)

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Released 4-Apr-2007

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Childrens Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Featurette-Making Of-Mortified Moments
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2006
Running Time 299:00
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Pino Amenta
Evan Clarry
Ian Gilmour
Paul Moloney
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring None Given
Case Amaray-Transparent-S/C-Dual
RPI ? Music Frank Strangio
Tess Natoli
James Harvey


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    You are an 11 year old girl. How would you feel if your dad was The Underpants King and your mum a New Age arty type with a with a habit of going nude? What if your best male friend was just a little soft on you but the popular boy you really liked didn't seem to know you existed? At school you continually try to impress but fail dismally whilst your friend Brittany was perfect in every way? How would you feel? .... MORTIFIED , of course!

Mortified is an Australian live action childrens television show. It squarely targets the girl tween market although young boys just might be able to watch it with their sisters. The show was created by talented screenwriter and author/comedienne Angela Webber. It ran for two 13 episode seasons in 2006 and 2007. Sadly cancer claimed the life of Webber before the series could continue. The slow but sure success of the series internationally will hopefully lead to a more seasons so that children can grow up with the characters.

In Season 1 we meet Taylor Fry (Marny Kennedy). Actually, she meets us as Taylor frequently speaks directly to camera. She is in her last year of primary school. She is trying to be as cool as possible but is confronted at every turn by exasperation particularly at the hands of her freewheeling parents Don (Andrew Blackman) and Glenda (Rachel Blakely). Abandoning the notion that playing adults in kids TV is demeaning they play good comic foils to the kids. Taylor has a sister - the sister from hell as she sees it - Layla (Dajana Cahill) who is a real boy magnet. Taylors' best mate Hector (Nicholas Dunn ) has a crush on her but she only has eyes for the popular "bad boy" Leon (Luke Erceg) who, as far as she is concerned, barely knows she exists. Rounding out the regular cast is Brittany Flune (Maja Mitchell) the Little Miss Perfect.

Although Taylor often envies the perfection of Brittany they are still friends and the show doesn't have an actual antoagonist. Perhaps the genuine antagonist is Taylors' embarrassment which inevitably drives her further into problems. The Episode list for the First Season is as follows;

  1. Taylor's DNA
  2. Bigger than Vegas
  3. Learning to Surf
  4. Mother in the Nude
  5. The Chosen One
  6. The Talk
  7. Flag Fall
  8. The Big Game
  9. Return of the Mothership
  10. The Cross Country
  11. Taylor Turns Bad
  12. Being Me
  13. Leaving Primary

The plot ideas are fairly straight-forward pre-teen sit-com subjects (surfing contest, parent teacher night, "the talk") but target the angst lying beneath the tween exterior. Taylor frequently wards off the embarrassment by concocting a story which just gets her deeper in trouble. The show doesn't have a message much deeper than accepting who you are but it is delivered in good spirit and with a lot of fun.

Marny Kennedy won the Young Actors Award at the 2006 AFI Awards for her performance. She is a terrific little actress and resists the temptation to ham up her scenes (we're looking at you Miley Cyrus!). The other kids are good and the whole show has a fresh, funny feel to it. The show provides extra laughs for kids by regularly lapsing into fantasy sequences, including fun costuming and talking animals, as Taylor dreams of the perfect solution to her problem.

So for a little peace and quiet in the household get Mortified!

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Transfer Quality

Video

  

Technical details for Mortified are in short supply. It seems to me that it was shot on High Definition video at a native widescreen aspect ratio. The DVD mirrors that ratio. It is described as 16x9 enhanced.

This recent television production has been transferred well to DVD. The image is crisp and clear. There are no obvious deficiencies with the transfer. Digital noise is barely noticeable even in the frequent outdoor scenes and compression is no issue with two and a half hours of program with extras only on the second DVD.

Colours are lovely and bright and flesh tones are accurate. Aliasing occurs infrequently but is about the only real technical blemish on offer.This is no CSI but it is a pretty good looking piece of Australian childrens TV.

There are no subtitles.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    Mortified has a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack running at 192 Kb/s.

Maybe a surround track would have been nice for some scenes but really the stereo track is perfectly adequate for this show.

The kids all speak clearly, although perhaps a little fast for my ears (the kids had no problem), and the audio sync is fine.

The music is a perfect accompaniment for the show and I defy any tween (and perhaps a few parents!) to resist singing the theme song : Get Me Out of Here !.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

There are several fun extras on the second DVD of this 2 DVD set.

Behind the Scenes (28.00)

This lengthy feature is a great introduction to the show and the cast. The director talks about the casting process and his desire to make the show "sunny without being all about the colour". THE d.o.p. explains the film making process and we learn how the special efects shots were put together. Even the production designer gets a look in talking about the decision making process for the whole look of the production.

The cast are a bunch of excited and eager young actors (the parents are eager too!)and the feature is a bend of the mundane (getting up and going to work) and the joyous - being on TV. It is pretty educational for kids to appreciate how much work goes into making a TV show.

Behind the Scenes - Mortifying Moments

These 4 short features are mostly cribbed from the main Behind the Scenes feature. They are : Similarities to Character, Getting the Part, The Best Thing About Acting and Embarrassing Parents. A nice collection of snippets from the cast and crew.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This Series is not available on DVD outside Region 4 at this stage. Hopefully the rest of the World will find out what they are missing!

Summary

    Mortified is a smart, savvy tween show with genuine heart.

This DVD set is more than acceptable and will keep the playovers below a dull roar on wet days!

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Trevor Darge (read my bio)
Monday, September 29, 2008
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer BDP-LX70A Blu-ray Player, using HDMI output
DisplayPioneer PDP-5000EX. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-SR605
SpeakersJBL 5.1 Surround and Subwoofer

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