The Time of our Lives

I heard about this new Australian TV Series a long time before I got the chance to see it for myself. Girlfriends were talking about it. To be honest I have only watched one episode. What I am interested in is that we seem drawn to film and television dramas that mirror our lives. This is a contemporary drama about an extended family living in inner Melbourne. It is about the complexities of life in your thirties and forties. Life is busy as you pursue relationships, juggle children and develop a career. People make mistakes and hurt each other. Life is disappointing.

And yet we go back for more. This is what Amanda Higgs and Judi Mc Crossin know to be true. They have nailed the narrative formula in The Time of Our Lives. We want to watch people make bad decisions because it appeases our guilt. The lust of character x justifies our own, the lies of character y makes our own lying habits seem minor and the dysfunction of another family suggests our clan is almost ‘normal’.We want drama – like  The Slap, Offspring, The Secret Life of Us. Not because it edifies and encourages us; not because it challenges us to view life, decision making or a relationship in a productive way. But because we like to revel in another’s misfortune. And I think women are the main culprits here.

The Time of Our Lives may be interesting, relevant even poignant at times. But let us not get lost into television viewing that whilst entertaining us also numbs our ability to discern how it might feed our needs and desires. The secret side of us.

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Oh…Rosetta, Nina and Me

You know when you discover something you love and then lose the name, title, piece of paper……and alas, heartbroken it has gone from your mind. I found her again. Rosetta Santucci. I am loving adding to our art collection at the moment and looking for the next thing. I think this might be it. I recall reading about Santucci and have seen her work in various house and lifestyle magazines. But honestly, my recent journey into Offspring had re-piqued my interest. You know what I am talking about don’t you? Above Nina Proudman’s bed there is a large abstract, colourful painting that I adore. And I am sure it is a Santucci. A local Melbourne artist, Santucci’s work can be found at Green-Wood Gallery in South Melbourne. Rosetta says about her work:


Having spent over a decade experimenting with applications like jewellery and textile design, it was a natural progression for me to start painting.

My background in costume for film and television and a passion for textiles – primarily tribal and ethnic designs – has influenced my painting style.
I’m self taught, and it has only been through practice and time that I have nurtured my style. I grew up in the Barossa Valley surrounded by vineyards and wide open spaces, and in so doing, developed a deep concern with natural forms connected to life – plants, bones, feathers, hills, trees and stones. More and more I realise that my paintings are a path of self discovery and an expression of life’s experiences. As an artist, I understand that nature and life have a lot to offer.

So what do you think? Will you add this artist to your wish list?


Offspring

I heard a comment recently about siblings: We are not friends. Does this surprise you? I suspect that many of us have long forgotten the favourite colour, music, food of our brother or sister. We know vaguely what they do for a living, where they currently reside, but would struggle to name the street number exactly.

What constitutes friendships between siblings? The Channel 10 series  Offspring  explores family relationships and in particular sibling friendship with rare candor and honesty. Nina Proudman, her sister Billie and younger brother Jimmy have great affection for one another and demand attention. They do coffee, share breakfast, meet up during work hours and tell all when a new relationships is blossoming. But is this friendship?
I am a late comer to Offspring. I resisted it because of the inane television advertising that emphasised Nina’s stream of conscious dreaming and fantasy about her next beau. But the scriptwriters know a few things about the complexities of family life. About every family – we are all dysfunctional in some way. We all fail each other and ourselves. Life is a cycle of mistakes, repentance, forgiveness and grace. And two seasons in I believe they have dealt well with some difficult issues.
We are waiting for season three in 2012. I do wonder whether the scriptwriters of Offspring will delve deeper into sibling friendship and get further inside Nina’s head and need of love.