PUBERTY BLUES Episode 2 Review

Sex, and the attitudes toward it dominate much of the thoughts of our young heroines this week, all while navigating the mirky waters of high school cliques and potential love. Which was nicely contrasted against the adult cast in the episode 2 installment of PUBERTY BLUES.

From the start our two leads Debbie and Sue have been depicted as though inseparable. Setting up their connection and friendship was an immediate concern of PUBERTY BLUES. Their friendship is one where every waking minute they are in the company of the other; something fairly typical of young friendships. It is a type out platonic bond where nothing is wanted from the other but company. However, in tonight’s episode we see our two leads looking to find outsiders that will appreciate and give them attention beyond their isolated selves. They have become so close with each other that they need to be reminded of their individuality. And naturally they are drawn to the coolest and the most confident people in their immediate vicinity. Which leads them to their infatuation with Cheryl (Charlotte Best), with her icy pout and her blonde hair streaked framed face, who wouldn’t want to know her.

In getting noticed, and the ultimate acceptance into this group the PUBERTY BLUES presents this quest appropriately as if trying to win over an audience. These scenes were framed by a sense of theatre that surrounded all their attempts, be that the amphitheatre style classroom or the crowded, and confined school bus. The girls were ‘performing’ as a way to define themselves to their surrounding world.

It also introduces us to the inevitable conflicted that will arise between the girls. When two extremely close friends open themselves up to the world, the reaction of the two will likely be in starkly different ways. At this moment Debbie seems to be the more open of the two. She is the one throwing herself into social situations, she has a boyfriend, and if all goes well, may soon get titted off.

Which leads to another conflict arising within the show’s world, that being the gender issues. I touched on this last week, but with sex and attraction being a driving force this week, we were exposed to how notions of power and perception play within attitudes toward this area. The chilling moment of the beach where the male was forcing himself on the female was a particularly confronting instance. The fact that this was in a social setting surrounded by a group of friends really brought to the fore an attitude where a need to be accepted by a group can cloud, and make an individual suppress how they feel.

There is also this inclination when the camera lingers over Debbie’s face – during the aforementioned moments – that there isn’t a full understanding of what one should be defending themselves against. As Debbie watches the uncomfortable face of the girl of the receiving end of the curly-hair-fuck of a surfer’s advance, Debbie‘s face expresses an arousal which leads to confusion. It can very much be declared that she isn’t fully aware of the problem

.

With friendships and attraction playing major roles with our characters this week what evolved was an interesting and frank exploration into the confusion and grey areas of the minds of people still trying to understand how to act and behave when they are always being watched by an ‘audience’.

Extra thoughts….

  • I like the way Claudia Karvan‘s character is shown looking at her daughter almost with envy as her relatioships blossom. It is a nice contrast suggesting at the temporality of these young friendships she is building.
  • Dan Wyllie and Susie Porter have an amazing chemistry on screen that even when they are dealing with frustrations they still make it seem like they lead such funs lives.
  • Jeremy Lindsay Taylor‘s Martin Vickers on the other hand is an average man leading and average boring life. That not not sound like interesting TV? Yeah, it isn’t.
  • Also turns out Martin Vickers can’t say cock. Cock. Cock .Cock. Cock. Cock. Cock. Cock. Cock. Cock. Cock!
  • Again with the adult cast I know, but I must say it is nice to see that Rodger Corser is able to continue his good work from Spirited, playing the creepy douche of a sleaze bag in the cast. It’s nice that we have a go-to in this county for such a role.
  • With the disaster of Channel 10 at the moment  being what it is it is nice to see that there is at least quality with this show. It seems to be rating above whatever their average must be too so hopefully that give Channel 10 an incentive to develope more scripted content. I’m doubtful thought.

REVIEWER GRADE: B-

Words by Luke Letourneau.

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