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Bullpitt! (1997–1998)
Pickle me Grandmother! This thing sucked
7 September 2002
This show was pathetic! Possibly the only plus to Bullpitt being made is that it was such a spectacular failure that hopefully no one will ever let Gary Reilly make another sitcom again. After Brass Monkeys, Hey Dad and My Two Wives you'd think that network executives would have realised that his shows simply aren't funny!
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Short, Original, Hilarious
1 June 2002
This series is easily the funniest thing to be made by The Comedy Channel . The writing was incredibly original and funny. Each episode went for only 5 minutes but had more laughs than any half hour sitcom of the day. If you ever find yourself watching the comedy channel and a scheduled programme finishes 5 or more minutes early don't change channel! This series is used as filler for shows like Jay Leno and others. You never know when one of these gems will show up on The Comedy Channel.
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Grass Roots (2000–2003)
Multi-strand narrative of local government
21 September 2001
This was a brilliant show. The most enjoyable part for me was the multiple story lines that ran over each episode. Geoffrey Atherden cleverly didn't start and finish each story at the same time like other tv series have, instead he had several plots going at once each at different stages of completion. Stories could start or end at any point in the season without effecting the quality of each episode. The cast was also fantastic, everyone played their roles with determination, trickery and humour. I have to give special mention to Rhys Muldoon and Geoff Morrel, Greg and Col were my favourite characters and I always enjoyed it when they argued over budgets and business plans. I really hope that Geoffrey Atherden makes a second series of Grass Roots, but even if he doesn't I'll always have re-runs
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Janus (1994–1995)
The best court drama ever
19 March 2001
Janus makes The Practice look like Judge Judy and Judge Judy look like Ally McBeal. There has only ever been one show as compelling and realistic as Janus, Phoenix it's predecessor. Together the two combine to give a complete account of the police and courts in Australia. The corruption, the backroom dealings, the injustice and the never ending tricks used by defense and prosecution to disadvantage the other side. Law & Order, Murder One, LA Law, all these shows are NOTHING compared to Janus. If you get the chance to see even five minutes of this show I suggest you take it, it will be more eye opening than an entire season of any other show out there.
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Hurrah (1998)
Surprisingly surprising
15 February 2001
Hurrah is the story of a man, Raoul, who leaves behind city life and to an extent civilization after the death of his life time love Mazzy. With all the money Raoul has from the insurance pay out from Mazzy's death Raoul purchases an abandonded outback property in the Northern Territory of Australia. For over a year Raoul lives in seclusion with only occasional human contact from the friendly local hermit Yakel and the untrusting townsfolk were Raoul buys his food and water. Raoul's only friends apart from Yakel appear to be his pet dog and a donkey which wanders Raoul's property. One day Raoul sees a mysterious woman in red walking up his 2 kilometer long drive way from the road to his house. The woman, Laura, has crashed her car into Raoul's fence. Raoul offers Laura a room for the night and says he will fix her car. That night Raoul and Laura tell each other their reasons for escaping the world, Raoul because of Mazzy and Laura because of her two failed relationships with different men at the same time. At this point in the film it becomes quite obvious that the story has changed from one man's journey into madness to a love story between Raoul and Laura. Laura leaves the next day and then returns later wanting to stay with Raoul and hide from the two men who she fears are trying to find her.

Will Laura's trackers find her? Will Raoul be able to choose between Laura and the memory of Mazzy? Or is everything just a hallucination in Raoul's mind?

The ending surprised me a little, not because it was particularly new or inventive but just because watching what I thought would end up being a typical love story didn't finish in a typical way.

This is definitely enjoyable if you can find a copy, although I imagine it would be hard outside of Australia.
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Rove (1999)
Inventive whilst sticking to a successful formula
27 October 1999
"Rove" is a wonderfully fresh and original talk show while it still stays true to the idea of all talk shows needing the 3 basic ingredients, clever hosts, good guests and a funny monologue. What makes Rove McManus's attempt at a talk show so much better than the competition is the new slant he puts on old ideas. I believe his presence on screen and when interviewing guests appears so new and fresh because of his experience on channel 31's "the loft", a much smaller show than "rove" but still funny and original. I strongly advise people to watch this show if you are lucky enough to catch it outside of Australia
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Two Hands (1999)
An Australian crime film in a similar vein to "Good Fellas"
27 July 1999
Heath Ledger and Bryan Brown star in this film which never knows if it is a drama or a comedy. Some of the scenes are confronting and "hard core" while others seem hilarious and ludicrous at the same time. the true comedy comes through when you compare a tough Gangster film like "Casino" to "Two hands" were instead of wondering about their next job the criminals are more worried about getting home in time to pick up the children from soccer practice and make sure they have dinner on time.

The plot revolves around Jimmy, a young bouncer at a strip club in King's Cross who decides he wants more from life, especially cash. So to increase his earning power Jimmy makes himself known to the local mob boss Pando, played excellently by Bryan Brown. Jimmy thinks he has everything set with his new role as another pair of "two hands" working for Pando on high paid bank robberies and a like but all goes horribly wrong for Jimmy when he accidently looses $10,000 of Pando's money on his first day. Now Jimmy is at a race around the clock to get Pando his money before Pando gets Jimmy
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Sir Norbert Smith, a Life (1989 TV Movie)
A hilarious parody of the British film industry
9 July 1999
Norbet Smith, A life is a wonderful fake documentary about a made-up British actor who reminisces about his distinguished career. Harry Enfield and Geoffrey Perkins have written the definitive send up of the British film industry focusing on the premiere films of the last 70 years. The parody starts with a perfect representation of Will Hay films then goes onto make fun of great institutions such as Olivier's Shakespeare's and even Carry on films. This is a masterpiece no British film fan should miss
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The Fast Show (1994–2014)
Hilarious, wonderful, brilliant!
7 July 1999
The Fast show is one of the funniest programs to come out of the home of sketch England. It is full of one liners, running gags and send ups that leave you laughing hours after the show is finished. Characters such as Arthur Atkinson and the news team from channel nine will become timeless classics of British comedy. Also check out previous works by some of the team especially the "Harry Enfield and chums" television program.
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The Micallef Program (1998–2001)
Hilarious sketch comedy program
19 June 1999
Shaun Micallef is one of Australia's premier comedians. Now after years on shows like Full Frontal the ABC has given him his own show. The best part of this show is that it allows Micallef to write and perform his more abstract sketches that he wouldn't have been able to do on any other show. A must see
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Worst film I've seen for a long time
10 May 1999
In an attempt to get more of her father's attention Silverstone fakes her kidnapping and later falls in love with her kidnapper. It wasn't the story that let the film down or the acting (which was in some parts just laughable) no it was a hundred small problems that resulted in one major flop. I only hope Miss Silverstone didn't put too much of her own money into this or we could very soon see Clueless 2. In short Excess baggage is a poorly written, directed and acted film with laughs coming few and far between. If you want to see a romantic kidnapping film I suggest you rent A life less ordinary. It's a lot funnier and is head and shoulders above Excess baggage in the acting department.
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A wonderfully funny film from Danny Boyle and John Hodge
22 April 1999
As a huge fan of the team of Danny Boyle and John Hodge I really looked forward to seeing this film. Previous works such as Trainspotting and Shallow Grave helped to build up my expectations for this film. Seeing that Ewan McGregor was in the lead role didn't hurt either. I loved this film. The performances were great especially those of Lindo and Hunter as Jackson and O'Reilly the two angels sent to join Robert and Celine together in eternal love. The camera work was also brilliant especially the scene were Robert goes to pick up his ransom. The shots of the Utah desert and the dirt road car chase will be remembered for a long time. Another great aspect was the very cool sound track. With tracks by groups such as the Sneaker Pimps, Faithless and the Prodigy this film is bound to sell a lot of sound track cds. But it is the quick witted dialogue that steals the show. Again Ewan McGregor masters his lines and makes them truly his own with Cameron Diaz playing the role of Celine perfectly. This is truly one of the funniest and sometimes blackest comedies you will see for a long time.
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Pointman (1995)
Pretty bad
22 April 1999
The basis of this whole terrible series was that Connie was an ex con sent to prison yadda yadda yadda. Well while in prison he made a few friends and each week they or a family member or someone would find him on a beach and ask him for help. Usually they would lie to him at the start then they'd get shot at then there'd be the final confrontation and Connie would get the girl. Don't get me wrong I love those shows especially Magnum P.I but Pointman is just terrible. No one on the show could act, the scripts were always filled with cliches and stolen ideas and the rest just seemed to be done on the day. All in all a bad show but who cares, I doubt if anyone will ever look at this page, I only came here to bag the show, what's your excuse?
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The Lakes (1997–1999)
Another brilliant series from the pen of Jimmy McGovern
15 April 1999
After watching the first series of the Lakes I wondered if McGovern could match his wonderfully complex and intriguing stories in the second series. Well I don't think anyone could have been disappointed. With even more tie ins, parallel stories and character development than the first series McGovern has again proved that he has one of the best minds in British drama. The star performance of the series was again from John Simm as the gambling addicted outsider Danny. Special mention must also go to Kevin Doyle as John who seemed to have a lot more fun with his new homicidal tendencies. All in all the Lakes has again brought me and a lot of others great pleasure. If you have not yet seen the first or second series I strongly recommend you find it, it will be the best bit of television you'll see all year.
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One of the best crime thrillers of the decade
12 April 1999
As a fan of Besson from way back I expected a lot from this film. Well he delivered. Leon or The Professional as it was known in some countries is one of the smoothest and best directed crime thrillers for a long time. The performances from the cast are brilliant with special mention to Oldman and Reno. The ability of the actors though can not match the cinematography. The camera work is superb with the technical skill used to shoot the film the true star. All in all this is a great film with gripping action sequences and a story line that keeps you guessing until the last scene
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