Sunday, October 1, 2017

Pilot Review: Rosehaven

Rosehaven (Sundance)
Premiered September 27 at 11pm

The Sundance network has done well recently with acquired television, and, after airing “Cleverman” concurrently with ABC in Australia, it makes sense that another partnership would be smart. Now the American AMC affiliate is broadcasting a popular Australian comedy series which begins its second season down under in about a month. What we have here is a relatively harmless, affable enough comedy about two best friends who find themselves in a small town where he grew up after he moves back to take care of the family business when his mom has surgery and she gets left by her husband while on their honeymoon. There’s a certain degree of familiarity to this format, but I think that’s an asset rather than a weakness. Simple things like Daniel’s mom not giving him the banking password actually signify financial distress for the business, and the new locksmith only took things that his father loaned to people and they never gave back. Emma’s attitude does seem pretty lax, with her not taking work too seriously and thinking everything is a joke, but she’s good with people and did express a legitimate grievance with the confusing nature of using red and black as fiscal colors, both of which sound bad. Both actors are fun, and this show is quiet and mild, which should make it pleasant. I don’t personally feel the need to add it to my viewing roster at the moment, but I can see why people – Australians and Americans alike – would like it.

How will it work as a series? The last scene of episode two was great, with Emma telling her mom the truth and then Daniel successfully cheering her up by declaring that all their problems will be nil if he makes the basket, which he then spectacularly missed. That’s how the show is likely to be, compounded by problems but full of small victories.
How long will it last? The show was already renewed by ABC in Australia following its original eight episodes, and Sundance will coproduce the second season, which is great news. Airing this show at 11pm two episodes at a time on Wednesday nights at 11pm seems innocuous enough, and it’s just a question of whether it can drum up any buzz stateside, which is may be able to do.

Pilot grade: B+

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