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BLOOM gets 6.5/10 Green shoots


Series 1 episodes 1-3

Creator Glen Doleman
Starring; Bryan Brown, Ryan Corr, Phoebe Tonkin

6.5/10

A year after a flood devastates a small rural community by killing five people, an unusual plant appears. Ray (Bryan Brown) discovers a peculiar property about the fruit of this plant, that eating it will restore a person’s youth. In an attempt to cure his wife’s Alzheimer’s, Ray feeds Gwen (Jackie Weaver) some of the fruit. Around the same time a mysterious young man, Sam (Ryan Corr), arrives in town, with mischief on his mind. Soon both Sam and a younger Gwen (Phoebe Tonkin) find themselves competing for this miraculous plant, each with their own agenda.

In truth, it’s a bit hard to make a determination on how good Bloom will be down the track. Currently this Australian supernatural mystery drama is setting up some solid ground work in terms of character development, plot, and the enigma at the heart of it all, but it is doing so at a glacial pace. The question of how “in depth” that development is, and how it’ll “pay off” are certainly going to effect the overall quality of the series… and three episodes in, it is difficult to predict that ending. However we are starting to see the first green shoots of that slow start paying dividends, and see some development of other plot points and characters. It’s certainly still early days, but the signs are looking optimistic.

Bloom‘s premise is intriguing, the actors appear to have a good understanding of the characters, and more to the point, have a certain joy in bringing them to life. The younger cast particularly bring a lot of fire to the series, with both Corr and Tonkin enjoying revelling in their characters. Corr’s larrikin nature grants Sam a degree of likeability, even as you are aware of how quickly that can turn to violence. Phoebe Tonkin on the other hand brings a steely determination, as the younger Gwen seeks to ratify her desires. Both of these are backed up by veteran actors such as Bryan Brown and Jackie Weaver, creating a pretty solid piece of drama. It’ll be interesting to see this built upon, as the plot and tension in the series become more crystallised.

Bloom also has a great understanding of style, and is willing to express itself with both some wonderful cinematic flourishes, and uses of music. Each episode distinguishes itself with one or two of these stand out moments, that are becoming a signature for the series.

Although it is yet to sink it’s hooks in, Bloom has a great potential, that it’ll hopefully begin to fulfill before too long.

Bloom premieres on Stan from January 1 2019.

DAVID O’CONNELL

 

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