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BUMP (S1) gets 7/10 High school surprise


Created by Claudia Karvan & Kelsey Munro

Starring Nathalie Morris, Claudia Karvan, Peter Thurnwall, Angus Sampson
Network: Stan

7/10

This little Aussie rom com with a dash of drama has broken all Stan records, becoming its biggest premiere ever and providing record-breaking streaming numbers. That along with it being produced by Claudia Karvan and John Edwards from The Secret Life Of Us and Love My Way fame make this a very promising watch.

Sydney high schooler Olympia “Oly” Chalmers (Nathalie Morris) is an intelligent, high achieving feminist with big dreams, a sweet nerdy boyfriend Lachie (Peter Thurnwall) with whom she is waiting until after their HSC’s to have sex with, and loving parents, Angie (Claudia Karvan) and Dom (Angus Sampson) whose marriage is on the rocks. One average day, Oly suddenly feels extremely sick in the school toilets and terrifyingly goes into surprise labour. No one, including herself had any idea she was pregnant and the baby is not her boyfriend’s. This changes the lives of everyone involved dramatically as they all navigate her becoming a new mother and all the ups and downs that come with that.

This opens up the opportunity to explore many complex themes, as Oly navigates the situation of her boyfriend not being the father, whether to adopt her baby out to pursue her dreams, mother/daughter relationships and families breaking. The baby’s arrival also merges the biological father Santiago (Carlos Sanson Jr), with whom Oly had a one night stand, and his very passionate, involved, Latin family. His father is the man Angie (Claudia Karvan) has been having an affair with, adding to the tangled interwoven relationship issues.

Complicated love lives mixed with emotional drama with a sprinkling of wholesome Australiana proves a recipe for success for many Australian shows such as The Secret Life of Us, Packed to the Rafters, Offspring and Puberty Blues. While Bump has the same ingredients, it lacks the same character connection. The generic story plot and predictable script deliver very little twists, no cliffhangers, and not enough emotional investment to make you really root for anyone. It lacks the substance that should create a strong desire to see what happens in the next episode or watch the next season. While it can be cute and in parts endearing, it’s a slow burn after the first episode.

However those bumps aside, Bump scores high in portraying diversity. Oly and her family are noticeably the only white characters in the show, making it a clearly intentional multicultural representation of modern Sydney. It is racially and sexuality inclusive with several nods to feminism and has a few feel good moments. It also shows no biased tones for or against teen pregnancy and a nice, somehow nostalgic, portrait of an Australian family, making it an easy summer watch with little concentration required.

SARA WHITE

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