What we know about Netflix's first Aussie Original, "Tidelands" so far
You can't always get what you want,
But if you try sometimes,
well you just might find,
You get Netflix's first ever Australia Original series?
After being allegedly inundated by waves of requests from Netlfix-consuming Aussies, the reigning stream king finally caved and decided to grant us the wish we didn't realise we had, and ordered its first Australian original series: "Tidelands"
Of course, after a hot second of rejoicing, one obvious concern now springs to mind: "Is it going to be good? Please let it be good. "
To decide, let's break down what we know about the show so far:
According to Deadline, the show "follows a former criminal as she returns home to the small fishing village of Orphelin Bay. When the body of a local fisherman washes ashore, she must uncover the town’s secrets while investigating its strange inhabitants, a group of dangerous half-Sirens, half-humans called Tidelanders."
Yeah, you heard right - half-Sirens, half-humans. So it's going to be a supernatural mystery/crime show.
I'm going to pretend that I'm not Greek Mythology nerd, and paste what Wikipedia says about Sirens here: "In Greek mythology, the Sirens (Greek singular: ΣειρήνSeirēn; Greek plural: Σειρῆνες Seirēnes) were dangerous creatures, who lured nearby sailors with their enchanting music and voices to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island."
Also, here's what shows up when you Google image search "Siren" (sans witty captions):
ok i may be sexy
but these skulls around me should give you pause
(see also: the tail situation)
To get a good sense of whether or not Tidelands will be a good show, let's look at who's at the helm: The show is co-created produced by the team behind the 2013 Aussie hit (??) miniseries Secrets and Lies, with all 10 episodes written by Secrets and Lies writer Stephen M. Irwin (No, not THAT Irwin. I checked. This guy is into FICTIONAL sea creatures).
Here's a trailer for Secrets and Lies:
It looks like we won't have to worry about production value here - if this show is any indication, the town scenes are going to look very lush. There is no doubt that Australian production teams have got the "pleasing visuals" aspect covered. Production on the show is set to begin next year in Queensland.
“The primeval landscapes of Queensland are a perfect setting to tell the story of betrayal, small-town secrets, ancient mythology and, when it comes to family, explore whether blood really is thicker than water.” - Tracey Robertson, co-creator (DEADLINE)
What remains to be seen is the degree of CGI they will be using, on account of the Siren-aspect of it all. Is it going to look like Stranger Things, or Vampire Diaries? I think we know which one we prefer the show to emulate.
Also, having seen Secrets and Lies, the show is riddled with what many Aussie big network dramas have struggled with in the past: clunky dialogue (those monologues are the true villains in the show), convoluted storylines, and inconsistent characterisations (see also: The Kettering Incident. Twin Peaks rip-off does not a good show make!) However, the show was particularly adept at generating a sense of heightened urgency from scene to scene, with generally sensational pulpy sequences that lend better to a series with a supernatural bent to it, rather than a true-to-life gritty drama/family soap opera like Secrets and Lies was (although, judging by the "betrayal, small town secrets" promise, I think we should expect some soap opera elements in Tidelands, which isn't necessarily a bad prospect).
Verdict: Cautiously Optimistic.
Honestly, Tidelands sounds like a show that can either be fascinatingly good, or laughably bad. But considering Netflix's track record and the excitement from its creators, I am looking forward to bingeing this series with baited breath.
Are you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!