Monday, August 4, 2008

Enough Rope

On the whole, I've been quite unimpressed with Australian produced television shows. A great deal of what we see on television here in Australia is actually programming that has been made in the USA. So in many ways, that is a good thing when you are an American Expat because you can keep up with the shows you loved from the USA and keep up with the new stuff that is coming out all the time. This means when we go back to visit the USA, we have some idea of what people are talking about when they refer to certain popular shows. We can maintain some semblance of being in the know...although we are typically at least half a season behind.

As you might imagine in a country with only 20 million inhabitants there isn't a particularly large television industry. This means good Australian shows are few and far between. The comedy genre is basically untouched--I can only think of a handful of Australian sitcoms I've ever come across. As for the drama genre, there seems to be quite a few shows that have been running for many years, but none of them have ever captured my imagination.

There is one diamond in the rough on Australian television though. This show is funny, moving, compelling and deeply interesting all at once. It's actually an interview format show with an extremely talented and insightful host. The show is 'Enough Rope' and the host is Andrew Denton.

He interviews people from all walks of life--from the very, very famous to the lady next door. It doesn't matter who he is interviewing, he always gets people to reveal a side to themselves that you've never seen before. He asks hard questions in a breezy and calm manner that doesn't seem to phase his subjects and surprisingly they just respond. He's amazing to watch and truly a credit to Australian television.

This year he did a special series entitled, 'Elders' in which he interviewed a series of high profile elderly people in search of the knowledge they had to offer after their many years of experience. It was fascinating to watch.

With no further ado, if you haven't already, meet Andrew Denton:

This is part of an entertaining interview with Jerry Seinfeld

Here is a segment of an interview he did with Helen Thomas (White House Press Corp since 1961--she's covered world politics for 57 years)

Enough said.

No comments: