Dreamland (TV Review)

Dreamland (TV Review)

Originally called Utopia when it aired, the Australian series Dreamland follows the lives and projects of the folks at the National Building Authority, as they try to make Australia a better place with their grand projects for nation-building.

Naturally, it is the collision of big dreams and massive bureaucracy that provides Dreamland with the central conflict, and main comedy of the series. Right off the bat, there are many similarities between this show, and the British comedy Twenty Twelve, where they are trying to plan out the London Olympics (read my review of it here: Twenty Twelve).

With so many large projects on the go, it is the endless small things that continually get in the way for our likable nation builders at the NBA. Trying to keep everybody happy, while at the same time actually trying to get something done, provides for the humourous tension that we see throughout the series. It could also be compared, at points, to The Office, where incompetence provides a constant stumbling block for the characters actually determined to do their jobs.

dream2Dreamland serves as a political satire, and provides plenty of humour throughout. There are characters that are there to throw wrenches in all of the plans, and the seemingly endless issues that come up with each and every thing that the competent characters try to get done. It is fun to watch them struggle around, as their company is constantly spinning its tires, coming up with over-the-top new ideas, while simply trying to get to Stage 2 on any projects that they have actually been able to get green-lighted.

While every city has its troubles with planning and design, at times it feels like Dreamland ventures into the realm of reality. It could be easy to see planners in any place having to jump through the same hoops in order to get a project underway. Even the smallest project could be derailed by some fringe group that has one complaint or another about how it will be developed, or executed.

Dreamland is a fun watch. It is light, and full of enjoyable characters. From battles over the company logo, to appeasing bikers, to the prospect of building a massive bridge from Australia to Tasmania, the show is full of the ridiculous bickering that manages to stall good ideas and continue to contribute to the cycle of bureaucracy that helps get nothing done when it comes to government issues. Here, we are provided with a light look at how it all goes wrong, and are able to enjoy the ride. Dreamland doesn’t require a heavy viewer investment, and with an 8-episode season, it is easily digestible on Netflix.

The show is a good in-between when you are stuck in Netflix purgatory, and cannot decide which series will be next for you. A few enjoyable hours of watching bumbling Aussies just trying to get something done. Dreamland is fun.

Danger 5: Season 2 (TV Review)

Danger 5: Season 2 (TV Review)

After pouring through the few episodes of the second season of Danger 5, I can only wish that there were more.

While the first group of episodes of the strange yet fun Australian action comedy were odd and focused in the 1960’s, the second season has moved on to be set in the mid-80’s, and bringing with it all the glam of that era. Instead of sipping drinks all of the time, the gang is now snorting cocaine and listening to saxophone music.

53The goals for the Danger 5 gang remains the same in the second year, in that their main goals are to kill Hitler, as they were eventually unsuccessful at this by the end of the original run. There are a couple of cast changes, including an impressive transformation for Pierre, and the relative absence of Claire throughout the entire season.

52But it is still fantastic.

If you have watched the first season, you understand the hilarious ridiculousness of the episodes. Well, things have become even more insane in the second year. There is some time travel, some revenge, some possible hookups, a whole lot of craziness, and of course, everybody’s favorite high schooler, Johnny Hitler.

5I definitely missed the 60’s element of the first season, as it worked so perfectly for Danger 5, but with the crazy extremes that they go to in the second year, it is still a silly and fun show to watch. A similar formula is followed in year 2, and there continues to be some of the running jokes that made the first year so great (Pierre’s cassette tapes come to mind).

Stumbling across Danger 5 was a fun little Netflix misadventure, and I’m glad I poured through the series. It is absolutely insane, but a ton of fun from start to finish. And besides, what other shows out there will give you the chance to see Hitler in high school, as a zombie, and as the indestructible world ruler?

Only in the weird, weird world of Danger 5.