The Secret Life of Us (TV Movie 2001) Poster

(2001 TV Movie)

User Reviews

Add a Review
9 ReviewsOrdered By: Helpfulness
10/10
An Infectious blend of love, lust, friendship, dreams, disappointments, humor and sadness combined with beautiful scenery and great music !!
Michael_Grech1 September 2005
There are many things that can be said about this fantastic show however if you saw if for the first time in its last 2 years of production then you can be excused for thinking that it was awful.

Although the show suffered an incredible demise during series 3 and never recovered, original viewers will always remember how sensational it was in the first two years. (2001-2002) In fact it was so good that it was bound to become worse because no show could continue to be that good while being so original and creative. I suppose all good things must come to an end and if the show had ended after series 2 then it would have left us viewers dying for more. The way it really ended during series 4 left us viewers yelling "Get it off !!" I can honestly say that I have never seen a show go from being so good to being so bad !! But remembering the first series, it was a show that any person in their 20's could relate to. It was an extremely realistic show which also had some great acting. Combine the infectious storyline, the great scenery (around St. Kilda and some of Melbourne's other more attractive locations) and not to mention... great home grown music and you have a great show. If you love Aussie music then this was definitely a show for you. Secret Life had a contract with Mushroom so we got to hear the best in Oz rock, both past and present !! We also got to hear Abi Tucker's great singing and Oh my god !! Who could ever forget Evan singing "Howzat" at the Fu Bar Karaoke night !!! What made it so special to me was that most of us could identify with every character in the show and as the series went on, the characters just grow on you. I will never forget in series 2, when Will (Joel Edgerton) left the show. It wasn't the same anymore. There was something missing. He was part of the original cast that made such a big impression on us. His departure was definitely the beginning of the shows demise as every original character except for Kelly & Simon, would soon jump off what was to become a sinking ship.

With the exception of Will's departure, series 2 was almost as good as series one. It continued with so many realistic situations that we could all relate to. Personally my favorite character was Jason, played by Damian De Montemas. In series one we saw him as a very confused man who was making a lot of mistakes and learning the hard way. Series two saw him trying to become more responsible after getting a girl pregnant. He committed himself to fatherhood and was extremely overjoyed after the birth of his son. He persevered with his relationship with a woman who was very difficult to get along with simply because he wanted to do the right thing and be a responsible father. But in the end it all caved in around him and nothing went his way. His absence in series three was a major disappointment for myself.

There was also the on-going Evan & Alex saga. The couple who seemed so perfect for each other but who always seemed to be victims of bad timing. I am actually amazed that the writers of the show never gave us viewers what we all really wanted which was of course to see them together in a relationship. Alex was to marry Rex who was played by Vince Colosimo. Although Vince Colosimo is a great actor, he was not suited to the show and his introduction was another step in the shows decline.

Despite the show losing its popularity, its later years did have some highlights. The introduction of Dan Speilman as "Tidy" was very good for the show although he only lasted one series and then he simply vanished like most others did in 2004. Stephen Curry was a great asset to the show in series 4 however by then it was too late. If he had been in the show in its earlier years, even if he was just a regular guest, he would have been a huge hit !! Also in the later years we got to know Simon (likeable Gay barman from Fu Bar) a lot better and his character was sensational.

There was however one character in the show that I could never understand. The character of Kelly, (played by Deborah Mailman and the shows longest serving character)never made a lot of sense. I am not sure what the writers of the show were thinking when they invented her. I must say she was good in the first series but after that her character never progressed in the same way that all the others did. It was the same story every series. She would just meet new guys and form relationships that would never last. Another thing that also did not make sense is that she is not an attractive woman yet in the show she got more interest from guys than all the other girls when some of the other girl were in fact stunners !! But overall the Secret Life Of Us will remain as one of my favorite all time shows. The first three series are available on DVD and I strongly urge anyone who has never seen the show to get your hands on it although I would just stick to the first two series and not bother with series three.
6 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Pretty good
Asimov_X16 August 2001
I wasn't that interested in this show. The previews didn't appeal to me that much but after watching an episode because I was bored one night and there was nothing else on TV I found myself being drawn in. There's something refreshing about this show and it has a certain edge to it. There's very few shows I will watch on a regular basis but it looks like the secret life of us will be one of them!
7 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
This show is fantastic!
laurenscavenger18 December 2002
I think that "The Secret Life of Us" is a brilliant show. I watched it from day one and was fascinated by the character dynamics. The storylines are fresh and interesting and I love the fact that it's set in Melbourne (not Sydney as one reviewer claimed). I particularly like Deborah Mailman as Kelly and think she deserves every award she gets. Behind the scenes, Christopher Pettifer is the composer and his music is just perfect for the show. I rate the show 11/10. Not a disappointing moment in any episode broadcast to date.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Critical of the show
marquis_sacristan19 February 2002
I dunno, everyone raves about this show but for me it is too self-conscious. It seems that the show was developed in order to appeal to a specific demographic and as a result picks up on what is required in order to "be cool". Perhaps I am being too critical of the show, perhaps Australia needs a twenty-something show, but for me it is just another run of the mill soap-opera. Now, I have has people try and convince me it is "deeper" and more "intellectual" than a soap-opera, but to me "Twin Peaks" was a soap-opera and more intellectually demanding than "The Secret Stylised Life of Us". Overall the show is competent,but nothing more...It just seems too calculated, but maybe I am just out of date.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
6/10
Very typical of the "good" Aussie shows
garykukis19 April 2017
In viewing quite a number of highly rated Australian shows, I have noticed a great many similarities:

1. There is strong language; the f-word is used frequently; and the words God, Jesus and Christ are all used, but without any reverence whatsoever. 2. There is a lot of sex, including random hookups and unexpected one-nighters and various forms of adultery and unfaithfulness. For most Australian series, there is very little actual nudity; and rarely of the main characters (my guess is, most main characters in Australia have a no-nudity clause in their contracts). 3. Traditional marriages and relationships are almost nonexistent. Most "relationships" begin with sex (sometimes after a few dates); and often this sex is accompanied by the consumption of alcohol or marijuana. Long-term relationships tend to begin with drunken sex, eventually produce children, and, after many years of living together, maybe marriage. 4. Oddly enough, there does not appear to be a great deal of condemnation of adultery, although most of these Aussie shows eventually show some of the harm done to the injured parties. 5. Expect to see alcohol frequently abused, but without any long- term affects; and marijuana is used regularly, but generally without any long-term or short-term affects of drug use. For the most part, pot smokers do not use too many heavier drugs. 6. There tends to be a strong push of various plot points. People do things which are absolutely wrong, immoral or stupid; and then the episodes revolve more around characters reacting to what they have done or to what other characters have done. I felt as if the characters were moved along more by the plot points than these plot points being natural outcomes of the personalities and foibles of the characters themselves. 7. Other big events move the story along. Sudden deaths, car accidents are not uncommon. So far, I have not seen any Aussie shows where someone dies from drinking too much or taking a bad mixture of drugs.

"The Secret Life of Us" (along with at least a half-dozen other highly rated Aussie shows) pretty much follow those rules; so it depends upon the cast of characters; and obviously upon the writers. Whereas, most of their characters were interesting; and the dialogue is sometimes interesting; it is not unusual for some big thing to occur in the show which may not seem to be completely in character.

For instance, one character when seeing and hearing that her best friend was contemplating adultery, has very little negative to say about it. However, when another friend attends an AA meeting to gain inspiration, she found that to be reprehensible.

The show is entertaining, most of the time; but the 6 points above will be seen over and over again. There are times when I wish that the characters would slow down, interact more, and have fewer life- altering circumstances to react to.

Despite some of these characters having "careers" they live lives of surprising rudderless abandon. None of the characters appear to have any deep sense of morality or right and wrong, with the exception of their relationship with gays, and that gayness MUST be accepted and approved of at all costs. Speaking of which, there are are two main characters who are gay (out of 9); and some episodes feature a considerable amount of gay making out scenes.

So far, in the first 2 seasons, I cannot think of any character who actually seems to grow; or recognize some kinds of behavior as wrong or destructive, and decides not to engage in it. Apart from some of the female characters pursuing "love", most of the characters appear to be aimless, even in their late 20's and early 30's. It does not appear that they have advanced much since their teen years. Even those who pursue love often make some of the worst choices imaginable which dooms the "love" relationship from the start. Again, this drives the plots.

Any Aussie series with an M on it means what it says. Personally, I would not allow any child under the age of 18 to watch this in my house. I would not want anyone related to me to think that these were values which I approve of or think are okay things to try out.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
The best TV Australia has ever produced
Ashworth_2217 November 2001
This is the only show that every one of my friends and I can all agree on. We're all around the age of the characters, and this is the first show that we feel has reflected us back to ourselves. It has excellent writing and it never cops out or goes for the simple solution. The characters are complex and believable. The cast is uniformly brilliant, and its good to see under used Australian actors like Deborah Mailman being given the chance to turn in consistently good performances.

The premise might seem cliched (8 twenty-somethings, their lives and loves etc.), but it brings an amazing originality to that. I'll admit I was reluctant to watch it in the beginning. At first it seemed like it might be one of those shows that tries too hard and insults its audience, but that couldn't be further from the truth. I think it will be a long time before we get to see another drama of such high quality, so I hope people continue to get behind it.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Brilliant!!!
Somebody for Someone16 November 2001
Never before have I seen a drama series so realistic. Everything is done flawlessly - the plots, the acting, the scripts... FORGET Reality TV. NEVER FORGET the Secret Life of Us. This series revolves around the lives of 8 twenty-somethings in the inner-city Melbourne suburb of St. Kilda as they aim for (to quote Kelly) "a good work life, a good home life and a good love life". NOTHING in the plot is overdone and over dramaticised, unlike some US TV shows that I have seen (read this, Aaron Spelling!), and nothing as trivial as some of the stuff they put in soapies like Home and Away and Neighbours! This is definitely my type of show, and I follow it avidly, just short of religiously!
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
Australian version of "This Life", only better.
spedders21 June 2001
Based on seeing eps 1-12 (there are 22 in total), it's pretty much flawless. Cast, location, direction, editing, SCRIPTING... Everything is just very right.

20-something characters, 4 male, 4 female, all well-rounded, all identifiable, all living in same apartment block. Unlike This Life, though, it doesn't depend on the characters' personal extremes (Anna's bolshiness, Miles' selfishness, Millie's wetness etc) to keep things interesting. More female-driven than TL as well. Extraordinary to see something this impressive coming out
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
Aussie 'This Life', but worse
leo113 August 2001
Unlike Mr Spedding I disagree that this is better than 'This Life', although very much in the same vein, and whilst 'The Secret Life of Us' is very entertaining, the first series of This Life was far and away superior to "The Secret Life of Us' The characters are well written and acted and the plot skips along well enough to keep you interested, but it lacks the element of surprise that 'This Life' had in every episode. Whilst Claudia Karvan is a very talented actress, the lack of Daniela Nardini is the main problem with comparing 'This Life' and 'The Secret Life of Us'.

Worth a visit if you have an hour free on a Monday night
0 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews