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Have you ever considered emigrating to Australia? If you have, and if
you're interested to learn how others have fared, you will probably
find this show interesting and useful. Otherwise you'll be bored and
possibly annoyed by its format.
But first things first: the show follows a British family to Australia. First they interview them, ask them about their reasons for the decision to emigrate, their hopes and dreams, and so forth. Then they are given the choice of three possible lifestyles: beach, country or city living. Once they decide they're flown over to Australia where they check out the scene - work, houses on offer, entertainment, food & drink. In the end they must decide whether Australia is for them - this happens by popular vote.
The format of the show is quite rigid and the show never strays from it. This is particularly annoying as the host, Nadia Sawalha, uses pretty much the same dialogue from episode to episode, and then there are the recurring little info clips that are shown every once in a while - they too are the same with each episode and may make up 10 minutes out of the 40 or so minutes of the entire program. It's quite annoying, really, and you get the impression they are putting this in as filler footage. But other than that, the show is quite interesting (particularly the family members' reaction to all things Australian) and the BBC pedigree guarantees high production value.
If you're willing to overlook the annoying rigid format and some of the fluff (recurring dialogue & footage) you've got a decent and informative show on your hands.
So, if you're seriously considering emigrating to Australia, watch it. If you're not, then I'm sure you'll have better things to do with your time (unless you're hopelessly bored, that is).
Running for six years now, WANTED: DOWN UNDER takes some unfortunate families, gives them a week in Australia and/or New Zealand, and then poses them The Big Question of whether they want to emigrate or not. The format is shamelessly manipulative, combining elements from house- selling series, offering sentimental videos of family and friends telling them whether they should go or not, and then asking them to make 'a big decision' in 'the final vote.' No allowance has been made for the fact that the act of emigration is only the first stage in a lifelong process of adjustment; it's the first year of residence abroad, not the first week that matters. Nor do the program-makers even consider the effect of relocation on all the family members; how new schools, new houses, and new jobs actually change people. There is also the complacent assumption that, as English people resident totally in England, they will remain the same even when living in a foreign country. But then of course this is what the daytime television audience om British television wants: forget complexities.
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