- TV Mini Series
Les Norton follows the exploits of a country boy who has escaped a troubled past to find himself in Sydney, working as a bouncer/fixer at the city's most notorious illegal casino in 1985. A ... Read allLes Norton follows the exploits of a country boy who has escaped a troubled past to find himself in Sydney, working as a bouncer/fixer at the city's most notorious illegal casino in 1985. A classic fish out of water, he soon finds himself seduced by the city's illicit charms and ... Read allLes Norton follows the exploits of a country boy who has escaped a troubled past to find himself in Sydney, working as a bouncer/fixer at the city's most notorious illegal casino in 1985. A classic fish out of water, he soon finds himself seduced by the city's illicit charms and dragged deeper into the web of underground criminality.
Finding the right actor to play a character like Les was always going to be even tougher.
Have they hit the nail on the head? Well, maybe not quite, but I think he's probably going to be as close as we can realistically expect, and I can't nominate the perfect actor for the right price either. He does a pretty good job playing Les as a naive new import, his fight scenes aren't awful (although they need some work to match the books!), and between being a fish out of water and when he fires up, he shows that he's not a bad actor, so all in all not too bad. Not really Les, but he'll do.
The biggest name here is probably Rebel Wilson, in what might be silly casting for the Madam, but maybe there's more to come. David Wenham, though, is a surprising get, an inspired choice for Price, and a real feather in the cap to have.
The rest of the cast was somewhat surprising, none more so than Eddia Salita, but I think they are close enough to the books to stay true enough and still work for the show. Switching up Lozza (the roommate) to be a woman seems a little unnecessary, but I can see it getting a bit bloke-heavy otherwise, so I think that will work too. They are all pretty good actors though, with the possible exception of Billy, so no real complaints there.
The use of a narrator seems to annoy a lot of people, but I think it's another realistic choice that was necessary to help the story be understood overseas, and even for a lot here at home. The show's about as ocker as humanly possible - thank the stars that they didn't make Les a Yank or something! - and I think the Narrator does help propel the story and tie things together. It might be considered lazy, but it's probably necessary, and I think it works.
The production values are pretty high, certainly not the lowest the ABC has put out before. It's not what we've been spoiled with by the likes of some of the shows that are coming out these days, like Daredevil or Game of Thrones, but if you rein in your expectations to realistic levels you should be pleased enough. It does look good, and it does look like the Cross back in the day. The steel XXXX cans are my favourite touch.
I'm very happy with the choice to go with a tv series instead of a movie, as we get much more time to develop the characters and tell multiple stories, which will help a lot.
All in all, after 2 episodes I think this is shaping up to be a really good, fun series that should open up the world of the big red boofhead to even more readers.
I think they've done a really good job in an impossible situation, and I am enjoying it. I've gotta go dust off my copy of 'You wouldn't be dead for Quids' for another read now.
- Aug 11, 2019