Sunday , May 16 2021

The line between madness and common sense is “Come on, Eileen”

An ear worm that just goes into your mind, crawling, laying eggs until it looks like you have several harmonies of the same song competing for attention. Eventually, even “Baby Shark” becomes a better alternative.

If you answered, “Come on, Eileen,” you’ll get a prize. It’s not an Oprah level award, rather as a matter of bragging.

If the melody of Dexy’s Midnight Runners triggers anything, Wakefield’s new ABC drama series can be problematic, or at least very disturbing. It will definitely stay in your head for at least a week.

“Come, Eileen” is used as a recurring theme Wakefield to point out the deteriorating mental state of Nik (Rudi Dharmalingam), a warm and resourceful nurse in a mental health room in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney.

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Nik is the protagonist of the team, he has a light touch with patients and staff, but what if the person he trusts starts to blur the line between common sense and madness?

This is the premise of the eight-part drama, created by Kristen Dunphy and starring British actor Dharmalingam (by the way, which puts the Australian accent) alongside a cast that includes Geraldine Hakewill, Mandy McElhinney, Ryan Corr, Harriet Dyer and Dan Wyllie. .

Nik tries to juggle his patients ’needs along with his own promotional ambitions against his passive-aggressive manager Linda (McElhinney). She also works alongside her former fiancée Kareena (Hakewill), the ward’s chief physician. So you already have a lot of things.

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When “Come On, Eileen” comes out on the radio, it seems to unlock something in him and memories of a traumatic past begin to creep in. According to the use of the song, Wakefield represents these moments in Nik’s head as musical numbers, related to his tap dancing lessons from his childhood.

It’s an effective visual and auditory tactic to transport the audience to this not-so-here world in Nik’s mind, vividly emphasizing his disconnection from his present moment.

It also serves to lift the tone of what can be a heavy subject, all properly balanced by directors Jocelyn Moorhouse and Kim Mordaunt.

Wakefield born from the experience of creator Dunphy in a mental room and has talked about how he found the place devastating and fun, an atmosphere that led him to the show.

The characters that inhabit Wakefield they have serious issues ranging from postpartum depression to hypersexuality, but the series finds humor in punch-free situations.

He always treats characters with compassion, like Dyer’s Genevieve, whose sexual appetite feeds his constant undressing and seduction. Yes, it’s funny, but it’s never been objectified and that’s a merit for Corr, who plays Genevieve’s husband and Dyer’s performances.

It helps to demystify and destigmatize experiences that affect many Australians.

Wakefield he skillfully plays with these individual stories, while serving the broader story arc, and the mystery of why Nik is unraveling right now, to create an engaging drama with a lot of heart.

Wakefield is now streaming on ABC iview

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