Logies 2015: Who should win on Australian TV’s big night?

May 5, 2015 | Press Room

Original article at Sydney Morning Herald by Michael Idato 1 May 2015

Many are nominated, few win and everyone has an opinion. It wouldn’t be the TV Week Logie Awards without the argy bargy of disagreement, about who ought to have one, who didn’t deserve theirs, or indeed about the value of the awards themselves.

In the television business they are both sacred and superfluous, at once something to be pursued at any cost, and also a conversational football which is, every year, giving a rare and brutal kicking for the amusement of the masses. But the inescapable truth is this: everyone within arm’s reach of them wants one. And, unless you know how to game the system, you’re fighting an uphill battle to wrestle Australia’s voting public from their TV-host-of-the-moment-inspired inertia.

In truth, awards nights are largely smoke and mirrors, from the Oscars down, a sort of manufactured pageantry packaged as entertainment and largely intended to give viewers, strapped to their couches, a meat parade of the who’s-who, the who-used-to-be and the who’d-like-to-be of showbusiness.

Much of the competition is on the red carpet – fingers crossed there’s a lift in the quality of interrogation on offer there this year – but some of it is still left on the stage, as actors and actresses, presenters and programs, slug it out in the key categories for a little golden man named Logie.

Gold Logie: Most Popular Personality on Australian TV

Last year’s winner: Scott Cam
This year’s nominees:
Andy Lee (Hamish & Andy’s Gap Year South America, Nine)
Asher Keddie (Offspring/Party Tricks, Ten)
Carrie Bickmore (The Project, Ten)
Hamish Blake (Hamish & Andy’s Gap Year South America, Nine)
Scott Cam (The Block, Nine)
Stephen Peacocke (Home and Away, Seven)

The most striking thing about the most important category of the night is that everyone in it has been nominated previously, which suggests, with respect, that Australian television needs to stir up the gene pool a little. A win would be a glorious footnote for Hollywood-bound Stephen Peacocke, but given this category has a historical lean towards safe and solid, it would take a small miracle to unseat Nine’s safe-as-houses Scott Cam.

Silver Logie: Most Popular Actor

Last year’s winner: Chris Lilley
This year’s nominees:
Chris Lilley (Jonah From Tonga, ABC)
Craig McLachlan (The Doctor Blake Mysteries, ABC)
Josh Thomas (Please Like Me, ABC 2)
Luke Arnold (INXS: Never Tear Us Apart, Seven)
Stephen Peacocke (Home and Away, Seven)

Seven’s Home and Away had a historical hold on this category, so it was a surprise last year that the ABC’s Chris Lilley upset the applecart, a sign perhaps that his series Ja’mie: Private School Girl resonated powerfully with the audience. So, does Jonah from Tonga resonate in the same way? Best in class here would be Craig McLachlan whose performance in The Doctor Blake Mysteries confirms his depth and range, but popular sentiment would put Lilley and Peacocke in the lead.

Silver Logie: Most Popular Actress

Last year’s winner: Asher Keddie
This year’s nominees:
Asher Keddie (Offspring/Party Tricks, Ten)
Bonnie Sveen (Home and Away, Seven)
Jessica Marais (Carlotta/Love Child, ABC/Nine)
Julia Morris (House Husbands, Nine)
Mandy McElhinney (Love Child, Nine)

Asher Keddie, Logie’s “golden girl” seems a logical choice here, but the bottled lightning of Offspring has faded over time and Party Tricks did not deliver in audience terms, so the category might be split open. Best in class is Julia Morris, whose luminous play in House Husbands has been both revealing and compelling. Outsider would be Mandy McElhinney, whose range is proving delightfully unpredictable.

Silver Logie: Most Popular Presenter

Last year’s winner: Scott Cam
This year’s nominees:
Amanda Keller (The Living Room, Ten)
Andy Lee (Hamish & Andy’s Gap Year South America, Nine)
Carrie Bickmore (The Project, Ten)
Grant Denyer (Family Feud, Ten)
Karl Stefanovic (Today, Nine)

One of the structural problems of the Logie Awards is repetition across category (gold into actor, gold into presenter and so on) and no category shows it up more than this. It’s predictably pointless that Cam wins twice, but history demonstrates the Australian voting public sometimes have their eyes on the Tim Tams and not on their voting coupon. Best in class is Amanda Keller, whose gentle presence and infectious humour are effortless in a way that is both beautiful and rare for television.

Most Outstanding Drama Series

Last year’s winner: Redfern Now
This year’s nominees:
Janet King (ABC)
Puberty Blues (Ten)
Rake (ABC)
The Code (ABC)
Wentworth (SoHo)

A category spoilt for choice, and thankfully one where, to some extent, every year is not a recycled jumble of the previous. Wentworth is an obvious starter here, for its benchmark-setting brilliance and stunning performances. But Rake is a masterpiece, even as it ages. The Code was bold and ambitious. Puberty Blues was simply breathtaking, with big and small touches. And Janet King was a ripper. Ultimately you’ll pick the one you love most, but kudos to the peer-voting jury for tackling the widest field on the night.

Most Outstanding Miniseries or Telemovie

Last year’s winner: Top of the Lake (UKTV)
This year’s nominees:
Anzac Girls (ABC)
Carlotta (ABC)
Devil’s Playground (Showcase)
INXS: Never Tear Us Apart (Seven)
The Broken Shore (ABC)

Another splendid set of nominees, each worthy of the win. But something needs to break form here to stand out in the crowd, which means either Anzac Girls or Devil’s Playground, the former for its sharp and compelling narrative, the latter for the brilliance of knitting the original film, and one of its stars, Simon Burke, to a new, powerfully contemporary story about power and politics within the church of Rome. Ambition should always be rewarded.

Most Outstanding Comedy Program

Last year’s winner: category did not exist; the comedy Housos (SBS One) won “light entertainment”

This year’s nominees:
Black Comedy (ABC)
Legally Brown (SBS One)
Please Like Me (ABC2)
Upper Middle Bogan (ABC)
Utopia (ABC)

Given how long and hard the fight was to have the comedy category reinstated, you have to hope than in future years there will be a better spread of contributing networks; four of the five nominees are from the ABC, and the fifth from SBS. This is a mixed bag, all solid shows but the category seems, collectively, to lack the sparkle of its drama counterpart. Please Like Me is a logical starter here, off Josh Thomas’s popularity, but best in class would be Black Comedy which was ambitious, clever and, in the execution, astonishingly funny.

Silver Logie: Most Outstanding Actor

Last year’s winner: Lachy Hulme
This year’s nominees:
Ashley Zukerman (The Code, ABC)
John Noble (Devil’s Playground, Showcase)
Luke Arnold (INXS: Never Tear Us Apart, Seven)
Martin Henderson (Secrets & Lies, Ten)
Richard Roxburgh (Rake, ABC)

While there are some stunning performances here, there are also some surprises. John Noble was excellent in Devil’s Playground, but where are Simon Burke, Don Hany and Andrew MacFarlane, all equally brilliant. Roxburgh’s Cleaver Greene is a superlative performance, but Martin Henderson was a also revelation in Secrets & Lies. Best in class is impossible to pick, with such subjective and varied performances, but Roxburgh would seem a safe bet.

Silver Logie: Most Outstanding Actress

Last year’s winner: Asher Keddie
This year’s nominees:
Danielle Cormack (Wentworth, SoHo)
Denise Roberts (Schapelle, Nine)
Jessica Marais (Carlotta, ABC)
Marta Dusseldorp (Janet King, ABC)
Nicole da Silva (Wentworth, SoHo)

Again we’ve got a rich and varied set of performances from Dusseldorp’s nuanced Janet King to Jessica Marais’ luminous portrayal of Australia’s most prominent transgender woman, the former showgirl turned author and TV personality Carlotta. It’s also hard to go past Cormack and da Silva’s prison rivals Bea Smith and Franky Doyle in Wentworth, both stunning performances. Or Roberts’ Rosleigh Rose in Schapelle.

Read more of the original article here

 

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