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Series Mania Melbourne: Revisited

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For ACMI at Home, we're sharing our curatorial insight into different films, artworks, TV series, or videogames, as well as where you can find them online.   

In a previous instalment of ACMI at Home, we cast our minds back to the inaugural Series Mania Melbourne program, held in 2017. Now, three months since entering Stage 1 restrictions, our increased appetite for TV might have made the shelves look bare. We assure you, they're not. Let's take a moment to look back and some highlights from Series Mania Melbourne and look at what you might have missed, or what you might want to rediscover.

Wrong Kind of Black (2018)

From the cops and the crocs of 60s Palm Island to the blood-spattered dance floors of Melbourne in the 70s, Wrong Kind of Black is the personal story of Boori Monty Pryor and his brother Paul. At the height of the disco inferno, Monty is DJing at the Albion Charles Hotel where he and younger brother Paul rub shoulders with a motley crew of mobsters and Aussie yobbos alike. The ‘fro and the flares seem like worlds away from Monty’s childhood – but beneath the surface, not much has changed. 

Wrong Kind of Black made its world premiere at Series Mania Melbourne in 2018 where it opened the festival. It is currently available to stream on iView.

Patrick Melrose (2018)

When his estranged father dies, Patrick Melrose (Benedict Cumberbatch) reluctantly jets off to New York City to retrieve his ashes. Almost immediately thrown down into a spiral of drug use and recklessness, he is forced to confront his privileged but deeply traumatic childhood and a life of bad decisions and wasted opportunities.

Hugo Weaving and Jennifer Jason Leigh give haunting performances alongside Cumberbatch who won the award for Best Leading Actor at the BAFTA Awards in 2019. The series took at the award for Best Mini-Series.

Patrick Melrose is currently available to stream on iView.

The Chi (2018–20)

On an average day in Chicago's South Side, kids prep for school as their parents head off to work, young adults try to make a living, and the elders keep an eye on things from their front porches. But in this tough neighbourhood, real dangers threaten to squash dreams every day and the simplest decisions can have life or death consequences.The Chi is a timely coming-of-age drama series centred on a group of residents who become linked by coincidence but bonded by the need for connection and redemption. 

At the time of the series premiere, series creator Lena Waithe was best known as a co-star and award-winning co-writer of Master of None, but has since gone on to create and co-write three season of The Chi, as well as the recent serialised remake of Boomerang and the autobiographical Twenties.  

The first two seasons of The Chi are available to view via Google Play with a third season ready to drop.

Frayed (2019)

Simone Burbeck’s life appears perfect. She lives in a mansion with her perfect husband and children, and her life is a merry-go-round of expensive renovations, dinner parties and school fundraisers. There’s just one problem: it’s all lies.

After her husband's untimely death, Simone — her real name is actually Sammy — finds herself broke, homeless and a social outcast. With no other options, and two teenage children to care for, she is forced to return to her humble family home in Newcastle, Australia. It turns out Simone’s past isn’t quite the story that she told everyone in London.

After premiering at Series Mania Melbourne in 2019, Frayed has been nominated for five AACTA awards. Series creator, producer, writer and star Sarah Kendall has also received a BAFTA Television Award nomination for Best Female Performance in a Comedy Programme. Kerry Armstrong and Doris Younane co-star.

Frayed is available to watch via Google Play and the iTunes Store.