One big problem with Seachange reboot
Beloved Australian drama series Seachange made a return to screens last night, almost 20 years since it last aired - and fans rushed to social media to deliver their verdict on the long-awaited reboot.
The show about a high-flying city lawyer (Sigrid Thornton) starting a new life in a small beach town initially ran for three seasons on the ABC from 1998 - 2000, earning rave reviews and huge ratings.
Now, a rebooted fourth season has debuted on Channel 9, bringing several new characters (and a whole lot of ad breaks) into the mix.
Reactions were mixed as the #Seachange hashtag trended across Twitter last night - some fans praised Thornton and the other founding cast members for slotting back into character after 20 years, but others complained the reboot felt forced and so far lacked the charm of the original series:
Why bother having Miranda’s character in the reboot at all if the actor isn’t the same? Yeah, nah 👎 I’ll stick with the original series, thanks #Seachange— 💧🌱🧭 Olivia 🦋 (@SerenityNow___) August 6, 2019
Jury is still out but because of some of cast... I'll give the new #Seachange a go again next week. It feels quite different though. Hopefully it will flow better next episode and not feel as... forced.— Sleepless (Mel) (@Sleepless121) August 6, 2019
The way the Original Four of #Seachange have stepped back into roles they haven't played for 20 years is impressive. Kevin and Bob are so...Kevin and Bob. Not sure how I feel about the Max-is-in-jail part and really wish there was more originals, but I am keen for next Tuesday!— Leesa Ward (@DramaDiaryAU) August 6, 2019
This is not a reboot - it is more a strange, soulless remake, but with 4 originals occasionally referencing original series #Seachange— Kevin Findlay (@KevinFinlay1) August 6, 2019
On the return of #SeaChange: Not terrible but not great. Worth persisting though. A cast this good surely can’t fail. It just needs to calm down. Opening episode jumpiness perhaps understandable - trying to do too much.— Neil McMahon (@NeilMcMahon) August 6, 2019
KEVIN! The end of each #Seachange wouldn't be the same without him sitting on a rock. 👍👍 Hate the Channel 9 voiceovers and all the ads, but the show was EXCELLENT.— LACwrites 🏳️🌈 (@lacwriting4life) August 6, 2019
Great to have #SeaChange back. I’ve missed the OG characters, and am looking forward to getting to know the new ones better.— Anouska (@AnouskaHaaket) August 6, 2019
#Seachange feels like home. So glad its back. Loved the original and have such strong memories from watching it growing up. While its different and "new", the soul is still there and I am loving it!! #oldisnewagain #Seachange #classic #aussie— Kade (@ItsKade81) August 6, 2019
#Seachange with ads is just not right. The rhythm is thrown.— 💧Ranting Leftie Leia (@LeanneMc_32) August 6, 2019
And I miss the incidental music. My last 20 years have been accompanied by the fabulous seachange soundtrack. There is no atmosphere.
But the biggest problem for many fans - bigger, even, than Thornton's TV daughter being recast from Cassandra McGrath to Brooke Satchwell - was the change of location.
The instantly recognisable Victorian beach town of Barwon Heads had served as Seachange's fictional "Pearl Bay" setting in past seasons, but for season four, Seachange was shot around NSW's Northern Rivers region.
Same fictional town of Pearl Bay; just 1800-odd kilometres north. Given the original series was so focused on Pearl Bay's unique small town charm, the location change did not go unnoticed:
I tried v hard to like Seachange 2.0, some laugh out loud moments but ruined by obviously not being in coastal Vic, forced characters and those f***ing ads! Back to the original DVD’s of #Seachange— Graeme (@crankyranky) August 6, 2019
#seachange loving the fact that seachange is back but definitely not loving the huge change to you know, the location and missing key characters and generic storyline...— M (@m_ishka) August 6, 2019
Watched #Seachange tonight. Great cast (and Sigrid Thornton hasn't aged a day!), funny moments....but the location just seems....off, and i miss hearing the theme music during the ending credits.— Daniel Pizarro (@DJPizarro) August 6, 2019
Hmmm. I’ll watch it next week. But there is something missing. And it’s weird being in New South Wales and not Victoria. Also I’m going to need to see Max and Laura’s daughter ASAP. #Seachange— Laura (@sunnyamazing) August 6, 2019
I can live with Brooke satchwell replacing the original Miranda but I don’t know if I can live with pearl bay being so completely unknown from what I remember. I want the pearl of wisdom on the pier from Kev and Trev, not this wannabe Angus (and his wannabe Karen) #Seachange— Janelle Berner (@missnellebelle) August 6, 2019
#Seachange loved the original, cast setting, setting this time is just wrong. Like moving summer bay to cottesloe beach— Crowatheart (@meshazz) August 6, 2019
I understand 20 years have passed and yes things do change but they still can remain somewhat recognisable. A small town like pearl bay, you wouldn’t expect to be totally and utterly different and devoid of the things that made it what it was. #Seachange— Janelle Berner (@missnellebelle) August 6, 2019
Tired after a busy day I thought I'd give the new #Seachange a go. Had to turn it off after 10 minutes. No charm. Forced humour. And worst of all it's not even filmed in Barwon heads!— Stanley Johnson (@BrandDNA) August 6, 2019
This Pearl Bay isn’t even really on the beach.... looks like it’s next to a river....?? #Seachange— ❤️ᖇᎯᏣᏂ🖤 (@Bombergrl2000) August 6, 2019
Airing directly after Nine's juggernaut The Block, Seachange episode one was a ratings winner for Nine, pulling in 787,000 viewers across the five metropolitan capitals.
Seachange airs 8.40pm Tuesdays on Nine. What did you think of episode one? Let us know in the poll below: