Bob Katter, Julia Gillard, Rob Oakeshott, Tony Windsor

I worried about At Home With Julia when I first read the press release. The premise sounded naff. I need not have worried, as in seeing the first episode – it’s actually quite good.

While Amanda Bishop’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard was a little over played, it was the subtlety of Phil Lloyd’s Tim Mathieson that stole the show. Entirely underplayed, an innocent amidst a world of political posturing and a man oft forgotten in the process. He longs for some time with his special woman, and too much gets in the way. This is his story much more than it is the PM’s.

In the first episode, we were introduced to the Independents – Bob Katter (Drew Forsythe), Tony Windsor (Peter Carmody) & Rob Oakeshott (Jim Russell) – all three portrayed in a manner so freakishly true to public perception it’s disturbing (Forsythe’s Katter especially). I’m looking forward to more of these guys and the inclusion of Alan Jones in coming episodes. A surprise Craig McLachlan never hurt either.

The delivery of some of the writing is the comedy: The beats after gags; No canned laughter; and lines to die for. I submit this passage as the joke of the night…

GILLARD (to dog): “Bill! Bill Shorten!”


WINDSOR: “What’s he doing here?”

GILLARD: “No, that’s what we call our little terrier, (to dog) ’cause you’re always at Mummy’s heels, aren’t you, yeeees… ratbag…”

With only 3 epsiodes to go, it won’t be around long enough to really upset anybody, yet it will tickle some funny bones along the way. Any outrage that springs from it will come from people who don’t get the gag (and there’ll be a number of people who don’t like it and that’s just fine too). Well done writing team of Amanda Bishop, Rick Kalowski & Phil Lloyd. For my money, you’re on a winner.

At Home With Julia – Wed 9:30pm, ABC1.