Kate (Gigi Edgley) & Rick (Kip Gamblin)

Relationships, like debt, are a tricky business indeed.

The Christies have run Sapphire Mercantile Agency for a long time. Dad Jim (Shane Bourne) is still the licence holder, though retired, and daughter Kate (Gigi Edgley) now runs Sapphire with a deft hand and sharp mind. Her sister Lily (Sophie Hensser) helps out while not at Uni (with more than just the business – Kate needs someone to give her unwarranted relationship advice), and Chad (Lincoln Lewis) is new to the game and keen to learn thanks to Jim’s faith in him.

It’s Rick (Kip Gamblin) that has had Kate’s heart for the last year – one of her best years in she doesn’t know how long. He’s a considerate partner in life and business, and he’s great with Kate’s teenage daughter Emma (Odessa Young). He’s pretty good at the mercantile game too. He and Kate work well together and they know what it takes to make debt recovery & private investigation work.

“That’s all it (debt) is most of the time: good people making a bad decision.” – Rick
“Usually followed by a worse one.” – Kate

The long-awaited, oft ill-promoted drama from Channel 9 Tricky Business has arrived, and it’s well worth the wait. As a drama it stands tall on it’s own story and delivers poignancy and colour not regularly seen on Australian television. There are elements that feel like we’ve seen it all before (Lewis’s hapless Chad is one, but he still offers an honesty and vulnerability that puts him beyond Summer Bay) but the overall strength of the series is the honesty of the characters – a testament to the strength of the cast and the script.

Bourne is an underplayed delight as the family patriarch, and Debra Bryne as Claire add to the charming dynamic as mother and father. Both are delightful on-screen and the more we get of these two across the series, the better. Antony Starr as the handsome competitor Matt offers a playful yet dark tone to the trickiest of businesses. Gamblin & Edgley play well off each other, though it’s Edgley that stands out as the strong, charming and world-wary Kate – a character audiences will connect with and enjoy across the series. Edgley’s Kate is perfect. Lewis is awkward and provides enjoyable relief to some of the more tense moments, and he fits Chad’s buff skin all too perfectly.

The story of the first episode establishes the characters very well and will hook the audience in right from the start. The cast are great and Wollongong has never looked better. Channel 9 should be well pleased with the finished product and sack whoever was responsible for the misplaced and completely misdirected promos we saw on screen earlier this year. Opportunities abound to connect with the show on a social level: follow up via twitter or Facebook.

When you’re settling in to watch Tricky Business tonight – and you should – just remember to set your recording device to run late. Very late. With the live episode of The Voice running before it Tricky Business has not only the best lead in available on Australian TV, but also every chance it won’t start until after 10:15pm.

“Tricky business, debt. We all owe someone something.” In this case, it’s a debt of gratitude to Ch9 for finally giving Tricky Business a run. Good things, it seems, come to those who wait.

Tricky Business – series premiere Mon 9:45pm, Ch9.