Five Bedrooms, the new Aussie dramedy that premiered in the US yesterday, is fun and fabulous and perfect for binge-watching this weekend.
With a nomination for Drama Series Production of the Year at the 2019 Screen Producers Australia Awards, and its second season due to launch on Network 10 later this year, Five Bedrooms is a delight to watch. The characters are likable, the stories are infused with drama and humor, and the whole of it is charming.
The drama follows five women and men who meet at the singles’ table at a wedding. They are Liz (Kat Stewart, Offspring, Tangle), a lawyer; Ben (Stephen Peacocke, Wanted, Home and Away), a contractor; Harry (Roy Joseph, Back in Very Small Business, Halim), a surgeon and Liz’s gay best friend; Ainsley (Katie Robertson, Rosehaven, Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries), a real estate agent; and Lachlan (Hugh Sheridan, Back to the Rafters, Packed to the Rafters), Ainsley’s colleague and the (married) man she’s in love with.
While downing champagne, Liz and Ben flirt, Harry avoids meeting a wedding guest his marriage-minded mum thinks could be his future bride, and Ainsley opines that married couples are happy because they own property. Heather (Doris Younane, Frayed, McLeod’s Daughters), Ainsley’s “self-appointed life coach and landlord,” thinks the young woman is confusing happiness with real estate, yet she nonetheless suggests that the five at the table could do better and buy a bigger house than two couples by pooling their resources. She didn’t think these five strangers would actually go through with it.
But they do. Starting at the singles’ table with internet searches, followed by post-wedding group emails, and concluding with their winning bid on a house being auctioned off. As Ainsley sees it, the house is “a very sound investment opportunity.” It would have been sounder if appliances and such worked properly before they moved in, but it’s too late to get out of the contract now.
Before the co-investors spend even a week together under the same roof, an unexpected occurrence disrupts the new household and the five become four. Just as quickly they are back to five again. And they’re giving their social experiment six months.
So begins their journey together — supporting each other from housewarming and birthday parties, to confessions and attractions, to health scares and financial woes, and beyond.
I became enamored of Five Bedrooms within its opening minutes, and my fondness for it has remained steady through the first half of the eight-episode first season. (I will be returning to it shortly.) Despite the sad moments, it is a heartwarming, feel-good drama. And if the characters were real people, I would love to know them and to call them friends, because they are good people. Flawed and with their own quirks, but good, genuine people. They are the draw here, and the stories bring them to life.
Five Bedrooms, a Peacock Original series, is now streaming in the US exclusively on Peacock.
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