Review: The Heights

When I told a friend I was watching The Heights on ABC, she referred to it as ‘ABC Neighbours,’ after the long-running Channel 10 soap.

I thought this was a pretty funny and pretty fair characterisation of the show, now entering it's second season. The Heights is an ensemble drama featuring characters of all ages and revolves around life within and surrounding a social-housing tower in Perth. Consisting of thirty, easily digestible half-hour episodes, I would recommend The Heights as an excellent social-distancing binge watch.

The show is similar to other soapie Australian shows in that it tackles the relative mundanity of suburban (or inner-urban) life but spices things up through large dollops of drama, and in the case of The Heights, drama with a social-issues tinged theme in keeping with its place on the ABC.

The cast is multi-ethnic and storylines routinely focus on the tensions between the younger generation of migrant communities as they attempt to make lives for themselves. The series features explorations of issues relating to class (in a big way), race, gender (a sexting scandal), dis/ability, sexuality and adoption – all of which are quite impressively depicted as intersectional and with nuance.

It is for this reason that I think, despite some rough writing and stilted acting performances, the series is stronger than its commercial TV counterparts and well worth a watch. It’s great escapist-realism (it’s a thing, trust me) for our more isolated days.

Tagged in TV, What messes with your head