In Praise of: Packed to the Rafters
It seems that during these uncertain times we are all reaching for some form of comfort. Whether its comfortable clothing (guilty) or comfort food (definitely guilty), things that are familiar and homely are all the rage.
This brings me to the show I have been watching for the past month or so, the largely forgotten suburban drama Packed to the Rafters. Centred on a suburban Sydney family, the show depicts the noticeably ordinary lives of Dave and Julie Rafter and their grown children, as they navigate relationships both familial and romantic, work, play and everything in between.
Now, the show is not sophisticated and is obviously (and successfully given its enormous success when airing) pitched as broadly as possible. There is something for everyone both in terms of storylines and characters, and the plot twists and turns can generally be spotted a mile or so off. But it doesn’t pretend to be anything it’s not. Much like the Rafters themselves, the show is humble in its sensibility and proudly so. I think it is this that makes it such a cosy and enjoyable watch at the moment.
The show begins to fracture a bit in later seasons as key cast members leave the show. Most of these characters head to Europe or the USA to ‘pursue their dreams’, just as the actors who played them did, to varying degrees of success. This again speaks to the blatant relatability of the show, how many of us regular Australian 20-somethings haven’t either actually done exactly that or at least dreamed of it?
Packed to the Rafters is evidence that TV or film needn’t always be edgy and challenging to be worthwhile.