TV Review: A Place to Call Home


    Dallas meets Downtown Abbey in this high-class Australian soap opera available on Acorn TV. The series is set in the 1950’s in a rural town about an hour—and a millennium—away from Sydney. It introduces us to the Blighs and their substantial fiefdom, Ash Park. As is the convention with soap operas, there are numerous characters and plots: a righteous heroine, rich young widower, conniving villain, homophobia, anti-Semitism, racial prejudice, and class snobbery. All this is served up by characters who look good, wear nice period clothes, drive great cars, and have charming Aussie accents. Who could resist?
But what makes this intergenerational saga really POGO-worthy is the matriarch, Elizabeth Bligh. Every inch a queen, Elizabeth is very protective of her family and will stop at nothing to preserve its position, wealth, and traditions. It’s positively thrilling to see her wield the iron hand that is rarely concealed in a velvet glove. Where we are repeatedly told to zip it with our grown offspring, Elizabeth is not shy about letting her children and grandchildren know what’s right, even when she’s dead wrong. The “kids” don’t always go along, but in the crunch those Blighs stick together.
I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, but rest assured that, with winter coming, A Place to Call Home is a great way to chase away Seasonal Affect Disorder. And if you’re a binge watcher, I want to encourage you to lay in a lot of popcorn: the series is now in its sixth season.

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