800 Words is an Australian family drama, which aired in 2015. The series follows the life of top columnist, George Turner (Eric Thomson). George is recently widowed and he decided to change his entire life. His dramatic move results in his family, which includes his daughter, Shay (Melina Vidler), and son, Arlo (Benson Jack Anthony), relocating to small town Weld. Although things seem bad already, George’s dream home turns out to be a real nightmare.
As soon as the family arrives in Weld, they run into problems. Their vehicle is destroyed by a rolling piece of art and George soon founds out that his real estate agent, Monty (Jonny Brugh), as not been entirely truthful. George’s dream house has been put through the wringer and is truly a work in progress. Matters continue to worsen, when George discovers that the family’s belongings have sunk to the bottom of the ocean. Despite all of the mishaps, the family encounters some good people, including the wacky, but loyal, Woody (Rick Donald).
George also runs into some potential love interests, including Tracey (Emma Leonard), Fiona (Michelle Langstone) and Katie (Anna Jullienne). Arlo finds a friend in Katie’s son, Billy (Reon Bell). Billy is, needless to say, awkward and somewhat of a science fiction geek. George and his children soon find out that the town is run by the McNamara family. Getting in their way and disrupting their business, including Monty’s, would prove to be problematic. Still, George manages to find a way to belittle the whole town and transform himself into Weld’s most hated man.
Despite the craziness of the series and the wackiness of the characters, it manages to touch home in plenty of ways. George consistently struggles to overcome the loss of his wife, while attempting to keep the kids happy. This struggle is ongoing and manages to wiggle itself into each and every episode. Many times, George manages to overcome his obstacles with the help of the town’s folk.
George manages to dig himself into all kinds of problem, including challenging an old rival to a surfing content. The only problem is the fact that George isn’t a surfer and is clearly outmatched. These silly, yet impactful, moments manage to keep the series interesting for the first season’s 8 episodes. So, how is the series? Well, there is a lot to like about 800 Words. This is clearly obvious, by the early renewal. The show is already scheduled for a second season.
The majority of the actresses and actors do a fabulous job, despite the ludicrous of many scenes. Erik Thomson won’t blow you away as the recently widowed father, but he manages to pull it off and definitely adds realism to the show. I only have a few negatives with this series and that is Shay. First and foremost, Shay is somewhat annoying and her clothing is unsuitable at times. In fact, she dresses less modest than many of the adult characters. George should’ve given her a spanking a long time ago.
Finally, Shay’s relationship with Ike (Alex Tarrant) becomes a little bit obnoxious after awhile. Nonetheless, such stumbles are to be expected in family dramas and the better aspects of 800 Words more than make up for these minute problems. If you’re a fan of House Husbands, 800 Words is well worth a watch. It is funny and quirky, yet still manages to be uplifting and heart wrenching. A 7.5 out of 10 is deserved. I’ll definitely watch the 2nd season of 800 Words and you should consider doing the same!