After relocating from the whirlwind of Sydney, newspaper columnist George Turner (Thomson) is slowly learning what it means to be a local in the quirky New Zealand town of Weld. He wanted his kids, Shay (Vidler) and Arlo (Benson Jack Anthony), to have a fresh start after the death of his wife, but all did not go according to plan. Now George must reunite his family by bringing Shay home from her self-appointed exile in Australia.

And if George is to become a fully functioning town resident, he must actually start anew – including finding a job with a steady income and revamping his love life. With the many attractive, eligible women living in Weld, who will receive George’s affections?

Hailed as “the best show you’re not watching” (Inquisitr.com), this sweet, refreshing family drama also stars Rick Donald (A Place to Call Home), Bridie Carter (McLeod’s Daughters), Emma Leonard (Home And Away), and Michelle Langstone (The Almighty Johnsons).

What We Thought:

800 Words is a quirky little dramedy out of New Zealand. Each episode is about 44 minutes in length and has some funny parts and deals with the drama of daily life.

Season 2 opens with George trying to figure out his relationship with Jan while dealing with his daughter Shay being gone. Jan eventually leaves and Shay returns. George and Woody clash when Woody sees George dancing with someone he was interested. George starts a new job as the season progresses as well. He has another shot at buying the house he always wanted. He goes on a date with Katie. But the funniest episode might be the jet ski one.

The show captures small town life brilliantly. Everyone knows each other’s business and it always catches George off guard. When Jan was planning on returning home, the guy that works at the gas station talks to George about it and he wonders how he already knew. Same for Shay’s return. Everyone gossips and everyone is in each other’s lives. When George doesn’t want to pay Woody the $40,000 for the house work, everyone in town thinks George is broke, but George simply wanted to know why it cost so much.

The characters, the wide array of side characters especially, is why the show works. Whether they are forcing you to stick to the rules of getting naked at the nude beach or having drinks together, you get a little piece of everyone and everyone serves their part. I think without the side characters it wouldn’t work as well. The first episode is funny because the father/daughter team every year screws up the fireworks show. It’s all nonsense, but you laugh at that nonsense.

I wasn’t familiar with 800 Words before, but I have to say I kind of liked it. It’s not knock down great every episode, but it has its moments. You can tell George loves his son and daughter and is just trying to survive in his new environment. If you have seen the show, pick up Season 2 Part 1.

Bonus Features:

  • Interview with Erik Thomson (4 min.)

Cast & Crew:

  • Erik Thomson
  • Melina Vidler
  • Benson Jack Anthony
  • Rick Donald
  • Anna Jullienne

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