Created and written by Deborah Cox (Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries), the 2019 reboot of the award-winning 1990s drama features original cast members Sigrid Thornton (Wentworth, The Man from Snowy River), Kerry Armstrong (Lantana, Razzle Dazzle) and John Howard (Mad Max: Fury Road, All Saints).
In SeaChange: Paradise Reclaimed, after the breakup of her marriage and then losing her job, Laura Gibson (Thornton) finds herself questioning her place in the world. But when she returns to the beachside paradise of Pearl Bay, she finds her estranged daughter Miranda about to give birth to a baby that Laura knows nothing about. With dodgy land deals now threatening Pearl Bay and stormy weather on the way, Laura will learn that her family and her town need her as much as she needs them.
What We Thought:
I’m not familiar with the original SeaChange show, but I had no issue following along with SeaChange: Paradise Reclaimed nor should you if you haven’t seen the 1990s version either. This reboot/revival continues the stories/characters from that show while introducing newer (younger) characters as well.
It opens with Laura (Sigrid Thornton) being fired from her volunteer job in Africa. She returns home to the quaint seaside town where she soon learns her old home is gone and her daughter is pregnant. Brooke Satchwell, of Neighbours fame, plays her daughter Miranda who is going to give up the baby to her friend, a local policewoman. Laura has questions and wants to know who the father is, but Miranda is standoffish with her mother who she hasn’t seen in years.
Over 8 episodes we see Laura get her old job as the local magistrate back. Miranda’s sister comes home and clashes with her and their mother. The truth of the baby daddy rocks the family. Miranda deals with a man working for a developer but also supports the environment. A local (who is a character in the original as well) tries to get a massive development deal going after getting out of prison. There is a wedding, a fishing tournament, the local bar is hurting and its owner has a will they/won’t they with Laura and so much more.
The show is your pretty standard soap opera storytelling with lots of side characters and the lives of Laura and Miranda being the driving force of the season. It has a beautiful setting like other Australian series with actors from other Australian shows like Wentworth, Neighbours, etc. I’m sure there might be some Easter eggs or references to the earlier version that I missed, but I don’t feel like I really missed out on anything by not seeing the original.
I binged SeaChange: Paradise Reclaimed over 2 days and I can see a follow up season coming if they wanted to continue it (also depending on ratings). The people are attractive. The setting is beautiful. There’s just enough drama and romance. Pretty much what you expect from a 6-10 episode light drama series.