For everyone TV review: The Newsreader (ABC TV)

★★★★

The latest binge-worthy drama from the ABC, created by Offspring scribe Michael Lucas, is ostensibly about how a commercial news show handles the fallout of the major moments that shook Australia in the ’80s. That includes everything from the devastating bombing of the Russell Street police station in the heart of Melbourne, to the Challenger disaster in the US.

It’s the third episode, detailing the release of a wrongly imprisoned Lindy Chamberlain, that best exemplifies what it takes to secure a story. But the real gist of the show is the low-key soap opera between the studio’s stars, crew, management and ownership.

Anna Torv (Mindhunter) is brilliant as an anchor trying to conceal her mental health challenges in an unforgiving arena, with rising star Sam Reid (Lambs of God) as her “it’s complicated” ally, and Get Krack!n alumna Michelle Lim Davidson as an under-appreciated producer, also great.

While there are missteps – assigning a racist plotline to actor of colour Chum Ehelepola is an eyebrow-raising choice – it’s compelling TV, and the period detail convinces without distracting.

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