Crikey, the new season of Wentworth got off to a raunchy start on Monday (TV2, 8.35pm). I'm not sure how you get around it not being raunchy, being set in an Australian women's prison, although I'm not sure raunchy is the right word. How about rude? I'm also not sure who the raunchy or rude or, presumably, sexy bits in telly shows set in women's prisons are for. It would be ridiculous to pretend that women prisoners don't have sex, but, tut, tut, writes Outraged of Auckland, does it have to be quite so rude?
Actually, it wasn't just that scene (which was nasty in addition to being rude), the entire prison and hence the show is fair heaving with stuff that some people might find a bit exciting: "Scrag" fights, skimpy singlets, bra straps, full-on tongues-down-the-throat scrag pashing, tough birds doing laundry -- you don't get much hotter than a laundry room in a women's prison. There are nods aplenty to the original series, Prisoner, and the laundry room is one of them. It is much better-looking than the original, and so are the lead actors. Wentworth is a "reimagining" of Prisoner. It doesn't leave much to the imagination, that's for sure.
The second season opened with former Queen Bee, Bea Smith (Danielle Cormack) locked up in an isolation cell, out of her nut on prescription meds. She has knifed another prisoner, the mother of the boy who was responsible for her daughter's death. Bea was so off her nut that she was able to believe her daughter was still alive and that she could see her and talk to her -- a state she preferred to the wretched reality of her life.
Meanwhile, a new Queen Bee, Franky (Nicole da Silva), a sexy sadist with tatts, had taken over the cell block.
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She does a fine turn in swerving from sneering menace and butter-wouldn't-melt-in-her-foul-mouth pouting, and she knows how to showcase a bra strap. But she has competition. The Freak (of Prisoner infamy) is the new governor Ferguson (Pamela Rabe) who wears her hair in a nasty little bun and says things like: "Our job is to correct - We are in charge." Miss Ferguson -- "you can call me Governor" -- keeps her pencils well-sharpened and all lined up in rows. She is a user of hand sanitiser. She is bound to be a lesbian. She might well turn out to be an even nastier a price of work than the nastiest of the prisoners. When she failed to get Franky on side, she made Bea go cold turkey and tossed her back into the cell block where Franky promptly got her chief thug chick, the dim Boomer, to dunk Bea's head in water. In other words, it's all on.
Watch those scrags scrap it out. It's bound to be a winner because, as we know from Seinfeld, men like watching cat fights because there's always a chance they might ... kiss.