Monday, 27 October 2014


Prisons fascinate and terrify me in equal measure. I can't explain this fascination; it's not as though I've had first hand experience of prisons, nor anyone close to me. Yet somehow prison psychology draws me in every time. I watched Songs from the Inside on Māori Television earlier this year. It is one of most compelling documentary series I have ever seen.

Wentworth is an Australian drama series that is billed as a contemporary reimagining of Prisoner from the early 1980s. I was too young to watch the first series but can see from the bios how series 1 of Wentworth provides a kind of back story to Prisoner without entirely replicating it.

Set at the Wentworth Correctional Facility for Women, this is a dark, gritty and often violent drama series. The writing is sharp and the well-played characters' back stories are revealed along the way with just the right combination of suspense. They cleverly show that everyone has a history that influences how they act and behave here and now, without allowing too much compassion to sneak in. The intense balance of power that underpins prison life constantly seesaws and none of the inmates or staff are immune.

Wentworth is absolutely compelling viewing. Series 2 is currently screening on Mondays at 8.30 pm on TV2.

No comments: