I think Offspring just broke up with us.
Be careful what you wish for.
Three weeks ago, I somewhat controversially wrote that I hoped tonight’s season finale of Offspring would be the series finale. Why? Because I wanted Offspring to leave the party on a high. Go out on top. And I instinctively felt that it was finally time to let Nina and Billie and Jimmy and Geraldine and Darcy Proudman go.
And tonight that’s exactly what happened.
It felt – to me at least – like my wish was granted. And it was bittersweet.
I think Offspring broke up with us tonight.
Every storyline was wrapped up. Every character was sorted out. Darcy and Geraldine are back together. Mick and Billie reunited. Cherie and Clegg are on. God even Elvis got a pash. We all know Zara is going to make a fantastic paediatrician with Jimmy by her side. Billie has finally carved her own place in the world. And Nina. I saw Nina and Zoe walking into their future with Nina’s hand firmly in Leo’s. And I bloody love Leo.
Tonight those crazy Proudmans came full circle – albeit a little older, a lot wiser and with more kids in tow. And tonight I said goodbye to a group of people I have come to love very much.
Will there be another season of Offspring? That’s yet to be confirmed. But tonight felt like the end to me. The family photo. The music. The appearance of Patrick smiling at Nina and giving her fledging relationship with Leo his blessing. It felt like a beautiful end.
And if by chance it was the end, I want to say this (in case I don’t get the chance to again):
Thank you to Debra Oswald for dreaming up a show that was laugh-out-loud funny and sexy and fresh and sophisticated and distinctly ours – distinctly Australian without being full of clichés and obnoxious characters. From the very first scene Offspring was layered and complex and whimsical and lovely. It just hummed. It reminded me of the gloriousness of a big, messy family. And it taught us that ‘family’ is whatever you choose it to be: parents and siblings, work colleagues, friends.
Thank you too for creating a show that was in effect a love song to women over 35. Nina, Geraldine, Billie, Cherie and Kim – reminded Australian audiences that whether you’re 35 or 55 – life is still full of love, sex, family, friendships, career and fabulous boots and scarves. Over five years how refreshing it was to see these women living their complex, independent and interesting lives. They were more than wives or girlfriends or mothers. They were fascinating women.
Thank you to the crew and the scriptwriters – Deb, Michael Lucas, Jonathan Gavin and their team who made blisteringly great television look effortless. From zinging one-liners (Clegg: “Law degrees are like iPods. Everybody’s got one”) to laugh-out-loud scenes (Nina’s dancing during a drunken night out with the girls, Billie’s pregnancy fantasy sequence, the Nanna Nina Noonan conversation, every scene ever with Martin Clegg) to the poignant TV moments that will stay in my heart for decades.
Like what? Like that moment when Patrick met up with his ex-wife who handed him a baby book of their stillborn son Gus and explained her actions with ‘Well, I’m still his mum’. Billie’s “You are the love of my life” moment at the pub with Mick. The night Nina found the rocking horse Patrick had lovingly handcrafted for their child. And I don’t think I will ever forget a heavily pregnant and newly widowed Nina confessing to Billie that she was worried she’d be too consumed with grief to be able to love the baby she was carrying. When Billie said, “Well, then I’ll cover you. If you’re too sad to start with, I’ll love the baby … I’ll love the baby ’til you’re ready to.” – I wept.
And thank you to the actors – Asher Keddie and Kat Stewart in particular – who breathed life into those words and were so convincing that the mere thought of seeing them in other roles and thus breaking the spell kills me a bit inside.
Oh I know, I know it’s just a TV show.
The Proudmans were a second family that I anchored myself to for five years while my own life blew off course and unravelled at times.
Offspring gave me a place to escape to every week. It reminded me of the sacredness of family. The power of life’s biggest forces – births, deaths, first loves, heartaches, and that intense bond between siblings.
If tonight was the end, well I like to think the writers of Offspring handed the baton to us – the viewers – to take over. Now we get to decide for ourselves where life will take Nina and Leo, Billie and Mick, Jimmy and Zara, Cherie and Clegg, Darcy and Geraldine. I’d much rather that than experience another two years of watching Nina and Leo and Billie and Mick repeatedly breakup in an attempt to keep a drama going.
Nope. I’m taking the baton and running with it. I have my own ideas where Nina and Billie and Jimmy will go from here. And maybe, just maybe in five or ten years time – we’ll see a special two-hour reunion telemovie.
Are you listening Debra Oswald? In five or ten years time I want to check in on those crazy Proudmans and make sure they’re all doing okay and that Billie isn’t in jail for verbally assaulting anyone. So Debra Oswald, I’m going to hand this baton back to you in time but for now – I’m done. And I can’t thank you enough.
This post first appeared on Mamamia.
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Over the past 25 years Rebecca Sparrow has earned a living as a travel writer, a television publicist, a marketing executive, a magazine editor, a TV scriptwriter, a radio producer, a newspaper columnist and as an author.