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800 Words: Season 2, Part 1
Score: 94%
Rating: Not Rated
Publisher: Acorn Media
Region: 1
Media: DVD/2
Running Time: 365 Mins.
Genre: Drama/Comedy/TV Series
Audio: English Stereo
Subtitles: English SDH

  • Interview with Erik Thomson

800 Words: Season 2, Part 1 brings us back to Weld, New Zealand where things pick up about a month after the close of 800 Words: Season 1, with daughter Shay (Melina Vidler) having left the sleepy beachside community to return to Sydney. Her father, George (Erik Thomson), is actually visiting her in Sydney and trying to convey that all is well at home and that he and her younger brother Arlo (Benson Jack Anthony) are making it just fine without her. Of course, this is actually complete rubbish and is all part of the master plan they've drummed up called "Operation Shay" designed to bring the girl back to Weld, all on her own. It could be going better, but then Bill McNamara Jr's (Paul Glover) daughter, bratty Lindsay (Manon Blackman), decides she has to escape her home and Arlo offers her Shay's empty room, since she has long been the object of his unrequited crush. Once Shay gets wind that her Weld nemesis is sleeping in her old bed, it isn't long before she returns home.

"Auntie" Jan (Bridie Carter) and George are sort of continuing their relationship, but they seem to have skipped all of the fun bits of courtship and gone straight to the "Hi honey, how was your day?" part and it isn't really working for either of them. When George discovers his column is being nixed by the Sydney paper, Jan realizes she has been hiding out in Weld long enough and needs to end things with George and return to Sydney, if nothing else than to save George's job. Despite all of the eligible women in Weld giving her the evil eye when she snagged George, she discovers that she truly is loved as the whole community comes out to see her off in grand style.

"Big Mac" McNamara (Peter Elliott) shocks the community by offering the job of Editor-in-Chief of the local paper, News of the Weld, first to Jan, who turns it down and then to George, who gracefully accepts. This puts Big Mac's son Monty (Jonny Brugh) in the unenviable position of simply being replaced, but Monty is a good sport, happy to roll with the punches. To make things a bit easier, a prime new beachfront property might be coming up soon and he is just the real estate agent to sell it. Imagine George's shock when he discovers that the property he originally thought he was buying (and the one where he spent his childhood summers) is occupied once more and by a lovely young woman named Becks (Esther Stevens), who is handling her grandmother's estate since she went into a care home. George is toying with the idea of upgrading to the larger and more beautiful home, and his carpenter/surfing buddy Woody (Rick Donald, A Place to Call Home) might like the idea of "upgrading" to Becks, since it seems his friendship with Tracey (Emma Leonard) just can't seem to evolve to the next level, especially since she is focused on her career and the potential new job of school principal. Perhaps a serious bump on the head is just what Woody, and everyone else, needs to bring everything into perspective.

George finds himself being a bit pressured to get back out into the dating scene and he and free-spirited artist Katie (Anna Julienne) try and make a go of it, but it's so hard with the whole town watching and waiting. Plus, in his time there, George has also caught the eye of surfer Hannah (Cian Elyse White), council member/Boat House restaurant owner/local EMS worker Fiona (Michelle Langstone), and Tracey as well. Who will he choose? The more important question is when, since his heart still belongs to his deceased wife Laura and she looms large in everyone's minds as the one year anniversary of her death rapidly approaches. As George and Laura's parents battle it out over where her final resting place should be, Shay drops quite a bomb on everyone, but no one can stay angry for too long in peaceful Weld.

The first half of the season wraps up nicely with a lovely romance for Arlo, a possible relationship for George, questions about Ike (Alex Tarrant) and Shay's future, and some serious potential for gossip and drama where Auntie Jan is concerned. Who knows what the rest of the season holds for the Weld community? We'll have to wait a bit to find out, but if you can't stand to wait, at least you can always check these episodes out early on Acorn TV. However, if you do opt to wait for this DVD release, you will be treated to a short interview with Erik Thomson on playing George and where his storyline will be going. Either way, 800 Words: Season 2, Part 1 brings plenty more laughter, tears, and wonderful friendships and romances. This quirky town filled with delightful characters will steal your heart away, even more so than the gorgeous scenery. Highly recommended.

-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins
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