Whilst perusing the television guide yesterday I noticed something which pleased me, at 11:40 last night ABC Television were screening a repeat of their excellent political drama series Grass Roots. When I eventually tuned in at 11:50 after remembering that it was on, I was even more pleased to note that it was the first episode of the first series, meaning that I am now able to watch the entire first series once again, albeit at a peculiar hour. I don’t think I’ll ever understand why television stations insist on screening great programs late at night and junk during prime-time, but I suppose I should be thankful that they bother to screen great programs at all.
Grass Roots focuses on the internal rumblings of the fictional Arcadia Waters council, in a suburb of Sydney. The show is in my view the Australian version of Yes Minister, showing a masterful grip on the politics and bureaucracy of local councils, with the necessary addition of mild but biting satire to make sense of it all.
The series currently being shown by the ABC was originally screened in 2000, and the second series was produced in 2003. It was unfortunate that the show never got a third series as the second series (without giving too much away) ended with many open questions, however it could quite legitimately be argued that enough plot points were wrapped up to justify the end of the show, whilst leaving things open in much the same way that politics never really ends.
Prior to the days of Quizmania on Channel Nine I was quite partial to the repeats of another brilliant Australian drama, Water Rats, which used to screen at 1am on Tuesdays, and I’m glad to finally have another Australian drama to enjoy in the wee hours.
Grass Roots currently screens at 11:40pm on Sundays on ABC Television and runs for a bit under an hour.