Claudia Karvan says the Stan Original Series Bump is subversive storytelling, not just a comfort show.

Claudia Karvan would prefer that you didn't call the Stan Original Series Bump just a 'nice family show'.

The Australian series premiered in 2021 and told the story of a high-achieving inner-city high school student named Oly (played by Nathalie Morris) who, after experiencing some severe stomach pains at school, gives birth to a daughter after not realising that she was pregnant. 

The baby's father Santi (played by Carlos Sanson Jnr) was initially a one-night stand for Oly, but while working to raise their daughter together and finish high-school, the two new parents quickly fell in love.

In the series Claudia Karvan, who co-created Bump with Kelsey Munro, plays Oly's mother Angie. A high school teacher in the throes of going through a marriage separation and finding new love, while also being pulled back into the intensity of new motherhood via her daughter and new granddaughter. Right at the moment she had started to carve out a new life for herself.  

Now in its fourth season, the characters of Bump have experienced a few time jumps and Jacinda, the surprise baby in question, is now in primary school while her parents navigate the adult world away from school and university.

Speaking to Mamamia during the filming of season four in Sydney, Claudia explained why she sees the series as a subversive form of storytelling, even though it has long been hailed as cosy family comfort watch. 

I mentioned to her that there's a familiarity to Bump, which drops a new season like clockwork every festive season. It's a series tied to memories of family holidays and always devouring the first few episodes on Boxing Day in between helping yourself to the Christmas leftovers. 


There's comfort in watching an unconventional family unit disagree, fall apart and then always find their way back to each other once again.

It's a sentiment Claudia agrees with, as long as that's not your only description.

Bump is a life-affirming, positive family show, but I sort of feel like that’s been said enough,” the actress told Mamamia. “What I think actually runs under all that is that we have quite solid and subversive storylines. 

“This show opens with a mother about to masturbate with her vibrator,” she continued. “Then only a few moments later, it's a girl trying to take out her very full moon cup. Then it's about a girl learning how to have an orgasm and lactating when she orgasms. That’s really boundary-pushing.

“Even in the first season you see this high school girl being presented with her new baby and she says 'get that thing away from me'. That's a hard-hitting storyline but one we do wrap up in a lot of goodness, love, warmth, and loyalty. We've made it a bit like an urban fantasy.

“Yet people still say 'it's just such a nice family show'. I actually think it's the combination of all these things that hooks people in.”

Dylan Alcott, Nathalie Morris and Claudia Karvan in Bump season four. Image: Stan. 


In season four of Bump Angie has moved out of the family house and into a protest camp so she can focus on environmental activism and the climate crisis. She is also in the midst of distracting herself from a recent heartbreak.

Season three of the Stan series saw Angie recovering from cancer and also embarking on a relationship with Edith (played by Anita Hegh) who also happened to be the sister of her newly-separated-from husband Dom (played by Angus Sampson).

Claudia has been a mainstay on our screens for decades, with roles in enduring TV shows such as The Secret Life of Us and Love My Way and movies such as Dating the Enemy, Paperback Hero, and True History of the Kelly Gang.


When it came to setting up Angie's storyline for season three and the choice to include a same-sex romance, the 51-year-old actress said the creative decision was born out of a need for a different type of intimacy.

“As an actress, I have been filming romantic and intimate scenes with men and boys since I was 16 years old,” Claudia said. “So this storyline came from a place of ‘I actually don't want to have to kiss another man’. 

“I adore Anita as an actress and I think she's so smart and beautiful. There's real freedom in playing intimate scenes with her, that's what actually underpinned this storyline. I wanted to play that love and romance with her because there's a simplicity to it. Something that doesn't necessarily come with playing opposite a male actor. 

“I mean there are lots of other different reasons as well, but that was definitely one of them. There's very little stubbornness or resistance in our writers' room. We all believe a good idea is a good idea and it doesn't matter where it comes from. Everyone just brings their raw opinions and thoughts to the room.”

Listen to Claudia Karvan talk to Mia Freedman about Stan Original Series Bump on No Filter.

Bump season four picks up two years from where season three left off. Oly is now her family's only breadwinner and Santi is struggling as a stay-at-home dad, while both their families continue to have their extreme ups and downs.


When speaking about season four, Claudia doesn't want to give too much away, but she does confirm that a long-awaited wedding takes place, in a scene that features the whole cast.

“We filmed the wedding over two days and it was with a huge cast,” she said. “There were maybe 30 cast members there and 50 extras. It was a logistical nightmare and filming days like that are usually so slow and so arduous.  

“But these two days were actually like being at a wedding,” she continued. “Or a reunion or a party because it felt like we were celebrating the show. 

“During the vows they were talking about shared memories we've all had together on the show from series one. So it felt very emotional and the party itself afterward was genuinely raucous.”

We'd expect nothing less from the characters, and cast, of Bump. 

The brand new season of the Stan Original Series Bump will premiere on Boxing Day. Every episode of Bump Seasons 1, 2 and 3 are now streaming, only on Stan.

Laura Brodnik is Mamamia's Head of Entertainment and host of The Spill podcast. You can follow her on Instagram here.

Image: Getty.

It can be tricky raising little humans and that’s why we want to hear from all parents in this short survey. Take our survey now to go in the running to win a $50 gift voucher!