By KATE HUNTER
Bloody guys. Life was great for Debbie and Sue before boys surfed, swaggered and cruised their panel vans into their lives. After watching Puberty Blues last night I felt positively anti-men. Not one of them came across as a decent human being. Except maybe for the final 10 seconds when Gary said, ‘Pod of whales out there.’ It was a pretty nothing line, but after the cheating, lying, aggressive, dismissive, manipulative actions and words of the previous 50 minutes, it made Cronulla’s super-spunk seem like a poet.
There, got that out of my system.
After feeling cranky, I just felt sad. Why did boys have to be like that? Are they still that way? The men in Puberty Blues are pretty awful too. The only possible exception is Roger, Sue’s dad. He’s faithful, but gutless – no way is he going to tell cheating Ferris’s wife what her smarmy husband is up to. Which begs the question, is it ever right to tell someone their partner is on with someone else. I’d say yes, but that’s another post.
This story is told through the eyes of the girls – and Kathy Lette and Gabrielle Carey who wrote the original story were there, so they should know, but what made the guys so arrogant? Was it because the girls let them – even encouraged them, with their blow jobs and Chiko Roll runs? Was it because the boys’ mums did the same for their dads – albeit with apricot chicken in place of the Chiko Rolls? I’m looking at you, Yvonne Hennessy. Gary’s mum (alongside Debbie’s little brother David) remains my favourite character.
It’s so sad the boys in Puberty Blues do little to make life better – more fun, more interesting, more memorable for the girls.
Whenever a panel van pulls up, or a wave packed with surfers rolls in, the girls’ relationship shifts. The mood gets darker, loaded … dangerous. I wanted to yell at the boys, ‘Rack off, you dickheads, those girls were having a perfectly nice time until you showed up.’
Maybe that’s just me. Could be because now I’m a mother of daughters. I’m not a girl anymore. Thank God.
Puberty Blues is a story about a nation growing up. It tells the story of two girls, Debbie and Sue; their innocence lost and experience gained against the backdrop of Australia in the seventies.
Based on the iconic novel Puberty Blues by Kathy Lette and Gabrielle Carey, the series will move beyond the original pages and explore the (mis) adventures of these young girls, their families and friends in a more naïve time in Australia’s history.
8:30pm Wednesdays, on Ten.
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What do you think of the guys in Puberty Blues? Are boys any different today?