There's no better TV escape than 'Rosehaven'

Daniel McCallum (Luke McGregor) and Emma Dawes (Celia Pacquola) in 'Rosehaven.' MUST CREDIT: SundanceTV
Daniel McCallum (Luke McGregor) and Emma Dawes (Celia Pacquola) in "Rosehaven." MUST CREDIT: SundanceTV

More than one critic has observed that in this year of disasters and strife, TV viewers want to escape via sitcom.

I can't think of a better refuge than "Rosehaven."

The Aussie series is now airing on SundanceTV (11 p.m.Wednesdays). The title is the made-up name of a town on the island of Tasmania. It's so small a resident compares it to a single aisle in a supermarket.

Local boy Daniel McCallum, a wimpy, red-headed millennial, is living in Australia when the show begins. Then his mum, Barbara, calls from Rosehaven. She wants him to fill in at her real estate business while she has back surgery. Daniel bids goodbye to best bud Emma, who's about to get married, and off he goes.

Tasmania is bucolic and beautiful, with lush, green hills and low-hanging clouds. When dusk falls, a blue fog envelops everything and the lights of homes and shops twinkle like fairy dust.

But this isn't quite a fairy-tale sitcom. Everyone in Rosehaven is a little bit weird.

A locksmith is not to be trusted because, as one lady says, "I saw him smell a bush with no flowers once." Daniel, meanwhile, ineptly confronts bullies from his past and unwisely attempts to steal a kiss from a former girlfriend, now a doctor, while she's scanning his body for moles.

And who should show up but Emma. She says her new husband dumped her on their honeymoon. But if the groom dumped his bride, why does he keep calling her? And does she secretly have a crush on Daniel?

As for Daniel's mother, she is officially my favorite tough-love TV mom - except she evinces no love. Daniel wants to do a great job running the family business. "I don't remember asking you to take over," she says brusquely. She orders him to just "answer the phone and make sure you don't have any ants in the kitchenette."

And therein lies the beauty of "Rosehaven": It makes you feel like you're a million miles away in a very special place, and it also makes you very glad that Barbara McCallum is not your mother.

 

 

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