I really enjoy foreign TV shows (see previous posting). While watching Gogglebox Australia, I discovered Wentworth (as well as MTVs Geordie Shore, but no judging).  I added Wentworth to my Pinterest board of things to watch.  One rainy weekend a few years later, I started watching episode 1 on Netflix, and my husband half-heartedly watched but he was soon as engrossed as I was.

Firstly, this is not an Australian version of Orange is the New Black.  I could only get through the first 3 seasons of OINB. After that, I really didn’t care about the characters anymore.  Wentworth is a remake of a show by the same name that ran in Australia in the 1970s. 

We recently finished the fifth season of Wentworth – 12 episodes in each. When you and your spouse both love the same show, it’s like you’re on the Autobahn of binging–3 episodes a night? Yes please! Here’s just a few reasons why we loved this show and eagerly anticipate season 6:

  • The actors fit their role – none of them are textbook beautiful, they are real.
  • The storyline arcs cover a long period–things aren’t wrapped up at the end of each episode. You wonder why a character is doing a particular thing, but you soon learn the strategy behind it. It’s strategy almost to the level of Game of Thrones.
  • The show makes you laugh and cry–which is what makes an excellent show (for me anyway).
  • I’ve never seen a trans character so well-written or acted as Maxine. She truly demonstrates the challenges, heartbreak, and horrible choices that have to be made to feel like yourself.
  • You love the characters despite all of their flaws and their bad habits.  It reminds me of The Wire–you know these people aren’t great but you understand why they did what they did and the tough road they face to overcome it.
  • The backdrop in nearly every scene is the gray prison. The fact that the characters burn through  this shabby prison and shine is testamount to how well-written this show is.
  • You find out about Australia – the aborigine characters, the racism, the spousal abuse.

I don’t want to give away any spoilers, so that’s it for now.

(Other shows my husband and I enjoyed together: Game of Thrones, Narcos, and Fargo.)