At Home With Julia
|At Home With Julia|
|Country of origin||Australia|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||4|
|Production company(s)||Quail Television|
|Original release||7 September– 28 September 2011|
At Home With Julia is a four-part Australian sitcom television series, created and written by Amanda Bishop, Rick Kalowski and Phil Lloyd, which debuted on 7 September 2011 on ABC1. A re-run of the series aired on ABC2 in April 2012. Currently, the series is in syndication in the United States on Vibrant TV Network.
The series depicts a fictional representation of the relationship between Julia Gillard, the actual Prime Minister of Australia (played by Amanda Bishop), and Gillard's real-life partner, Tim Mathieson (played by Phil Lloyd). Fictionalised versions of actual Australian politicians and media personalities are portrayed throughout the series. Much of the action takes place at The Lodge, the Prime Minister's official residence in the national capital of Canberra.
Although the first episode was received either relatively well or neutrally by the media, many critics responded negatively by the series' end. Some saw At Home with Julia as defying previous boundaries in political satire and political parody, with its emphasis on a female politician's personal life rather than her politics and public life. In particular, the media, viewers, and politicians were scandalised by the notorious "flag scene" from Episode 3 ("The Leaker")—in which the Prime Minister and partner Tim Mathieson were depicted apparently naked and post-coital under the Australian flag.
The series was a 2012 Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards nominee for Best Television Comedy Series. Criticised by several social commentators as inappropriately disrespectful to the office of Prime Minister, the show nevertheless proved very popular both with television audiences — becoming the most watched Australian scripted comedy series of 2011 — and with television critics. According to media reports, international versions of the series are being developed in the United Kingdom and Europe. None of these shows however have been commissioned as of September 2013.
In February 2013, the notorious "flag sex-scene" from Episode 3 ("The Leaker") was featured in the ABC1 series Shock Horror Aunty!, a compilation of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's most controversial broadcast comedy incidents.
No second series was produced due to the uncertainty of how long the real Gillard would remain Prime Minister. Amanda Bishop did reprise the role of Gillard for Wednesday Night Fever, however the real Gillard was ousted as Labor Party leader and thus Prime Minister just prior to the show's debut on ABC1.
In an atmosphere of budgetary cuts to the ABC and severe criticism of the use of political satire on it, no follow-up series has been produced about Tony Abbott, the former Coalition Prime Minister.
- Amanda Bishop as Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard
- Phil Lloyd as Tim Mathieson
- Georgina Naidu as Georgina
- Michael Denkha as Jesus the Cleaner
- Craig McLachlan as Steve the Gardener
- Stephen Leeder as Special Agent 'Mervyn Fairmeadow'
- Martin Thomas as Agent Thompson
- David Callan as Agent Smith
- Joel Barker as Naughty Kid 1
- Jack Dawes as Naughty Kid 2
- Jack Versace as Naughty Kid 3
- Wildenfox Pavarotti as "Bill Shorten", the dog
- Paul McCarthy as Minister for Foreign Affairs and previous (2007–10) Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd
- Alan Dukes as Deputy Prime Minister of Australia Wayne Swan
- Jonathan Biggins as former (1991–96) Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating
- Drew Forsythe as independent Member of Parliament Bob Katter
- Jim Russell as independent Member of Parliament Rob Oakeshott
- Nicholas Cassim as Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott
- Geoff Moxham as radio journalist Alan Jones
- Jonathan Biggins as television journalist Tony Jones
- Chris Taylor as Jase the Canberra Local
- Amanda Bishop as Deputy Leader of the Opposition Julie Bishop
- Meaghan Davies as Brianna, the Canberra local.
Episodes and ratings
|Series||Episodes||Originally aired||DVD release date|
|Season premiere||Season finale||Region 1||Region 2||Region 4|
|1||4||7 September 2011||28 September 2011||N/A||N/A||17 November 2011|
Series 1 (2011)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original Air Date|
|1||"Date Night"||Erin White||Amanda Bishop, Rick Kalowski & Phil Lloyd||7 September 2011|
|Australian Prime Minister (PM) Julia Gillard's life is hectic, although much of her time is taken up trying to politely hang up on Paul Keating, a former PM from her Australian Labor Party, who keeps phoning her with unsolicited advice. The life of Julia's non-celebrity partner, Tim Mathieson, is anything but hectic; he fills in time by running household errands for the PM's official residence—The Lodge—since staff cover all the gardening and house-cleaning. Julia and Tim try to reserve space on the calendar to be alone together, but their "date night" keeps getting rescheduled, this time because Julia has to invite three independent members of the Australian House of Representatives (Bob Katter, Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott) to the Lodge for dinner, to discuss their demand to prohibit imported food. Problem is, the Lodge's beer fridge is filled with imported beer, and the local butcher only stocks (very expensive) imported meat. Meanwhile some neighbourhood kids get hold of a gun which a member of the PM's security team, parked in the street, had placed on the car dashboard so he could sleep more comfortably.|
|2||"Code Ranga"||Erin White||Amanda Bishop, Rick Kalowski & Phil Lloyd||14 September 2011|
|Tim is to cut Julia's hair at a local school to promote an apprenticeships program for Muslim youths. When Tim borrows Julia's car to drive to the school, her security team follows it thinking she is driving. Meanwhile Julia is trapped in the bathroom when the handle breaks, although she manages to climb out a window and hail a cab driven by Afghan refugee Aarif who gets lost amongst Canberra's numerous roundabouts. When it is realised that the Prime Minister is missing, Tim is grilled by a hard-nosed federal police agent who is still wracked with guilt regarding his failures in the 1967 disappearance of then Prime Minister Harold Holt.|
|3||"The Leaker"||Erin White||Amanda Bishop, Rick Kalowski & Phil Lloyd||21 September 2011|
|Julia and Tim plan a big announcement at Tim's birthday but have a catastrophic misunderstanding over what it is. Julia is also convinced her Minister for Foreign Affairs, and previous PM, Kevin Rudd has been leaking information.|
|4||"Citizens' Assembly"||Erin White||Amanda Bishop, Rick Kalowski & Phil Lloyd||28 September 2011|
|Tim and Julia have split up, but are trying to keep it from the media. Julia tries to sound more refined on Alan Jones' radio show, but later loses her voice due to the stress of losing Tim. Julia's predecessor as PM, Kevin Rudd, kindly offers to take her place on the TV talk show Q&A.|
|#||Title||Airdate||Timeslot||Timeslot Ranking||Ratings[nb 1]|
|Series 1 (2011)|
|1||"Date Night"||7 September 2011||Wednesday
9:30pm – 10:00pm
|2||"Code Ranga"||14 September 2011||1st||1,044,108 (11th)|
|3||"The Leaker"||21 September 2011||1st||903,731 (11th)|
|4||"Citizens' Assembly"||28 September 2011||1st||751,000 (18th)|
|Average series ratings||969,631|
- Overall consolidated national viewers, numbers in brackets indicate nightly ratings position.
Awards and nominations
|2012||AACTA Awards||Best Television Comedy Series||Nominated|||
|Equity Awards||Most Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series||Won|||
|AWGIE Awards||Outstanding Comedy Writing - Situation or Narrative: Episode 1 ("Date Night")||Nominated|||
|AWGIE Awards||Outstanding Comedy Writing - Situation or Narrative: Episode 3 ("The Leaker")||Nominated|||
- Stevenson, Ana (2013). "Making Gender Divisive: "Post-Feminism," Sexism and Media Representations of Julia Gillard". Burgmann Journal. 2: 53–66.
- "MPs angered over Gillard satire sex scene". ABC News. 2011-09-20. Retrieved 2018-09-15.
- "Inaugural Samsung AACTA Awards Nominees" (PDF). Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts.
- Craven, Peter (8 Sep 2011). "At Home With Julia: inane drivel of the most idiotic kind". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
- Knox, David (1 December 2011). "Critics' Choice: The Best of 2011". TV Tonight. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
- Knox, David (4 October 2011). "At Home with David Cameron next?". TV Tonight. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
- Idato, Michael (5 July 2012). "Networking: Julia finds a home in the US". The Age. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
- Knox, David. "No decision on At Home with Julia – TV Tonight". Tvtonight.com.au. Retrieved 2018-07-20.
- Knox, David. "Wednesday Night Fever rewrites after Labor spill – TV Tonight". Tvtonight.com.au. Retrieved 2018-07-20.
- "Nocookies". The Australian. Retrieved 2018-07-20.
- "At Home With Julia: episode guide". Australian Television. Retrieved 2018-07-20.
- "At Home With Julia - DVD, DVD Genres, Comedy". JB HI-FI. Retrieved 17 February 2012.
- Knox, David (5 September 2011). "Week 37". tvtonight.com.au. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
- Knox, David (12 September 2011). "Week 38". tvtonight.com.au. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
- Knox, David (19 September 2011). "Week 39". tvtonight.com.au. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
- Knox, David (26 September 2011). "Week 40". tvtonight.com.au. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
- "Australian television ensembles honoured by their peers". Equity Foundation. Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA). Retrieved 16 April 2012.
- "45th Annual AWGIE Awards Nominees". Australian Writers' Guild. Australian Writers' Guild. Retrieved 19 August 2012.