Frayed (TV series)

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Frayed promotional image.png
Promotional artwork
Created bySarah Kendall
Written bySarah Kendall
Directed by
  • Shaun Wilson
  • Jennifer Leacey
Country of origin
  • Australia
  • United Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series1
No. of episodes6
Producer(s)Nicole O'Donohue
Running time45 minutes
Production company(s)
  • Guesswork Television
  • Merman
Original network
Picture format2160p UHDTV
Original releaseUnited Kingdom:
26 September 2019 (2019-09-26)–Present
16 October 2019 (2019-10-16)–Present

Frayed is an Australian and British television comedy drama series on ABC TV and Sky UK. It premiered in the United Kingdom on 26 September 2019, and in Australia on 16 October 2019.[1] The series was created and written by Australian comedian Sarah Kendall, who also stars in it.[2][3] It is produced by Nicole O'Donohue and directed by Shaun Wilson and Jennifer Leacey.[4][5]


Frayed is set in 1989 and follows the story of Samantha 'Sammy' Cooper, a wealthy London housewife. She is forced to return to her hometown of Newcastle in Australia, after the death of her husband. She returns to Newcastle with her son and daughter and moves in with her mother and brother Jim. Sammy revisits her past and the events that led her to flee as a teenager. She soon realises that everyone in her hometown hates her and she tries to get back to London, but she finds it difficult as she has to face numerous obstacles along the way.[6]



No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date Viewers
11"Episode 1"Shaun WilsonSarah Kendall26 September 2019 (2019-09-26) (UK)
16 October 2019 (2019-10-16) (AU)
0.155 (UK)[7]
0.440 (AU)[8]

Sammy Cooper, a wealthy London housewife is forced to return to her hometown in Newcastle, Australia, with her two children, following her husband's sudden death. Having no option but to move in with her estranged family, there it is revealed that her background was not as elegant as she had everyone believe.

Guest cast: Sarah Aubrey as Mrs Potter, Gina Bramhill as Mae, Cass Cumerford as Beach Tramp, Alan Dearth as Headmaster Fletcher, Kerry Godliman as Bambi, Sharon Horgan as Norma Staircastle, Chantelle Jamieson as Eleanor, Rufus Jones as Wilco, Paul Putner as Bailiff, Shaun Robinson as Dean, Christopher Stollery as Terry, Georgina Symes as Deanne
22"Episode 2"Shaun WilsonSarah Kendall3 October 2019 (2019-10-03) (UK)
23 October 2019 (2019-10-23) (AU)
0.147 (UK)[7]
0.374 (AU)[9]

Sammy struggles to rectify her financial situation and creates more problems by running up a large phone bill to London for which she vows to pay. Tess and Lenny's first day of school is a disaster. Jean accepts a date from a handsome stranger. Bev tries to convince Jim that Sammy is up to no good regarding her current financial troubles. Sammy is having a difficult time with her new boss, Chris, when he puts her to strenuous work and later humiliates her in front of her former school mates. She then seeks forgiveness from a reluctant Dan for breaking his heart.

Guest cast: George Basha as Teacher, Gina Bramhill as Mae, Olivia Brown as Rebecca, Cass Cumerford as Beach Tramp, Maggie Dence as Mrs Atkins, Pippa Grandison as Trish, Diana Hopwood as Francesca, Genevieve Lemon as Shirley, Nicola Parry as Diane, Susan Prior as Ruth, Yvonne Rae as Old Woman, Natalie Rose as Aged Care Nurse, Tahki Saul as Simon, Christopher Stollery as Terry
33"Episode 3"Shaun WilsonSarah Kendall10 October 2019 (2019-10-10) (UK)
30 October 2019 (2019-10-30) (AU)
N/A (UK)
0.311 (AU)[10]
44"Episode 4"Shaun WilsonSarah Kendall17 October 2019 (2019-10-17) (UK)
6 November 2019 (2019-11-06) (AU)
N/A (UK)
55"Episode 5"Jennifer LeaceySarah Kendall24 October 2019 (2019-10-24) (UK)
13 November 2019 (2019-11-13) (AU)
N/A (UK)
66"Episode 6"Jennifer LeaceySarah Kendall31 October 2019 (2019-10-31) (UK)
20 November 2019 (2019-11-20) (AU)
N/A (UK)


Critical reception[edit]

Reviews for the series have generally been mixed to positive. In a review for website Chortle, Steve Bennett praised Kendall's performance, commenting that "Kendall, whose winningly dry performance is central to the show's appeal, has said she wanted to offer an alternative view of 1980s Australia than the one portrayed in the sun-soaked scenes of Neighbours and Home And Away, and she’s certainly paints a much less romantic picture." He went on to mention that "Once Frayed’s premise is finally established, it offers plenty to suggest this is worth sticking with".[14]

In a favourable review by Steve Dessau of website Beyond the Joke praised the cast performances and he said "It's not all laughs – some of the best laughs come via pop culture gags about The Thompson Twins – but there is more than enough that is funny and intriguing here to justify setting up a series link in your schedule."[15]

Anthony Morris of Screenhub rated the series 4 stars out of 5 as he was favourable of the opening episode, pointing out that the series gets dramedy right and that it is evident from the first episode. He said that "Frayed isn’t perfect: it slows down a lot once it hits Newcastle and Sammy (initially) is the kind of character it takes time to warm to. Almost all the characters are either angry or ditzy; eventually somebody’s going to have to have something going for them. But unlike a lot of dramedies, it seems likely the characters will be given the chance to grow. This feels more like it’s the start of a story than just setting up a situation."[16]

In a more mediocre review from Jasper Rees of The Daily Telegraph, he criticized the first episode, stating that "[Frayed is] a pungent Eighties-set comedy that doesn’t know how far to take the joke" and gave it 3 out of 5 stars.[17]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Australian ratings[edit]

No. Title Air date Overnight ratings Consolidated ratings Total
Viewers Rank Viewers Rank
1 "Episode 1" 16 October 2019 440,000 17 118,000 12 558,000 [8][19]
2 "Episode 2" 23 October 2019 374,000 19 106,000 16 480,000 [9][20]
3 "Episode 3" 30 October 2019 311,000 N/A 109,000 18 420,000 [10]
4 "Episode 4" 6 November 2019 333,000 19 107,000 19 440,000 [11][21]
5 "Episode 5" 13 November 2019 368,000 19 85,000 19 453,000 [12][22]
6 "Episode 6" 20 November 2019 319,000 20 106,000 15 425,000 [13][23]

International release[edit]

In May 2020, it was announced that Frayed had been picked up in the United States as an HBO Max exclusive. The series was released on 30 July 2020.[24][25]

Home media[edit]

"Frayed: Season One" was released on DVD in Australia (Region 4) on 27 November 2019 from Roadshow Entertainment[26] and in the United Kingdom (Region 2) on 2 December 2019 via Spirit Entertainment.[27]


  1. ^ Knox, David (3 September 2019). "Airdate: Frayed". TV Tonight. Retrieved 6 September 2019.
  2. ^ "Comedian Sarah Kendall to star in new ABC comedy series Frayed". Australian Television News - TV Blackbox. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  3. ^ White, Peter (30 October 2018). "'Nanette' Producer Guesswork Teams With Sharon Horgan's Merman For Sky Comedy 'Frayed'". Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  4. ^ White, Peter (19 November 2018). "'Peep Show's Robert Webb & 'Motherland's Diane Morgan Join Sky & ABC Australia Comedy 'Frayed'". Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  5. ^ "Comedian Sarah Kendall gets 'Frayed' for the ABC and the UK's Sky". 30 October 2018. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  6. ^ "Cameras roll on new ABC comedy Frayed". TV Tonight. 31 October 2018. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  7. ^ a b "Four-screen dashboard". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  8. ^ a b Knox, David (17 October 2019). "Wednesday 16 October 2019". TV Tonight. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  9. ^ a b Knox, David (24 October 2019). "Wednesday 23 October 2019". TV Tonight. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  10. ^ a b Knox, David (10 November 2019). "Timeshifted: Wednesday 30 October 2019". Retrieved 2 March 2020.
  11. ^ a b Knox, David (7 November 2019). "Wednesday 6 November 2019". Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  12. ^ a b Knox, David (14 November 2019). "Wednesday 13 November 2019". Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  13. ^ a b Knox, David (21 November 2019). "Wednesday 20 November 2019". Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  14. ^ Bennett, Steve (26 September 2019). "Frayed". Retrieved 8 February 2020.
  15. ^ Dessau, Steve (26 September 2019). "TV Review: Frayed, Sky One". Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  16. ^ Morris, Anthony (15 October 2019). "TV Review: Frayed gets dramedy right". Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  17. ^ Rees, Jasper (26 September 2019). "Frayed, episode one, review: a pungent Eighties-set comedy that doesn't know how far to take the joke". Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  18. ^ a b c d e "2019 AACTA Awards". Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  19. ^ Knox, David (27 October 2019). "Timeshifted: Wednesday 16 October 2019". Retrieved 2 March 2020.
  20. ^ Knox, David (3 November 2019). "Timeshifted: Wednesday 23 October 2019". Retrieved 2 March 2020.
  21. ^ Knox, David (15 November 2019). "Timeshifted: Wednesday 6 November 2019". Retrieved 2 March 2020.
  22. ^ Knox, David (22 November 2019). "Timeshifted: Wednesday 13 November 2019". Retrieved 2 March 2020.
  23. ^ Knox, David (29 November 2019). "Timeshifted: Wednesday 20 November 2019". Retrieved 2 March 2020.
  24. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (13 May 2020). "HBO Max Schedules Second Wave of Original Programming". Retrieved 1 June 2020.
  25. ^ "Sarah Kendall's Frayed heads to the US". 14 May 2020. Retrieved 1 June 2020.
  26. ^ "Frayed". Retrieved 8 February 2020.
  27. ^ "Frayed: Season 1 [DVD]". Retrieved 8 February 2020.

External links[edit]