Offspring Season 5: Has it become just too sad?


When previews of Offspring first started airing back in 2010, I remember feeling terribly excited. After all, everyone knows that when Aussie comedy drama is good, well, it’s bloody good.

Exhibit A:

And it didn’t disappoint. The show was marvellous – a revelation, in fact. I would tell everyone that listened that it was the best show I had ever seen. And it was Australian.

It had it all: characters we truly connected with, believable and gripping story lines (sometimes trivial, occasionally serious, mostly hilarious) and good – really good – acting and writing.

But above all else, it was feel good television.

It was one of those shows you would literally count down the days until it’s arrival; one of those shows you cursed each ad; one of those shows where you hoped and prayed it’s running time would go slower so it wouldn’t end so quickly (what do you mean there’s only fifteen minutes left? It just started!) and one of those shows that just made you feel part of it.

Then Patrick died. And Offspring Aficionados were in mourning,

To some of us, it wasn’t supposed to happen because Offspring wasn’t supposed to do sadness this way. To others, it was okay, because real life isn’t always a fairytale.

And then Season Five started filming and word on the street was that Dr Patrick would be returning as a ghost. We were relieved, because in a weird way, it meant that Dr Patrick wasn’t actually gone. He wouldn’t be so swiftly removed from our Nina and Zoe’s lives and it would give us time to grieve.

For a while there, once the season started, the moments with Dr Patrick’s ghost were beautiful. And real. And of course necessary. Until they weren’t.

Because Dr Patrick’s ghost started to pop up in moments we used to laugh during Offspring. He was popping up in the moments we would usually find hilarious and awkward and totally priceless. And when he popped up, we went back to being sad.

But then Nina bid farewell to Dr Patrick’s ghost and I’m confident in saying that Offspring Aficionados were relieved. Because it meant that, like the season tagline so repetitively claims, life could go on for Nina.

And as much as this possibly bears no adherence to reality (because getting over such a death and such a love would probably be near impossible at this early stage) our emotional and sad hearts just couldn’t take it anymore.

We just wanted our show back.

And then little Alfie got sick and Nina was faced with a choice no mother should ever have to contemplate: save her nephew or potentially leave her fatherless child alone in the world.

I mean. Could it get any worse?

Yes. Because while Nina didn’t have to make that choice in the end thanks to Geraldine (after our hearts were tugged and pulled and smashed to pieces in the process), on Wednesday we had to witness a mother dying in childbirth.

But if that wasn’t enough, the baby was then placed on it’s lifeless mother, looking for her breast to feed.

And that’s when I just went…. wow. What the hell has this show turned into?

I can accept the failed marriages. I can accept real, hard core relationship issues that make me feel all the emotions. I could even accept Patrick dying (reluctantly) and to a lesser degree, Patrick’s ghost that would not go away.

But all this sadness surrounding babies? I don’t think I can take much more of.

The reality is, with all the tears I’ve shed this season, I don’t look forward to Offspring like I used to. I don’t count down the days; the hours; the minutes. In fact, on some days, I can’t wait until it’s over.

And that’s the biggest heartbreak of all. Because that show used to rock my world.

What do you think about Offspring this season?

All comments read, appreciated and responded to. So thank you x
  • Lana (Sharpest Pencil)

    You know how I feel because I tweeted my disappointment again and again and again on Wednesday night. I almost feel like I am pushing myself to see how much I can take when I watch it and I don’t need that – that’s what the news is for. I LOVE Offspring and I love the cast and the writers and everyone involved but they are thisclose to losing me

    • Kat Caravella – Mamma’s Vida

      I know, I think the story lines are unnecessarily sad. As they have proved in previous seasons, you don’t need absolute heartbreak and devastation to captivate viewers… There is so much sadness that it’s not realistic anymore.

  • Adele Chapman

    I know what you mean; I like my Offspring funnier too. But I related so much to this episode. As a nurse (or a doctor) you can experience the most horrendous things and deep, deep sadness in the course of a normal work day and then you come home and everything and everyone is the same and you live your life. It’s a hard disconnect and very difficult for other people to understand sometimes.

    • Kat Caravella – Mamma’s Vida

      I completely see your side and of course I’m not disputing that these things happen (and poor you to witness them). But do we want to see such sadness on our screens every week?
      I think I just miss the more trivial side to Offspring, and after a long day or week, the last thing I want to do is bawl like a baby xx

      • Adele Chapman

        Oh definitely. It’s the string of sad episodes that’s breaking us. I watch Offspring for a little escapism too!

  • Sasha Krieg

    I understand what you’re trying to say. To some extent I agree that it’s too sad. However after Patrick’s death I felt (even after a 6 month time jump) it would be doing the naturally funny show a disservice if it didn’t let the audience grieve as well. I think we needed those moments of grief even if they were unrelated to Patrick (eg Alfie and a patient death) just so it felt honest and that we were allowed to be confused with Nina. To be absolutely honest, sometimes I feel the comedy on the first half of the season was almost too amped up – but that’s what the Proudman clan is like even in distress. So all in all I’m happy where this season is going and I still have a cry of glee each Wednesday when I tell my family and friends “Offspring tonight!” :)

    • Kat Caravella – Mamma’s Vida

      Hi Sasha, thanks for your comment. I think everyone sees it from a different perspective. Of course I don’t expect everything to be rosy after Patrick’s death but I think they took the tragedy too far this year. It could have been a year of ‘rebuilding’ not a year of complete sadness. I missed Wednesday’s ep though and heard it was fantastic so I’ll be watching that today :)

  • Pingback: Saying Goodbye to The Proudmans

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