February 7, 2019  (Web Review)


RLJ, 168 min., not rated, DVD: $39.99

Reviewer rating: 2.5/4

In this hit Australian sitcom, Victoria “Sando” Sandringham (Sacha Horler) is the “package deal queen,” both the corporate head and the public face of a discount furniture and appliance chain. She’s also greedy, self-absorbed, and manipulative, and the series opens with Sando blowing up her daughter’s wedding by revealing that she herself is pregnant with the groom’s child. Jump ahead 10 years to find the reckless, selfish, hard-partying Sando is ousted from her own company. Broke and homeless, she tries to worm her way back into her estranged family, much to the outrage of daughter Susie (Krew Boylan), who hasn’t spoken to her in years. This is a comedy of extreme family dysfunction centered on the schemes of Sando, who is played by Horler as a runaway train constantly jumping off the tracks and leaving chaos in her wake. But the rest of the family has its own issues: estranged husband Don (show co-creator Phil Lloyd) is a jingle writer desperate to be seen as a serious artist, son Eric (Dylan Hesp) is a child in a grown-up body craving his mother’s attention, and Susie’s earnest husband Gary (Uli Latukefu) can’t keep a job and becomes friends with her former fiancée (Firass Dirani), the father of Sando’s aggressive youngest son, Vic Jr. (Zane Ciarma), who is now bunking with the pathologically jealous Eric. It’s a brassy show with big displays of bad behavior and dim-witted antics. Compiling all six episodes from 2018, extras include cast interviews, a “Real Deal” music video, and a complete commercial featured in the show. A strong optional purchase. (S. Axmaker)