If you’ve ever dealt with loss, dreamed about moving, or more like “escaping” from your current life to a place surrounded by nature, like New Zealand, the new antipodean family drama “800 Words” is like a warm cup of Kiwi tea.
Weld is a place where townies don’t seem to know the existence of the word “privacy” because someone’s personal business seems to travel lightning fast through the Kumara vine. You realize how small the town of Weld is quickly, where people seem to multitask with more than one job because it’s vital to the maintanence of the community.
But the bumpy start in their attempt to start all over again in a new place is part of the Turner family’s journey on their new chapter in life, especially for daughter Shay and son Arlo -- who both have the requisite new-kid-in-a-small-town angst, coupled with being uprooted from the only life they knew in Australia. Although it’s tough being in a new school, Shay does find an emotional life-raft in the Maori rebel with a cause and fellow student Ike, whom she labels “Maori Batman” on her phone.
“800 Words” is nice weekly escape to New Zealand, a way to live vicariously, albeit sometimes humorously, through the Turner family’s little escapades. These characters and their stories, set in this beautiful part of the world, will probably make it your new favorite show. You can root for someone to change a bully into a good person, for Shay to find some peace in this new hometown, or hope that George finds love and the right companionship. Although set in what can seem like another world from Los Angeles, the topics of grief, bullying, love, acceptance and community make the show universally relatable and not so far away after all.