Listen: Podcasters Melanie Tait and Kim Lester chat to 96five sister station Hope 103.2 about ‘A Country Podcast’, dedicated to the 80s and 90s Australian show ‘A Country Practice’.
By Sam Robinson
During the 1980s and early 1990s, Australian television drama didn’t get better than A Country Practice. Every Monday and Tuesday evening, at 7.30pm, families across the nation sat down to see social issues of the time reflected through the fictional small country town of Wandin Valley. And, now, it’s been given a reboot… of sorts.
After discovering the show has been made available again to watch on 7Plus, podcasters Melanie Tait and Kim Lester decided to create a podcast about the show, fittingly called A Country Podcast. In the podcast, Melanie and Kim reflect on Australian society at the time, and are joined by cast and crew members who were part of the show. As Melanie explained to 96five’s sister station Hope 103.2, A Country Practice provides the ideal comfort viewing for 2020.
“It’s been a long time since it’s been on our screens,” Melanie said.
“It’s one of those shows that has cut through this time. We’re living through this fairly frantic time where everything seems uncertain and we don’t know who to turn to or what to turn to next… The world itself is not as pleasant and lovely and slow as Wandin Valley. So returning to it is fairly pleasant.
“But, also from our point of view, the stars and writers of the show are in a good place to sit back and reflect on the time and what it meant to them, and what it was like on the show.”
When quizzed on standout moments from the series, Melanie was pretty fast to mention a moment that stopped the nation: the death of character Molly Jones to cancer.
“I was four or five years old when that went to air so I don’t remember it. I watched it over the weekend to see what it was like, fully knowing what was going on, and I was sobbing by the end. The way they told this story of this young mother dying from cancer is beautiful and sad and all of that, and also you laugh through it. You feel like you’re part of a family,” she said.
“I think that episode in particular was the making of A Country Practice and the thing that people keep going back to, quite rightly.”
You can hear the full interview with Melanie and Kim in the player above, and find A Country Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts.