Review – Bump Season 4

Every year on Boxing Day for the last three years, we have been treated to a brand new season of the now-classic Aussie TV show Bump. Starring Claudia Karven, Angus Sampson as faces you will know and a whole bunch of up-and-coming talent, including two incredible leads Nathalie Morris and Carlos Sanson Jnr. The story of the teenager who didn’t know she was pregnant and goes into labour on the toilet at school started the series and then continued to make it stronger by bringing in more friends from school that would eventually become family like Vince (Ioane Sa’ula) and Reema (Safia Arain) and the extended family on both sides, making a blended family of two very different cultures who come together to love and celebrate the birth of a child and the coming together of two people who don’t seem very right for each other on paper.

The first three seasons of Bump have re-defined the show and impressed audiences with its sharp writing and willingness to let the characters evolve and grow, creating something truly memorable. After the shocking events of season 3 with their now primary school daughter Jacinda (Ava Cannon) running away, a time jump sees Oly and Santi back together as a couple, living in Oly’s mum’s house after she moved into a protest commune site to save some local trees. Oly finds herself working for Mayor Shauna Johnson (Steph Tisdell) alongside her assistant Marcus (Dylan Alcott). The two-year time jump from the end of season 3 allows us to reconnect with these characters and not have to deal with any potential mess or fallout from the previous season.

Santi is mainly the stay-at-home dad, dealing with that power dynamic in his family who expect traditional gender roles is an interesting watch, and how he communicates this to them and stands by his and Oly’s decision is told with such care and respect, it’s a minor plot point, but it’s done so beautifully it is worth mentioning. Santi is still drawing and taking on a few freelance jobs to bring in money so they can afford their own place. With Angie out of the house, Vince and Reema have taken up residence, and the five really do make an interesting household to watch. Reema’s clear concern after being left out of Vince helping Ariel (Matilda Ridgeway) and Talia (Henrietta Amevor) have a child is still lingering around, and the aftermath needs to be addressed.

Back in his shared house Dom (Sampson) reunites with his best friend Tim (Ryan Johson) who has just come back from the UK. Johnson is the perfect addition to the cast, he doesn’t feel imposing or out of place, it feels like he has always been there, living in this space and his chemistry with Sampson allows the two to get up to some hilarious antics in the latter half of the season that keep the show on its toes.

Tisdell and Alcott are the standouts this season. They bring a fresh sense of comedic energy to the show that no one else contributes. Being completely outside of the extended family unit, their fresh perspective on Oly and Santi is a fascinating storyline to watch. Tisdell is ruthless as a mayor desperate to climb the ladder to get to the Federal level. Her disdain for working parents and their “flexible schedules” and how Oly has allowed herself to become part of that sector of corporate work is surprising. Alcott has some great comedic timing, and his banter with Morris provides a different perspective on Olly. Tisdell gets increasingly “Cruella” as the season goes on, becoming more and more like a caricature, only to be completely shattered at the end of the season. It is a compelling arc that grows on you, and hopefully, both will stick around for further seasons.

Vince really comes into his own this season, his struggles with mental health, his workplace and his relationship all collide as he has always been “just fine” with this typically heteronormative cis guy you can think of, to watch him realise his place in the world and how it affects everyone around him is told with such care, you can’t help but fall even further in love with Vince. Sa’Ula has always been fantastic as this character, it is this season, however, where he truly shines. He really allows Vince to become vulnerable and completely break down while still maintaining that “I’m fine” exterior to the world around him. It is one of the highlights of the season, and I truly hope we get to see more of this character in the future.

Bump Season 4 cements itself as a true staple of iconic Australian television. Every year it continues to be the Boxing Day gift that keeps on giving, checking back in with this beautiful extended family continues to be a delight. Having Karven as the head of the show in front and behind the camera, along with directors Rebecca O’Brien, Margie Beattie and Geoff Bennett really put their all into this season, making it the best so far. Bump continues to be a well-explored reflection of modern family life in Australia. It does so with such curiosity and a willingness to expose it, warts and all while taking into account things like climate change, the queer community, immigrants and children.

Bump Season 4 is streaming now on Stan.

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Every year on Boxing Day for the last three years, we have been treated to a brand new season of the now-classic Aussie TV show Bump. Starring Claudia Karven, Angus Sampson as faces you will know and a whole bunch of up-and-coming talent, including...Review - Bump Season 4