Starting from now
Drama, 5 seasons
Steph has just landed what appears to be the perfect job. She arrives in Sydney full of hope and expectation, determined that a fresh start is just what she needs. But when Steph falls for Darcy, her friend’s girlfriend, life gets complicated.
Starting From Now is an interesting mix of light, fluffy, love trope but also a handful of complex, darker issues that have possibly plagued many of us at different times in our lives. Great binge watch with a red wine, popcorn and of course, some friends to indulge with too!
Starting From Now (dir. Julie Kalceff) is a soapy style web series set in the Australian city of Sydney. It centres around the love lives and emotional upheavals of a group of lesbian friends and acquaintances. There’s love and of course drama as four central characters, Darcy (Rosie Lourde), Kristen (Lauren Orrell), Steph (Sarah De Possesse) and Emily (Bianca Bradley) navigate love in the big city.
The first episode of the series begins with a meet cute between Steph and Darcy. Darcy enters as the knightess in shining armour as she defends Steph from an overzealous agitated woman at a coffee shop. A lot of shared smiles and a few steamy looks later, and the story is set in motion. We next follow Steph to her friend Kristen’s house, where she is staying, as her new life and dream job begins in Sydney. A fresh start is now possible, as the title of the series, Starting From Now, suggests.
But this is where life gets complicated for the characters in this drama-filled series, as we see Darcy walk in and kiss her girlfriend, none other than Steph’s old friend Kristen. So, we are left to wonder what will happen between Darcy and Steph and if trouble is on the horizon. Indeed, there are tensions brewing between all the characters and we are witness to a series of emotional upheavals, wondering who will end up with who in the end. There are some great little moments including a birthday scene where the fate of a birthday cake is precariously in question and a sweet little scene involving a coffee cup apology
Starting From Now was a slow burn for me, in that the first three seasons are relatively uncomplicated and somewhat drawn out, but with a familiar ebb and flow of love and disillusionment around every angst filled corner. But as we head into season four, a more dynamic and complicated storyline ensues and new characters are introduced, who bring a breath of fresh air to the series. Rachel, played by the talented Julia Billington, introduces an intriguing side to the storyline and there are some great cameo performances from some other well-known Aussie favourites. Also, the addition of flatmate Chris (Harvey Kaska Zielinski) infuses some welcome moments of comic humour into the last two seasons and the phrase, ‘Have you been eating regularly?’ takes on a whole new meaning.
At first, the last two seasons did feel a bit disconnected from the seasons prior as there was more of a darker edge to the series developing. Yet as a whole, after watching all five seasons it felt like a well-rounded and interesting storyline. This also gave rise to the actors’ performances improving and becoming more settled into the skins of their characters. This in turn, naturally encouraged the storyline and characters to evolve with more depth, authenticity and complexity to them. Refreshingly, although the series focuses on the various issues the characters face, their struggles do not solely occur simply because they are lesbians.
Starting From Now is an interesting mix of light, fluffy, love trope but also a handful of complex, darker issues that have possibly plagued many of us at different times in our lives. The series deals with these sensitively and follows each character’s storyline to a satisfying conclusion. There’s also a very natural chemistry evident, both with the storyline and the characters themselves, that progresses effortlessly throughout the seasons. The performances were strong in the end and I found it was a great binge watch with a red wine, popcorn and, of course, some friends to indulge with too.
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This review was written by:
Reviewer and Writer
Alex has worked as a film stills photographer, written stories for a museum promotion campaign and has had her work featured on the cover of an Australian based lesbian magazine. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree, focusing on film, writing and photography from Perth's Edith Cowan University.
She is currently working on a documentary project centred on lesbian refugee women’s experiences, combining her love of documentary film, photography and her current role as an occupational therapist. All in all, she is passionate about film, especially lesbian-made and themed films.