Jan 06, 2012 12:00AM

Puberty Blues Will Be a TV Series

Surf, sand, sex, ciggies, booze & drugs coming to a TV near you.

Teenagers and nostalgics alike, this is the Australian TV series for you. More than three decades after the classic Australian film (and piece of pure cinematic beauty) won hearts and box offices, Puberty Blues will attempt to reach a new generation in an upcoming eight-part TV series set to debut on Channel Ten in 2012.

The 1981 film, directed by Bruce Beresford, was itself based on a 1979 novel co-written by Kathy Lette and Cabrielle Carey. Lette has signed on as script supervisor for the new television project and and told The Sun-Herald that if she had her way, the series wouldn't hold back on representing the misogyny she wrote about in the semi-autobiographical novel based on her time growing up in Cronulla. "The surfie culture I grew up in was tribal and brutally sexist," she says, and this certainly comes through in the film e.g. in this particularly romantic moment:

Debbie [during attempted sex with the aid of a jar of Vaseline]: It's hurting.
Chris: Keep still.
Debbie: Ow! Oh, it's no use. It's too big.
Chris: Shit.

We love a good period (mind the pun) drama as much as the next guy, but we really hope Channel Ten goes a little less Underbelly Razor on our asses and a little more Paper Giants; a little less Summer Bay and a little more Two Hands. Surely the depth at which the Puberty Blues novel and its filmic adaptation documented thirteen-year-olds drinking, having sex, using drugs and smoking in the dunnies, cannot fully translate into a commercial television production, though.

Lette told the Sun,"The series aims to expand the storylines of the book, to take us into the minds of the parents and teachers; to give us a taste of the politics of the time and the shifting social attitudes." Does the series have the potential to be this year's The Slap, what with showing multiple perspectives (teens, parents, teachers) and realistic subject matters (drugs, sex, sexism, adolescence)? In any case, the seventies fashion and occa lingo (here's hoping the word "turd" sees a renaissance) will be more than enough to keep eyeballs on screens. And might we just add, we're more than a little jealous of whoever gets to be in control of the wardrobe department. And now to re-jog your memory as to why Puberty Blues is a national treasure:

Emily Royal