We live in an era of peak TV with so many new shows debuting every week that it is increasingly difficult to keep up with how many great shows are out there now. Critics have gotten incredibly jaded and difficult to impress - when there is so much TV around, a TV show needs to be exceptionally good if it is going to get a positive wrap from those who are paid to offer their opinions on the TV shows we watch.
Considering all of that, it is beyond thrilling how taken a lot of critics have been with On The Ropes, the new female-led boxing drama debuting this week on SBS. Starring Keisha Castle-Hughes, Nicole Chamoun, and Jack Thompson, the series is about a young woman looking to make an impact by transforming women's boxing as a trainer, while in the shadow of her world champion father.
Watch episode one
The critics LOVE it
Australia's critics have all uniformly been positive with raves for On The Ropes:
"Training scenes played to a female hip-hop soundtrack create powerful incidental choreography. Raw and brilliant, this speaks to Australia right now." 4.5 Stars + Critics Choice
-Bridget McManus, Sydney Morning Herald
"On The Ropes packs a dramatic wollap." Pick Of The Week
-Justin Burke, The Australian
"This is tough, pulpy storytelling told with hand-held camera work and alert to the way families can only bend so far until they break."
-Craig Mathieson, Sydney Morning Herald
"The show’s emphasis on a non-fighter in some ways works in its favour, reducing the temptation to glamourise a brutal sport."
-Luke Buckmaster, Daily Review
“…It’s what On the Ropes does with that family conflict and central romance that makes this four-part series a cut above most other local productions this year. Instead of letting the Al-Amir’s ethnicity, Jess’s sexuality, or the religion of its many Muslim characters define the series, it uses those elements as background colour and just gets on with telling its story.” 4.5 Stars
–Gavin Scott, Who Magazine
“It is the sort of TV drama that could appeal to the same crowd that made the Rocky and Creed films massive box hits”
–Colin Vickery, Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun
"With consistent performances, including from a defiant Nicole Chamoun and Igal Naor, the experience is sincere without ever feeling contrived. Director Shannon Murphy (another female in a key role) handles the material artfully, notably playing with colour and light in the crucial boxing match scenes. SBS dramas always have a dynamic way of capturing urban Australia with grit." 5 Stars
-David Knox, TV Tonight
"On The Ropes is a story of female rebelliousness that in its robust and entertaining way confronts gender discrimination and the challenges faced by displaced immigrant families, especially their children fast assimilating to Australian life."
-Graeme Blundell, The Australian
On The Ropes airs every Thursday night at 9:25pm on SBS. Episodes will be available after broadcast anytime, anywhere, for free via SBS On Demand.
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