The Letdown is No letdown!
A couple of weeks ago, while playing that awful ‘What shall we watch?’ game on Netflix, I saw the trailer for The Letdown and immediately watched the first episode.
Soon after, due to the 7 28-29 minute episodes, I had finished the whole of season 1 and decided to share my thoughts with you lovely creatures.
Before we get started, how great is the name of this show? A play on words referring to the let-down reflex us breastfeeding momma’s know all about and disappointment in general both of which are key elements of Audrey’s story.
What Is The Letdown?
The Letdown is an Australian TV comedy series that premiered on Netflix in April.
Watching the first few episodes, I had to stop myself from laughing too loud or shouting ‘Babe! I’m on TV!’
In the hopes of navigating her first few months of life as a new parent, Audrey Halloway joins the judgiest non-judgmental new mothers’ group. In true mom fashion, she shows up late and flustered for her first meeting.
From here on out the show follows her and some of the other members in these meetings and beyond and we watch as she deals with sleeplessness, shifting relationship dynamics, her own mommy issues and motherhood in general.
As always, I will do my best not to include any spoilers however I will refer to one or two scenes that happen throughout Season 1.
Meet The Characters Of The Letdown
Alison Bell, the co-creator and writer, is the star of the show as Audrey Halloway. – stay at home mom to Stevie. She is super sarcastic, self-deprecating and a little bit awkward at times. Her take on adjusting to life as a new mom is refreshing.
Audrey’s husband, Jeremy, is played by Duncan Fellows and I really enjoyed watching him. He comes across as just a normal guy, who hasn’t quite gotten the hang of playing Daddy. He spends way too much time at work and later in the season, the shoddy support he offers Audrey gets annoying.
Celeste freaking Barber plays Barbara! I adore Celeste Barber and think she is just the most fantastic human. Barbara is the most vibrant, exhausted, leggings-donning, stay at home super mom and I honestly found it impossible not to love her.
Leah Vandenberg plays Martha, a headstrong single mother- by choice. There seems to be a bit of a complicated sperm donor situation going on here where the donor wants to be part of both her and the baby’s life. Tres confusing at times.
Esther, played by Sacha Horler, is my least favourite character. Uber professional, she doesn’t seem to have a maternal bone in her body. Immediately after giving birth all she cares about is the wifi password. She is just so…hard?
Esther’s husband Ruben is majestic. Played by Leon Ford, he is the token Daddy of the gang, and the reason why the group is called ‘Parents’ club and not ‘Mothers’ club. He is a hands-on stay at home dad who struggles with the gender stereotyping that comes with this title. It is really interesting watching him dish out advice and tips to the moms.
Lucy Durack plays Sophie, the character everyone loves to hate. She is Instagram ready at all times and seems to be super judgmental under her sickly-sweet exterior. Later in the season, there is a moment where she is humanized and you feel for her, but she annoys the socks off of me.
The role of Drug Dealer – bet you didn’t see that coming – is played by Patrick Brammall. The way he is introduced is probably one of my character introduction scenes (of all time ever). Surprisingly, we also see a fair bit of character development here. Overall, I think this odd addition was super clever.
What I Love About The Letdown
Overall, this show is just so darn honest and that is what made me keep going back for more.
They highlight highly relatable situations in sometimes unusual ways.
They also show the issues we don’t always talk about.
Losing Pre-Baby Friends
One episode wonderfully, if heartbreakingly, shows the tension Audrey feels when she wants to go out with her pre-baby friends.
She soon realizes things have changed ‘too much’ now that she is a mother to a newborn.
There is a moment where she finds out her ‘friends’ have actually bailed on her to enjoy their evening sans Audrey.
This whole vibe hit home for me.
As we all know, incontinence is super common postpartum – but we never talk about it?
So many women who experience this feel embarrassed and almost like their bodies are failing them.
Having this issue portrayed on screen, as well as how the characters handle it, is awesome.
The things we do to ensure our baby sleeps
Earlier on I mentioned a drug dealer, here’s how he fits into all of this.
After hours of driving around in the hopes of getting the baby to sleep (haven’t we all been there?) Stevie finally goes down. Audrey pulls over and ends up in a drug dealers ‘turf’ and the exchange is side-splittingly funny.
Baby Brain Gets to the Best of Us
Audrey experiences baby brain and describes feeling “permanently concussed”.
It is great to see a genuine condition, although not medically diagnosable, be validated on screen.
What I Don’t Love About The Letdown
At times the language can be pretty hectic featuring plenty of ‘effing and jeffing’ as GG would say.
Although, there is one scene where Audrey forgets herself, swears and then covers her 2-month old’s ears which I thought was pretty funny.
I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised given that this show does highlight the not so awesome side of parenthood, but it can get a little neggy. I found that while a lot of the scenes and situations were funny, they left me feeling kind of sad.
Guaranteed, you will relate to at least one moment of the show – whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing, it’s still relatable.
Lying about reading parenting books, sleep training, marital strain, incontinence, losing your pre-baby friends, pregnancy brain – this show manages to deal with really hectic (and all too common) issues in an honest, funny way.
Early motherhood is hard. But it is also hilarious, beautiful and inspiring and The Letdown nails this.
I definitely recommend giving this a bash.