Aussie drama, BUMP locks you in with a heartwarming narrative and comedic touch

Smashing out two seasons in a single year, Bump follows a high-achieving teenage girl whose life is flipped upside down when an unexpected pregnancy sees her give birth to a surprise baby. Still trying to get a good education, this new responsibility forces major changes and complications in the lives of two families.

Filmed in Sydney, Bump is an Australian drama/comedy series that boasts plenty of heart, well-written characters, light-hearted comedy and smart, informative content. The narrative largely follows Oly (Nathalie Morris) and Santi (Carlos Sanson Jr.) as they navigate the world as new parents, but also incorporates a number of side-narratives to give supporting characters their own arcs through each season. There’s a lot going on within the first season, and we get to follow Oly as she adjusts to life being a mother, with each episode presenting new challenges and obstacles she must overcome. This naturally leads to a number of heartfelt scenes between Oly and her family, and also influences a good number of comedic moments – creating a nice tonal balance. Almost everything in this first season flows really well – the central narrative is thoroughly engaging and the supporting character arcs also have some charm about them. There’s maybe a subplot or two that aren’t quite as interesting, particularly with the Birdie (Lisa Kay) character, but nothing about the narrative is obviously lacking.

The second season also contains much of the heart and lightly comedic charm that worked so well in the first season – but doesn’t feel quite as fulfilling. Everything to do with Oly and Santi, their relationship, and how they fit into each other’s families still works great – creating plenty of entertaining moments. However, the focus does veer off throughout the season to focus on arcs with new characters, such as Oly’s brother Bowie (Christian Byers), and it just doesn’t work as well. Seeing characters like Angie (Claudia Karvan), Dom (Angus Sampson) and Matias (Ricardo Scheihing Vasquez) have their own development arcs is nice, but their stories are definitely still at their strongest when interacting directly with Oly and/or Santi. One of the good things about viewing these seasons back to back is that they flow into each other nicely. Really, it could be taken as one long 20-episode season, since Oly’s emotional journey does carry through without much of a time jump at all.

Performance-wise, the main cast play their respective characters really well. Nathalie Morris (Oly) is the show’s saving grace, delivering what is by far the best performance and packing a punch through every emotional and comedic beat. She makes it easy for the audience to create a strong connection with the character and empathise with the new struggles she faces on a daily basis. All of Claudia Karvan (Angie), Angus Sampson (Dom) and Carlos Sanson Jr. (Santi) are good in their respective scenes and share some great chemistry with Oly and amongst each-other. I also want to mention that Safia Arain (Reema) and Ioane Saula (Vince) are awesome every time they show up. They mainly contribute to the comedic elements, but also have a good number of heartfelt scenes. Unfortunately, they felt slightly thrown to the sidelines in the second season, so seeing more of them going forward would be great.

In the end, Bump is a smart and surprisingly heartwarming series with engaging dramatic elements and a nice comedic touch as the cherry on top. The central narrative, and everything focused on Oly and her relationships with Santi and her family, is where the series is at its best – especially in the first season. The second season does feel like it’s lacking in some areas – with a few subplots not delivering and not as many memorable ‘major’ moments – but the charm of the show and following these characters makes it a very worthwhile watch.

7/10

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