Another Boxing Day means another season of Bump – the beloved Australian dramedy following a young mother and father tasked with raising a surprise baby. This season leaps ahead five years, putting Jacinda (Ava Cannon) in school and revealing new life challenges for both Oly (Nathalie Morris) and Santi (Carlos Sanson Jr.) to face.
The brilliance of Bump lies in the way it beautifully balances its emotional and comedic moments, creating a narrative and tone that’s cute, charming and a joy to watch. It knows when to bring the feels and tug on those heart strings, while just as easily being able to weave in some silly jokes and lighthearted comedy. Co-created by Australia’s own Claudia Karvan, this is the perfect feel-good Aussie drama to watch in the holidays – offering bounds of fun in every season. This season in particular is unique in that it thrusts the story forward by five years, putting our leads in vastly different positions to where they ended season two. This move is great as it prevents the series from treading over familiar ground, forcing the characters through newly exciting and scary experiences, and drawing in audiences all the same.
Catching up with our favourite characters, finding out what they’ve been up to and how they’ve changed in five years is part of the fun of this season. It would have been so easy for the writers to just fill the season with new characters, given the time jump, but they instead opted to give almost the entire cast a meaningful role in the story. Now that the young characters are out of high school, it opens up the possibilities for growth as they deal with more real-world parenting struggles.
I feel like it’s the relatability of the narrative, whether it be directly to you or someone in your life, that makes it all so heartwarming. The characters and family dramas feel quite real, grounding the series in reality and making it easier to invest in the characters’ lives. Despite Oly and Santi obviously being in the limelight for the bulk of the season, the writers find plenty of time to develop other character arcs. Each episode moves along at a quick pace, always jumping from character to character and never meandering with meaningless filler. Despite that, some arcs don’t hit quite as well. For instance, Rosa’s (Paula Garcia) journey feels a bit like an excuse to give her something to do in the obvious absence of Matias (Ricardo Scheihing Vasquez), and it’s just not very interesting.
All of the actors in here feel like they have a grip on their respective characters. They each do their utmost to bring a comedic edge to the series while conveying emotion really well. Nathalie Morris is the standout in every episode, really carrying the bulk of the season on the back of a heartwarming and layered performance. The fact that she is portraying an older version of her character, closer to her actual age, makes her performance feel more natural – as in, less like acting. That also goes for Santi (Carlos Sanson Jr.) and the rest of that young cast. It’s not that I didn’t buy them as high school students, because I did, but now that they’re university-aged there’s a sense of freedom to how they’re able to act.
Once again, Safia Arain (Reema) and Ioane Saula (Vince) are a breath of fresh air every time they show up. They each complement the performances from Nathalie and Carlos, and share great chemistry with each other. Claudia Karvan (Angie) and Angus Sampson (Dom) also play their part in heightening the light emotional jabs and comedic punches along the way. All in all, it’s just a very strong ensemble with everyone pulling their weight and making this crew feel like one big family – playing into the family dynamic within the story.
Lastly, I do want to touch on the character of Jacinda and the performance from Ava Cannon. This is both a cheeky character and a charming performance – perfectly embodying the adorable yet mischievous nature of a prep-aged child. There’s no doubt that every scene involving Jacinda will put a smile on your face – she radiates positivity and makes the five-year time jump all the more worth it.
In the end, Bump won’t be breaking ground worldwide anytime soon, but it thrives in presenting a wholesome narrative that’s equal parts comedic and lightly emotional. There’s plenty of charm to go around, with each character having enough to do and each episode moving along at a rapid pace. The relationship between Oly and Santi is one that dishes out endless drama and entertainment, one that keeps me coming back for more. It’s a fun watch for a wide range of audiences that I hope sticks around for at least another season, because it’s just not December without a bit of Bump.