My thoughts on the Australian version, the American version, Season 2, and the future of this wiki
Hello Secrets and Lies fans! I apologize its been awhile since my last blog entry. At one time I planned on writing a post to commemorate every holiday. Sickness around Christmas, however, rendered my mission futile. So I wanted to write one - but being my first blog post of the year, I needed something of substance to write about. Well I just got finished watching the Australian version of the show and therefore I have plenty to write about! I decided to write this blog to talk about my thoughts on the Australian version, the American version, the upcoming second season, and the future of this wiki. So without any further ado, let's get to the blog post, and my thoughts on it all.
I've stated before that the American version was a thrill ride, and the Australian version is no different. Fast paced and compelling, each episode left you on the edge or your seat trying to figure out who the killer is. Even going into the series knowing how it ended took nothing away from the excitement. One thing to remember is that the Australian version of the show came first, and the Americanized version was made to complement the Australian version. The two series follow each other to the letter, with only minor differences between the two.
Obviously names were changed to accommodate a culturally different audience. Other than that, almost everything remains the same. There is a page on this wiki, Australian and U.S. comparison which covers all differences between the two versions.
Reviews for this version are mixed. While some, myself included, feel that the show is a carefully crafted masterpiece, others feel that the show didn't live up to its true potential. Another show, Broadchurch had recently been released and it carried a similar premise. Because of this, S&L has been victim of scrutiny by constantly being compared to this other show. Apparently viewership wasn't exactly as high as the network may have anticipated, despite a promotion in which 30,000 promotional DVDs were handed out to boost viewership ratings. Still, the show was pulling in almost 1.36 million viewers by the series' third episode. But I guess that's not good enough, even for the country of Australia.
But who cares. I've never seen Broadchurch, and I never want to. I have no interest in watching it, and those people who don't want to give S&L a fair chance based on the erroneous conclusion that Broadchurch is better, well there's no hope for them. Secrets & Lies transcended its ephemeral roots and evolved into a cult classic, which not only garnered the love and support of millions everywhere, it spawned an American version of itself, all the while eluding to the promise that a second season may someday become a reality. The final webisode involves the department giving Detective Cornielle a psychological evaluation, namely because the case was so unnerving. They were wanting to make sure that his mental state wasn't compromised, and that he was able to perform his duties properly, because another case, this time with two victims, presented itself. This hints at a possible second season, although the Americanized version, which was, for the most part, a was true adaptation of its international counterpart, possesses a second season that only boasts one victim. This means that a second season of the Australian version, if ever made, could deviate from the American second season, despite the fact that the American first season was based on the Australian first season. But we'll get into this in more detail in a second. For now, let me just say that I loved the Australian version, and, like most viewers, having seen the American version first it was easy to spot similarities and differences between the two. Overall, I thought it was a rewarding experience.
There was bonus content, originally offered online after the airing of each episode, which helped complete the content seen in the episode aired. Aimed at a technologically savvy audience, the features didn't bide well with fans of the series. They were incredible and gave detailed insight into the case, but many felt that the videos possessed the aspects of the series that would have gave it a true 'whodunit' feel, had the content actually been included in the show itself, rather than bonus content only offered online. I still love the show regardless, and appreciate that the online content offered so much in terms of expanding the overall storyline. The content has since been removed, but is available in the series' DVD release, which includes an expansive interactive section giving you access to all of the content originally offered only online. This allows the viewer the option of viewing all additional and bonus content at their own pace, allowing them a better, more in depth view of the content offered within the show. The show is great. I think it possesses great potential, although originally I thought it was only supposed to be a simple 6-part feature, and that be it. Not a series that would keep going. A simple mini-series more or less. But we'll talk about that more in a second also. Despite negative critic reviews, I still think the series is phenomenal and feel that everyone deserves to give it a fair chance. It is a series I will still find watchable, even after multiple viewings. You could envision all of the characters being guilty, and its fun mental stimulation watching, pretending that different characters could have potentially been the killer. No matter what, I strongly recommend everybody watch the Australian version at least once. I really enjoyed it, and it makes the American version even better.
The American adaptation is great, and having seen the Australian version, I appreciate it even more. Released almost exactly one year to the day after the Australian version, I commend it for staying true to its Australian roots. Sure it embellished certain things, changed minor scenes and added minor things, mainly to appeal to American viewership, but it retains the level of professionalism and attentiveness to detail that was prevalent in its internationalized counterpart.
Expanding from 6 episodes to 10, the American version takes a lot of the online content and adds it to the series in an effort to give the viewer a more complete and gratifying experience. And it definitely achieved its purpose of garnering the support of millions of fans everywhere - almost 4 times as many. But don't let numbers lie to you. Both series are just as special and the American version had its share of exclusive online-only content. As a lot of the information crosses over identically, you could even look at some of the Australian clues originally offered online as being complementary to the American version. They give you a more in depth and behind the scenes approach to solving the mystery.
Now, even being an American viewer, I refuse to say that the American version is superior. Both series possess qualities that make them memorable, especially upon multiple viewings. And the fact that the American version is a strict adaptation of the Australian version means you really can't have one without the other. They go hand-in-hand. And that's why we here at the wiki want to give both versions the same attention to detail and level of comprehensiveness and definitiveness that should be provided to each. Uniformity across the entire wiki also enables us to provide a more encyclopedic approach to presenting the content. But we'll talk more about the wiki in a second. For now, though, the only think the reader needs to remember is that we here love all incantations and iterations of the show, and want this to be the most complete wiki ever devoted to a series. We exist to cover, in the most exacting standards, anything and everything relating to the Secrets & Lies and Secrets and Lies franchise, and look forward to continuing to provide encyclopedic coverage of the series throughout the American version's second season. And in that vein, this leads me to the third thing I wanted to talk about.
The Second Season
I loved the series' first season, but in the beginning, I loved the series not for being an actual series that would grow to possess multiple seasons, but for being a simple mini-series - a 6 (and then later 10) episode feature that told a story, captivated our hearts, and then vanished, as quickly as it appeared, banished to the realm of wind and ghosts. But it didn't. It transcended its ephemeral roots to emerge into a cult classic. One with a small following, and a promise of more seasons to come.
Now, I'm not downing the possible upcoming season, just saying that I never really felt the series should possess one. It made a great mini-series. one that I wanted to help create the greatest wiki to cover it. That's the original reason I wanted to come on board. I know I could help Jesus Agustin and Zooomi make this the internet's ultimate Secrets and Lies resource, and it's definitely turning into just that encyclopedia I envisioned. Of course, I'll still be here to help cover the series' second season - and any other possible season that may come out - just as I am now.
I've only really always had one problem with the American version's second season. And that is, more than anything, that the American version should not have a second season until the Australian version creates a second season, and us copy it. The system was fail-safe. The Australian version created a first season and the American version is a strict adaptation of the Australian version. So I feel that the Australian version should create a second season first and then us adapt the series' second season into our second season. It's unknown if the Australian version will ever create a second season, but I would really like for the two second seasons to match each other, as their first seasons did. A final webisode video for the Australian version hints at a possible second season by implying that another case - this time with two victims - has presented itself. Of course, the American version's second season will only possess one victim - automatically deviating from canon material created for the Australian version. This doesn't mean the Australian version can't create a second season based on the American version's second season - I just still would have preferred the series remained a simple mini-series. The first season was all the series needed to be a phenomenon.
So how is the network and people associated with the Australian version taking the American version and its possible second season? They're actually very receptive of the idea. In fact, the Australian series'primary writers not only helped write the American version's first season, they provided valuable insight into the storyline of the American version's second season. They want a second season for the Australian version, but until a possible second season is green lighted by the network, the writers are more than happy to simply make the American version all that it can be. So at the very least, the Australians are working in concert with the Americans to continue this franchise. So I guess that lends credence to the notion that a second season isn't necessarily a bad thing. I known I'm not giving it a fair chance, and I need to stop that. Maybe that's one reason it hasn't aired yet. I really never wanted it. But I'm changing. I've evolving. I'm slowly getting used to the second season concept. I'll give it a chance.
One thing that bothers me, however, is that I believe in unity in everything. And the last season, in both countries, debuted in March. Therefore I feel season two should have premiered in March. But sadly, a tentative date of June 1, 2016 was recently given by the ABC Network. They wanted to ensure fans that the program was going to air, and that it wasn't secretly canned behind the scenes. Originally I wouldn't have minded stopping the series and leaving it at one season, but the show definitely has potential, and I'm here til the end, so I'm happy that the network has confirmed that the show will indeed air again. I'm looking forward to it, and even though it breaks the tradition of debuting in March, I'll still cherish it whenever it finally comes to air. That brings me to my final topic this time around.
The Future of this Wiki
Neither version of the series possess an official wiki. That makes this wiki as official as they come. And I'm proud to be a part. The series is definitely worthy of achieving unified encyclopedia-like coverage. And I plan on helping to ensure that this wiki achieves this goal.
One of my main goals is to create a unified look and feel that exists throughout each and every page of this wiki. The main reason is that one day, when the wiki is finally "complete", I want to print out each and every page, to store in page protectors, in binders, with compartments used to house the official DVD boxed sets. This would create the ultimate Secrets & Lies compendium, as the wiki content would more than complement the content offered in DVD form. I eventually want to go through each episode and take an expansive assortment of pictures to offer gallery content throughout. I plan on creating transcripts of each episode, and the images will help bring the transcript to life. I plan on doing the same for the webisodes and bonus content, like clues and all other online content originally offered online, so that each feature could therefore, in essence, be read as a standalone piece, and its inclusion in printed form would increase the essentially overall enjoyment of the content offered, when viewed both online or off.
Our goal is to make this wiki the most definitive and comprehensive online resource guide ever devoted to a series, and that's what we are doing. No matter what twists or turns the series takes, no matter how many new seasons are created, no matter how far our S&L adventure takes us, we'll be here to cover the journey, every step of the way. Transcripts, complete galleries, comprehensive character biographies and the most complete compendium of S&L information ever offered online. That's what to expect. And that's what's coming over the next several months. Keep an eye on the wiki. Big changes are coming, and they're going to be incredible!
Well that pretty much wraps it up! I'll be here til the end, and there's a ton of new information still to be added. I'll keep on working on comparing the Australian and American versions, and you guys keep on enjoying the Official Unofficial Secrets and Lies Wiki. It's because of all of you that this wiki exists, and because of all of you that it aspires to greatness. Until next time, S&L fans! Talk to you soon!