Carla Cametti, PD.

By David Knox on January 3, 2009 / Filed Under Programming, Reviews 22

Quality local dramas on SBS have underlined the importance of the role of public broadcasters. Watching East West 101, The Circuit or RAN: Remote Area Nurse is like switching on an arthouse channel. East West 101 was even made by the same producers who ambitiously made The Strip, a stark difference between creative independence via a public broadcaster versus the demands of a controlling commercial network.

Carla Cametti P.D., stars Diana Glenn (Satisfaction, Canal Road) as a private detective in an Italian clan from inner Melbourne. Her family is entrenched in crime, with her uncle Tony (Robert Mammone) complicit in an illegal underworld club. It’s here that Cametti is following a lead for a client: a woman is looking for a man who supposedly scammed her.

Along the way Cametti stumbles onto a murdered body being investigated by Detective Luke Gandolfi (Vince Colosimo). While it’s clearly a plot point that will lead to a bigger arc across the six part series, it’s the attraction between the two leads that is of greater significance here. These two should be gettin’ it on by about episode two, I reckon.

After the big impression made by Underbelly, this series features a female voice, with a slightly more romanticized look at the edges of criminal Melbourne. The hook is clearly in the sympathetic title character, who is compromised by trying to carve out a successful, non-traditional career amid old-fashioned values. Her restaurant-owning father wishes she would become an opera singer. Even Gandolfi asks “when are you going to start having babies?”

Glamorously shot, Carla Cametti PD draws upon European Melbourne with lots of warm colours, dark rooms, and mood lighting. Rather than being action-driven it prefers us to walk a mile in Cametti’s high heels, stopping for a little pasta and red wine along the way. How successfully it will sustain this across its 6 eps isn’t quite clear.

Led by the wonderful Glenn, episode one was confident but risked becoming over-produced by stylish production values with a particularly overwhelming soundtrack.

So far, this is an encouraging starter which at such a dead-zone time of year stands out on a pretty barren landscape.

Carla Cametti PD premieres 8:30pm Thursday January 8 on SBS.


  1. Daniel March 1, 2009 at 10:08 pm -

    I have to say – brilliant show! We want more!!!!!

  2. Melissa February 22, 2009 at 2:11 pm -

    Loved it. More More More… A great aussie show to watch. Great storyline, actors and soundtrack. Bring back another series.

  3. David Knox February 21, 2009 at 11:30 am -

    Just 6 eps.

  4. Robert Veronesi February 21, 2009 at 11:01 am -

    Why wasn’t Carla Cametti on TV on 19/2? Has it finished for the season already or is there a new time slot?

  5. David Knox February 19, 2009 at 9:11 am -

    No advice on this sorry.

  6. adam February 19, 2009 at 8:14 am -

    Any idea if any more eps will be made?

  7. David Knox January 21, 2009 at 10:19 pm -

    I have seen 4 eps, ep 3 was probably the weaker of those.

  8. michael brearly January 21, 2009 at 9:51 pm -

    His name is Angus Grant. Was in MDA. Hey David, have you seen the whole season yet? Does it get better?

  9. Trevor Rye January 18, 2009 at 7:25 pm -

    Who is the actor who played the DJ in the first episode? We recognise him from other roles he has played but can’t place him

  10. Zambora January 8, 2009 at 11:35 pm -

    Cametti got me hooked already, yes it was more like east west.Surprised by totally different pace it went (slow,fast,reflective etc..
    Good choice of actors too and the settings and music had right feel.
    Wonder how Dianna Glenn feels about her role compared to Canal Road.
    Now imagine if Seven or Nine had this, they would change actors as too many Italians or folk from own network stable etc.
    Kudos to SBS and Buon Giorno Productions
    8-30 Thurs nights set in stone for me now.
    Makes you wonder how Glenn would compare her role on canal Road to this

  11. debrah January 8, 2009 at 10:20 pm -

    Watching now, so far so good! Looks promising and look forward to coming episodes.

  12. Cheryl-Ann January 8, 2009 at 9:35 pm -

    Excellent viewing, intriguing storyline.
    Vince Colosimo, need I say more…………

  13. emily January 7, 2009 at 2:09 pm -

    It sounds a little bit like the New Jersey-set Stephanie Plum novels written by Janet Evanovich.

  14. Zambora January 6, 2009 at 2:57 pm -

    Thanks for replies David & Rico.
    Thurs night SBS I am waiting !!

  15. Rico January 6, 2009 at 10:33 am -

    I’ve had a sneak preview and I really liked it too. It’s obviously not Underbelly, and certainly doesn’t try to be, but it’s kind of got an old fashioned detective story vibe while still being a really fresh Melbourne drama. Hope it does well.

  16. David Knox January 5, 2009 at 2:59 pm -

    Well cast yes…not as edgy as East West 101 of course…. #1 and #2 were good, #3 less so… #4 looks like it’s about to really turn the screws now…

  17. Zambora January 4, 2009 at 2:58 pm -

    David, I gather you have seen preview ep/s.
    If so, is it well scripted and cast

  18. David Knox January 3, 2009 at 4:10 pm -

    East West 101 screened over summer last yr and seemed to benefit from little competition.

  19. Elizabeth January 3, 2009 at 3:46 pm -

    I am looking forward to it too. I agree with ducko though….strange time of year.

  20. ducko January 3, 2009 at 2:23 pm -

    Why has SBS chosen to show this during the dead-zone period? A ridiculous decision one associates with Network 10 not SBS.

  21. RichoTB January 3, 2009 at 12:31 pm -

    People should watch this series instead of the woeful Cold Case. I’m interested, it could be a good show

  22. Zambora January 3, 2009 at 10:45 am -

    This is one show I am really looking forward to.
    Please let it be good.

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