Dive Club Review 2021 Tv Show Series Season Cast Crew
Creator: Steve Jaggi
Stars: Miah Madden, Georgia-May Davis, Sana’a Shaik
Steve Jaggi’s teen mystery drama is a hodgepodge of many things – bad, being the undisputed winner! Set on a remote Australian island called Cape Mercy, it follows the exploits of four sixteen-year-old girls (seasoned scuba divers) who undertake an elaborate search for their best friend who vanishes without a trace. Not just does the 12-part first season make a mockery of what a half-decent show must constitute, it also presents its mostly female teenage characters as giddy-headed, bumbling oafs. We understand that such a phase represents the most awkward time in many of our lives, but that shouldn’t give licence to the creator/writers to dumb their characters down to such an extent that one is left with no choice but to laugh. Common issues like trying to fit in, jealousy, and first love, aren’t given the required nuance. The two supporting boys’ characters in Dive Club aren’t sketched out well, either. The show pedals an unrealistic teenage beauty standard to aspire to – are we to believe that the seven regular sixteen-year-old kids (five primary female characters and two secondary male ones) are either size-zero or abs-sporting models? Body-image problems tend to manifest at that age or thereabouts, but such things be damned! Because, how else is one to show Aussie teenagers living on the coast? The show tells us that western kids in the said age bracket look a certain way, and that’s the norm.
For a plot that adds random, unnecessary and downright ludicrous elements to move things forward, the “discoveries” chanced upon are banal, at best. A priceless coin, an untold royal history, a rich vein of jewels, a treasure hunter/explorer, and a dangerous Russian shipwreck that holds the key, link themselves to Lauren’s (Georgia-May Davis) disappearance from the dock. At the face of it, authorities believe the devastating storm swept up her up in its wake as she took the boat out to sea; her friends are adamant, though…she’d never take the risk in such conditions.
It can be argued that just about every character in Dive Club is a walking, talking cliché. The more believable, or dare I say, level-headed ones, are Maddie (Miah Madden) and Izzie (Mercy Cornwall). The former is one of Lauren’s closest friends, and lives with her eccentric grandfather. The latter has just landed on the island with her engineer-father, a man who is to assess the damages caused to Cape Mercy. She is acquainted with the group, and in turn, brought up to speed. Anna (Aubri Ibrag) is the group’s prima donna. What in the world is that accent she sports, though? She is Aussie (of Russian descent); so, where the hell did that half-English, half-sophisticated European accent materialise from? Her overbearing mother is Cape Mercy’s Mayor, and she is forever attempting to fall in line with the woman’s views on what a child of her status must and mustn’t do. And lastly, there’s Stevie (Sana’a Shaik), the Dive Club’s impulsive thrill-seeker with a devil-may-care attitude. The two boys are mere romantic interest props; you get tired as to who likes whom, who’s the good one, who’s the bad apple, who’s spent months in juvenile detention, who’s to be relied upon, who’s likely two-timing etc…the relevant question to ask here is: who cares? Presented in a melodramatic and predictable manner, the writing could well have done a better job in handling this love/lust business. And, what is it with these small-town western teen mystery drama series having one of the primary characters as the police chief’s child; Lauren’s father butts heads with the Mayor as his daughter fails to turn up.
The most disappointing bit about Dive Club is its stereotypical characterisation of the leads. Not one is accorded enough depth to be rooted for. The famed Russian adventurer, Leonid Komarov (Ryan Harrison), is a caricature to beat all caricatures. As he looks into space spouting some mumbo jumbo about the historical significance of this shipwreck and that treasure chest, attempting to appear somehow profound while doing so (fake Russian accent and words, to boot), you can’t help but crack up. Between the searching and diving, certain sequences play out in slow motion, barely making sense in the larger scheme of things – zany group dances set to music, an unconnected individual ballet performance from Anna, to name some; did it become a teen mystery drama musical when I blinked? If there is one redeemable scene in the show, it is when Maddie re-reads a letter from Lauren, received at the time of her parents’ passing. Lauren speaks with touching reference to her own mother’s death, and how she felt she couldn’t carry on but did, and that Maddie must too, no matter how hard things get. If it weren’t for that, Dive Club may well have received a half star rating.