Get into bed with the enemy and evaluate the worth of individual ridicule for the advancement of your own. Join us as we tear through bureaucratic red tape with Total Control this week.


Director: Rachel Perkins
Writers: Stuart Page, Angela Betzien, Pip Karmel
Production company: Blackfella Films
Released: October 2019
Network: ABC, Acorn

Breakdown and Analysis

  • There are so many multifaceted dimensions introduced in the show. Where Australian television really hits it’s stride is where it can acknowledge the barbaric means in the way this Indigenous land was stolen and find a way to move forward. No longer ignoring the colonising elephant in the room. Oti is endeared to reclaiming voice and power in tangible change in Australia.
  • Our first episode covering the political genre in TV/film. Oti loves the genre for the intrigue and backstabbing that occurs in this genre. KT is confused as Oti’s foundational qualms lie with corrupt politicians yet enjoys watching political drama. Oti coins ‘delusion nirvana’. KT isn’t tempted by the genre as there is a sense of helplessness where nothing will change.
  • Oti compares the title to Ray Donovan in that it doesn’t indicate what the show entails. KT shares the original working title was Black Bitch and while she is not part of the community would love it if they kept to the name. Oti sombrely retorts that reclaiming doesn’t take the sting away.
  • The foundation was laid for such juicy commentary and characters such as Indigenous Affairs/presence in the Australian government. KT is disgusted at how issues, and furthermore people, were used as pawns on a chess board. It wasn’t even about real people. Oti nods to how politics is a dirty game. To get what you need you need to toe the line a little. Aspiring candidates that get burdened by the games of politics. We talk about the Minister of Indigenous Affairs and how he was not moved to action anything in regards to this injustice. Which is frustrating to KT seeing as aside from Indigenous people in government, he would have a vested interest. KT is not naive to think we will all be best friends but hopes that greedy people could stay in industries where we would imagine people are there to actually want to help people.
  • KT observes that this show was light on mining considering the ongoing presence in Australia. Oti draws parallels between the show and reality. KT touches on the heavy handed pressure onto Native Title owners to relinquish sacred sites to mining and other industries.
  • When you have two majors in control, they eventually swing on the same pendulum. Filibustering and the reluctance to make any change and wholeheartedly announce their policies and what they will implement once elected.
  • Art is never created from conservative views. That’s not where art happens. That’s not where change happens. Not even radical change, just change in general.
  • The thing you could say about conservative parties is that they are predictable. You’ll always know in which direction they will stab you. Unfortunately with Sean, the Greens are Logan Roy’s kids. Being the by-product of the two major parties because what is tangible is being changed.
  • With Rachel as PM, there were so many instances where she was not leading with her prescribed principles. Rachel made a choice and the choice was to not investigate. It remains to be seen whether she was privy to the information but it was a lot of political orchestra in the fact she chose not to do it to sustain her position. If Rachel is not right, acknowledges the disgusting misuse of power of the guards, acknowledges the depravity and saw the video of her dying and for her own personal gain she chooses not to investigate, what kind of monster are you?
  • Oti brings perspective to Rachel being the only woman in the room for decades. KT retorts what does this matter to the contemporary injustice to which Oti agrees it doesn’t. KT doesn’t like when she doesn’t know where she stands with people. Your morals aren’t a fucking outfit. Your principles aren’t a fucking outfit. If so, what are you?
  • We delve deeper into intersectionality in feminism. We are never going to get to a point of change if you have to pick up your pennies of oppression. KT references Bill O’Neal in Judas and Black Messiah and Bill Cherokee in The Harder They Fall. If you’re for the women, be for the women. She couldn’t find enough in her heart to do the right thing. There’s feminism and then there’s white feminism.
  • Without knowing much about politics, it was unbelievable for KT with Rachel being able to re-enter politics with his inaction as PM.
  • We evaluate whether change is more effective within your own community or within white institutions. Oti believes change is lasting within the community while KT points out laws need to change also. Alex tried to do good but she should have known better that government doesn’t openly help Indigenous people.
  • Oti raises the point of how much of your whole chest do you speak with? KT would have wanted Alex to go with her planned speech however she would have come off that Black Bitch who is difficult to work with. The opposite of that would be Wayne Blair’s character being grateful for crumbs and toe the line to hopefully one day become PM. We both agree that Alex should not have gone with her initial speech to remain in a place to negotiate.
  • We revisit the theme where Oti focuses on required efforts for rural communities. KT points out that it becomes Influencer: Politics Edition in that the most concentrated areas get the most attention so Alex would be on an uphill battle for her people.
  • KT shares her frustration with Charlie’s lack of empathy for Alex. Especially through the death threats on social media and real life.
  • Politics: keep it clean or play dirty. We delighted in playing dirty because faux integrity will leave you worse than where you started. The only humble people are poor people. Doesn’t that also feel like a way to control people to stay in their positions but be happy about it? Oti reflects on Alex’s friend that killed himself in front of the bank to send a message. You can play it clean but you’re never truly free until you realise the game is rigged.
  • When you understand the position and those that continue to benefit from the position of Australia right now, it stands to reason why the status quo cannot be challenged. And if balance needs to be restored, radical change needs to happen. Anything in this world worth doing that doesn’t require radical change is a myth.
  • It goes beyond the realms of cyber bullying in what Alex was experiencing. We suspected the troll was embedded in the government but KT did not anticipate that it was a deliberate effort. The backlash was frustrating. We discuss the fallout on Adam Goodes after he was the victim of racism and bullying. Gloria found a connection with Alex and she turned her back on her which made no sense. The bullying was on public forums but Gloria had a long game that Alex didn’t serve. We agree that people need to be held to account for the vile shit they post online. If you’re gonna say it with your whole chest, you need to face the consequences. KT hated that she felt bad for the bully. Don’t humanise him. Oti is staunch that actions should have consequences.
  • We wanted redemption. We can’t get it in the real world so we wanted it in Total Control.
  • Eddie is young and has gone through a lot. Alex was busy but there is a component of young indigenous children being taken from their parents. It was also detailed that Alex & Charlie’s mum was a part of the Stolen generation. The child services worker, every little observation felt loaded.
  • You can’t personal responsibility yourself out of systemic racism.

Unrelated but vital points

  • Snarky Sorkin West Wing reference.
  • KT comes to the realisation that calling people from the United States, Americans through the TV show Acapulco.
  • Aside from John Cena, KT is not here for peacemakers.
  • People can ‘free speech’ in your free speech direction. Talk about indoctrination and most have been indoctrinated to a colonised christian community.
  • Oti corner of his Righteous Gemstones viewing.