1 9 9 4 – 1 9 9 9 (Australia)
210 x episodes
This teenage drama set in Hartley High School – a (fictional) rough multi-racial inner-city high school in Sydney, Australia – skilfully combined the hip and the gritty (something like an Oz version of Byker Grove).
The Network Ten series was based on a 1993 movie called The Heartbreak Kid, with Alex Dimitriades reprising his lead film role.
Showing teens facing universal problems – sex, alcohol, love and loss – Heartbreak High often took a realistic tone where plot points and crises could not be neatly wrapped up at the end of each episode.
After the students graduated, the show continued to follow them, with the school setting switching to focus on the Poulos family and the Shark Pool hang out.
Heartbreak High did very well in the ratings battle down-under, attracting 70% of the youth audience in Australia.
Original music for the series was composed by Todd Hunter (sometimes in partnership with Johanna Pigott), best known as a member of rock group Dragon.
Costa ‘Con’ Bordino
Jeremy Lindsay Taylor