This piece was written throughout the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. With out the labor of the writers and actors who’re at present on strike, collection like Nancy Drew wouldn’t be doable, and Autostraddle is grateful for the artists who do that work. The next evaluation of The Misplaced Flowers of Alice Hart accommodates very delicate spoilers.
The Misplaced Flowers of Alice Hart is a darkish however pretty story of a bunch of Flowers making an attempt to outlive in a world the place weeds and pests threaten them at each flip. It’s a languid story that takes its time, like an extended and lazy summer season stroll by a backyard, by no means speeding to the subsequent second, by no means hurrying to elucidate itself. It takes its time unfurling tales about secrets and techniques, lies, cycles of abuse, bodily and emotional violence by the hands of males, and the significance of discovered household and having a help system.
All of this, after all, centered across the titular Alice Hart, performed by Alycia Debnam-Carey, in a job uncommon for her for 2 causes: one, she really will get to smile and chortle generally in like one entire episode; two, she will get to make use of her actual Australian accent.
Sadly she isn’t again to taking part in queer once more (but?) regardless of what I’d categorize as flirting between her and Vivienne Awosoga’s Lulu, in order that’s not what I’ve come to report about at the moment. At the moment I’m right here to convey you the excellent news that one of many lesbians on this present is none apart from Sigourney Weaver. Ripley, consider it or not. (Sorry.)
Sigourney Weaver performs June, Alice’s grandmother, chief of a flower farm together with her associate in work and in love Twig, performed by Wentworth alum Leah Purcell. (Actually, there are just a few Wentworth alum right here, together with Frankie Adams, who performs Sweet Blue, and Shareena Clanton, who performs Ruby. As I discovered after I wrote about Deadloch, Australian TV is a bit like Canadian TV in that you just’ll see the identical actors pop up in in style reveals extra typically than you would possibly on US tv. It’s fairly enjoyable.)
The primary few episodes comply with Alice as somewhat woman (performed by outstandingly gifted tiny human Alyla Browne) rising up together with her pretty mom and her abusive father, till she finds herself orphaned and finally ends up on the flower farm together with her grandmother June, who she had beforehand by no means met.
The flower farm additionally serves as a sanctuary for girls leaving abusive conditions, a protected haven whereas they determine what’s subsequent for them; or, for some, their new perpetually residence. We watch Alice, with the assistance of the ladies on the farm (the Flowers) and a candy little boy named Oggi, heal from her grief and her trauma and begin to bloom right into a confident younger lady.
A younger lady who learns that her grandmother has been mendacity to her.
June, in making an attempt to finish a cycle of abuse, in her misguided makes an attempt to guard her granddaughter from males like her son and her son’s father, really finally ends up perpetuating it. As a substitute of conserving Alice knowledgeable and educated to guard herself from abuse, June inadvertently finally ends up inflicting her hurt by conserving secrets and techniques and mendacity and meddling, successfully taking away Alice’s company, granted in a special and fewer violent manner than her father ever did, however taking it away nonetheless.
While you’ve spent years being abused, it’s exhausting to untangle your self from it. When you’ve spent your life with these vines tight round you, choking you, pinning you down, it could be simple to see trapping somebody in a greenhouse freed from vines could be a mercy. It’s simple to assume you’re not inflicting hurt as a result of there are not any marks on their pores and skin, however phrases and lies can damage simply as a lot as thorns can. A locked door doesn’t simply hold risks out, nevertheless it retains youngsters in. They might be free from bodily hurt however they’re additionally freed from alternative, freed from independence. And by no means instructing them about the right way to look out for these vines, the indicators of poison, by no means instructing them the right way to untangle themselves ought to they discover themselves in hurt’s manner since you assume you possibly can all the time hold them from it…it’s simply setting them up for failure once they do, finally, break away out of your “safety.” You may’t break a cycle of abuse by refusing to acknowledge it.
The present’s seven episodes happen over 15 years, and as I discussed, it takes its time doing so. It’s not in a rush to get to the tip of the story, it’s simply having fun with the journey, stopping to odor the flowers, nurse a bee sting, or, extra actually, to indicate gorgeous sweeping overhead photographs of Australia. The fictional Agnes Bluff and Mia Tukurta Nationwide Park crater are filmed in New South Wales and the Northern Territory, and are simply visually completely gorgeous.
June and Twig stay on the heart of this story, their home partnership crops them because the matriarchs of this discovered household, with their adoptive daughter Sweet Blue serving to them run the farm and lift Alice.
Regardless of how issues go unsuitable, regardless of how exhausting issues get, June has Twig and Twig has June. They aren’t one another’s first loves, however their final, and maybe their greatest.
The story is about their household, about June’s organic son and granddaughter, concerning the Flowers they’ve taken in alongside the best way, however there have been instances I needed we discovered extra about these Flowers. We bought glimpses of them, of Boo being a unusual presence round the home, of the ladies gathering for dinner, however I wished to know all of them higher. Possibly it is a results of June benign adept at conserving folks at arm’s size, possibly that may have taken an excessive amount of time away from the lengthy overhead photographs (which I wouldn’t dare recommend), however I believe it will have been impactful.
Total, I actually loved this present. The Misplaced Flowers of Alice Hart is a narrative of abuse and remorse, and likewise it’s a narrative about therapeutic, about solidarity and power, about it by no means being too late to apologize if you’ve triggered hurt, and about survivors of abuse supporting one another.
It’s about wildflowers studying the right way to bloom.