On the Sauce by Shaun Micallef [6/10]

The highlight of anything by Shaun Micallef is the man himself, a wry, witty man of unassuming foundational wisdom. “On the Sauce” is a modest three-episode documentary that is likely to possess a short life on free-to-air television, but it deserves a richer fate. Told in a jaunty, pleasant manner by the comedian/host, On the Sauce is teetotaller Micallef’s examination of Australia’s love of alcohol. The three episodes broadly cover the upsides of beer and wine, namely the social lubrication; then the medical and psychological damage caused; and finally the hope of a generational shift towards sobriety. Micallef travels far and wide on his quest, and wherever he goes, befriends and charms, and he also employs some nifty devices, such as couch sessions with a shrink. Never strident enough to guarantee a viewer response, but more subtly effective for its restraint, On the Sauce is a valuable tilt at the devil itself. Recommended.

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