Such a brilliant idea, to situate a drama about a TV news desk around the first quarter of 1986, allowing for six amazing news events to both enrich the character stories but also to illuminate a swathe of themes. “The Newsreader” plonks a rookie reporter (a star turn from Sam Reid), a glam female newsreader (Anna Torv in fine form), a veteran newsreader (acted with aplomb by Robert Taylor), and a curmudgeonly station exec (William McInnes shines) into terrorist bombings, a comet, AIDS, Lindy Chamberlain, and Chernobyl. The milieu of the newsroom is revealed in all its tension and complexity, while the key characters’ flawed yet believable lives mesh and clash with wonderful drama. Each episode zips along and progresses the human stories over the season, and I was impressed by how unpredictable every moment was. Is The Newsreader the most sparkling Australian drama of 2021? Perhaps indeed.