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H2O: Just Add Water

A pivotal experience in my childhood was watching a trio of young Aussie teens living double lives as mermaids. This heavily accented TV show filmed on the Gold Coast is a medley of friendship, love, and jaw-dropping underwater shots.

When the callout to review an Australian TV show came up, it seemed like a golden opportunity to rewatch this TV series. The overall plot for those who haven’t had the pleasure of belting out ‘Cos I’m no ordinary girl’ is as follows: three distinctive girls end up trapped on a boat which drifts to a mysterious island known as Mako Island. Trying to get reception, they search further inland before falling into an ominous cave. However, the ‘Moon Pool’ is the only entrance out and with the sun setting, tensions begin rising. Due to impressive timing (and a little early 2000s CGI), these teen girls are in the pool when the full moon’s unique planetary placement grants them mermaid tails and cool powers. As one can expect, this causes a headache for these teen girls navigating their adolescence and finding their identity (whilst trying to avoid interacting with water at all costs).

The Australianness of this show comes through in nostalgic waves. You’ve probably heard the iconic TikTok “Cleorrr the condensation” or “Naurrr”, which are inspired by the beautiful Aussie accents in H2O. One thing not to expect is stellar acting. With a young cast, there are certainly moments of second-hand cringe (Cleo’s script within the first five minutes, “So coool!”), but this show also presents itself as an iconic time capsule of early 2000s fashion: cargo pants, tank tops and funky headbands. Though this dated style ages with later seasons, the uniqueness of their costumes helps create multi-dimensional characters for the three main girls: Cleo, Rikki, and Emma.

Whilst there are some slightly questionable angles (Specifically the close-up of Zayn in S1:E2), we are swamped with beautiful coastlines of the Gold Coast that taunt us with a year-round summer glow. Even the JuiceNet Café (which is essentially a high-brand Boost) boosts the show’s colour palette of rich orange, yellow and deep blue tones that carry its cosy coastal life through four seasons.

Dubbed as one of my favourite comfort shows, H2O explores the beauty of teen girl friendships, first love dramas and the magic of growing up. The balance of tension and comedy explored in the show makes it a surprisingly enjoyable watch even as an adult. Whenever I watch re-runs of this series it allows me to escape my responsibilities of being an adult for a while and reminiscing on those important shopping trips with my friends and tests that seemed like absolute dealbreakers.

It’s almost a reminder of not taking life too seriously. In the bigger scheme of things, I worried so much growing up about fitting in and finding love but re-watching H2O: Just Add Water reminds me just to have fun with life. Even if it lacks the cool powers of spraying down annoying mates with a fire hydrant.


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