Airing Thursday nights, community TV talk show Couch 44 platforms an emerging generation of young Adelaideans making our city an interesting place to live.
Couch 44 tunes in to Adelaide youth culture
Producer Madison Siegertsz has learned a lot about Adelaide since starting her talk show, Couch 44.
The series has run for the last four weeks, each episode focussing on a different topic through the eyes of Adelaide’s young people.
There are conversations with guests, field reports and musical performances.
The fifth episode, which airs tonight, will look at sport.
“Basically, Couch 44’s a chat show for Adelaide’s youth culture, so there’s about six episodes and each episode focuses on a different youth culture scene,” Maddie says.
“I felt like Couch 44 was this journey of learning more about Adelaide.”
Maddie created the series to highlight some of the lesser known achievements of Adelaide’s younger set, and first came up with the concept as a university assignment. The production is a collaboration between Channel 44, Flinders University and the Community Broadcasting Foundation.
She knew the show had potential, but she was still surprised to have the support of these organisations.
“Originally it started off as a bunch of little documentaries,” Maddie says.
“The first season started with these artists spotlights… on artists around Adelaide.
“I thought, ‘Oh, that could be expanded into something bigger’.”
Through Couch 44, Maddie wants to help Adelaide understand the breadth of talent and creativity we have in this city.
“You hear so much about what’s happening in Melbourne and Sydney, but Adelaide is just as good as any other state really, and has a lot to offer,” Maddie says (preaching to the converted).
“So it was giving a platform for Adelaide creatives to tell their stories or… share their voice.
“I think we have a really big creative scene here and we have a lot of people in other fields as well that we explore on the show that are doing amazing things… I don’t think they get enough recognition.”
Like choosing a most-loved child, Maddie struggles to pick a favourite episode of Couch 44.
However, she does say the episode she found most intriguing was the one on activism.
“It’s really insightful to see different cultures,” she says.
“We explored the Unmasked African Festival and we also attended a Freedom for Iran protest march, and it really opens your eyes up to the multiculturalism that’s here in Adelaide.”
Another episode of special significance for Maddie focussed on music, during which CEO of Renegade Records, Bianca Nilsson (pictured above), discussed “what happens behind the scenes in the music industry and all the hard work that goes into it”.
“All our guests on the show are extremely hard working and determined,” Maddie says. “It’s really interesting to see what obstacles they’ve had to overcome in their careers to get where they are today.”
As well as highlighting Adelaide’s talent in front of the camera, Couch 44 is helping build South Australian talent behind the scenes.
“Couch 44 was a stepping stone for people behind the camera and in front of the camera to showcase their work, and I hope that the show could be a starting point for creating more content about what’s happening in Adelaide — to keep the creative spirit going,” Maddie says.
It took three years for Maddie to get Couch 44 on a broadly accessible streaming platform, such as CTV+, and she says she has “no words to describe” how proud she is of herself and her team.
“It’s such a huge achievement and I’m really grateful that we’ve had an amazing team work on this and really grateful for all the crew members involved,” Maddie says.
“I never thought it would come to this moment, and I never thought it would actually happen – and here we are, it’s happened.”
Episode 5: Sport will air tonight, Thursday, 1 June, at 8pm on Channel 44.