Talented: Kat Stewart as Billie Proudman and Asher Keddie as Nina Proudman in <em>Offspring</em>.

Sisters: Kat Stewart as Billie Proudman and Asher Keddie as Nina Proudman in Offspring.

Kat Stewart is a chameleon - uniquely individual in every role she undertakes. Our conversation about the wild variety of characters she's played - such as Roberta Williams, the swearing crime queen in Underbelly; Nicola, the sweet detective/cleaner in Mr and Mrs Murder; and Billie, the erratic sister in Offspring - was going so well, I decided to take a chance. This is what ensued:

KS - The most different character out of those three would probably be Nicola from Mr and Mrs Murder, because she's so happy in her relationship, so content with what she's doing in her life. I normally tend to play people who are a bit spikier and a bit frustrated, so she was a change of pace.

DD - I have to say - and it's a tribute to your acting - I find Billie Proudman really irritating.

Kat Stewart.

Talented: Kat Stewart.

KS - Aha, don't hold back, David.

DD - I keep wanting to shout at her, ''You bloody idiot.''

KS - I must say towards the end of the last series I felt a little bit the same way. I just wanted her to stop self-destructing. I wanted her to pull herself together. So I can see that she can be frustrating, but I also love her honesty and her energy and her devotion to the people she loves. For an actor, she's challenging. She's never boring, that's for sure.

DD - Will I find her less infuriating in the new series?

KS - I can't speculate on that. I don't know your expectations. But don't tell me. I might fall into a decline.

DD - She has this habit of screwing up her own life and also screwing up other people's lives.

KS - Well, there's less of that. We pick up six months from where we left things in series 4 [Billie had split up with her husband after sleeping with someone else, and her sister Nina had given birth just after her husband died in a car accident]. Billie has moved in with Nina to co-parent Nina's little girl. This gives her a real point of focus and she's had to pull herself together and not be so self-absorbed and really channel her energy into looking after this little baby. It's a great thing for Billie.

DD - Does she end up happy?

KS - Considering the dreadful thing that happened at the end of the last series, this will be the most positive series in a lot of ways. It's brought all the characters together. Nina's lost Patrick but she's got this amazing network of support around her. There are plot twists in there that really surprised me. There's some good laughs for Billie and some really interesting character development. I probably had the most fun this season I've ever had on the show.

DD - Is Billie like you at all?

KS - I like to think I'd be a lot more diplomatic, a lot less volatile. But with all the characters you play, you bring elements of yourself. Certain characters amplify certain qualities in you. You find a bit of yourself and it becomes exaggerated.

DD - What element of you is in your version of Roberta Williams?

KS - She's there. I think probably when I'm frustrated in traffic, that's when I recognise her.

Offspring starts on Wednesday at 8.30pm on Ten.

TV's too good

Fargo

We are, of course, living in The Golden Age of TV drama, but the question arises: is The New Television so brilliant that it has become unfair competition for The Old Television?

The trend in drama nowadays is to do short-run series of eight or 10 episodes instead of the traditional 22 episodes a year. Writers prefer this format because they can tell a story over eight hours - effectively creating a long movie - instead of having to invent a new 40-minute story every week. Actors like it because they don't have to tie themselves up for years and can move on to new projects. Our own Rebecca Gibney is planning to follow this approach when she makes a series out of her telemovie The Killing Field (which pulled 1.85 million regional and urban viewers last Sunday).

A problem arises when a short-run series gets nominated for an award. John Landgraf, boss of America's FX network, which made Fargo (showing here on SBS1), has complained about rival network HBO's decision to use the term "drama series" about the eight-episode show True Detective (seen here on the pay channel Showcase). That looks like a strategic move to win it an Emmy.

"My own personal point of view is that a miniseries is a story that ends, a series is a story that continues," Landgraf told a media conference in New York. "I think it's actually unfair for HBO to put True Detective in the drama series category because you can get certain actors to do a closed-ended series - a la Billy Bob Thornton in Fargo or Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson in True Detective - who you can't get to sign on for a seven-year deal.

"It doesn't make sense to put actors who signed on to do one year and perform the beginning, middle and end of a character against those who are only showing one-fifth or one-sixth of that character's journey in a season.

"There's a compelling interest in having apples compete with apples and oranges compete with oranges." It's a point of view unlikely to appeal to those who set the categories for the Logies.

Landgraf promises to nominate Fargo only in the miniseries category (where it won't be up against True Detective).

Fargo continues on Thursday at 9.30pm on SBSOne.

Bogans of Logan

Many were mystified when the slapstick SBS series Housos won a Logie last month for most outstanding light entertainment. It's either a satire on, or a perpetuation of, stereotypes of low-income people in the western suburbs of Sydney, but either way it's very loud.

There was speculation that the Logie voters, whoever they might be, had not taken their duties seriously when asked to choose between such diverse pleasures as Housos, It's a Date, Upper Middle Bogan, Please Like Me and The Voice.

But clearly the programmers at 7mate were impressed by the award, because they appointed the creator of Housos, Paul Fenech, and his co-stars Kevin Taumata (Kev the Kiwi) and Elle Dawe (Shazza Jones) to scour the country for people with mullets, flannelette shirts, ugg boots and missing teeth, to feature in a "reality" series called The Bogan Hunters.

The initial results of their research will be seen on what they call 7maaate on Tuesday. "Just like in the animal world, follow the tracks and you'll find the bogan," says Fenech in a preview, pointing to skidmarks that lead to a derelict caravan.

The researchers apparently concluded that the best place to study bogan behaviour is Launceston, while in Brisbane you'd seek out the conveniently rhyming Logan, and in Sydney you'd need to go to Mount Druitt or Campbelltown.

It's probably lucky that many of Fenech's interview subjects do not seem to possess a TV set.

The Bogan Hunters airs on Tuesday at 9.30pm on 7mate.