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Rude Awakenings

Rose McIver as Constance Short

Genre: Comedy, Drama
Release Date: 9 February 2007 (New Zealand)
Network: TVOne
Country New Zealand
Language: English
Runtime: 40 min
Filming Locations: Auckland, New Zealand
Written by: Garth Maxwell, Stephanie Johnson, Fiona Samuel
Directed by: Geoff Cawthorn, Peter Burger, Brendan Donovan, Garth Maxwell
Casting: Danielle Cormack, Rose McIver, Patrick Wilson, Claire Van Beek


Dimity Rush is in a hurry – to reconnect with an upbeat inner city vibe, to escape the rural lifestyle block where she has been marooned for seven years with her anaesthetist husband Stuart and their two sons Julian (17 years) and Ollie (8 years).

PONSONBY– the holy grail of Auckland real estate – becomes the battleground as Dimity fixates on acquiring not only a done- up villa for her family, but also the neighbouring property on Ginger Street as investment. As Stuart loses his grip on what life is meant to be about, tossing in his lucrative career, his wife, the human resources manager, takes charge and makes the decisions, mostly disastrous. Her neighbour and nemesis, failed social worker Arthur Short, has lived over the fence in his rundown rental for twenty years bringing up his two teenage daughters, dance student Amber (18) and surveillance freak Constance (15), with his ex-street-kid wife Sharon, who has just left him for a woman.

Arthur knows that Dimity will be the ruin of everything he stands for, and he summons every weapon in his armoury to resist her advance. Arthur sees this as a matter of honour, of resisting rapacious feminism and reasserting his masculinity. Over the course of a heated summer, old Ponsonby fights new, as Dimity and Arthur fight for the soul of Ginger Street, and the futures of their families and livelihoods. The clash of two cultures and lifestyles is the basis for this new satirical drama that explores the country’s most burning obsession – buying the perfect house in the best location.

Sexy, abrasive, funny and touching, Rude Awakenings throws up the differences and conflicts between a woman who believes a suburb is a way to get ahead and man who clings to the notion of community.

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Episode Guide

Rose appeared in: 11 episodes.
EpisodeDescriptionOriginal Air Date
Episode 1Perfect Little Rosebud

Dimity Rush craves change. Human Resources Manager for a debt collection agency, she’s been marooned for eight years on a Kumeu lifestyle block where anaesthetist husband Stuart planned to grow olives. Now she’s taking charge, dragging her family into Ponsonby, to kick-start her life and marriage.

Over the fence, long-term renter Arthur Short and his two girls are struggling to cope now mum’s gone and shacked up with a woman. When Arthur hears his place is on the market, and that Dimity has already poked her nose in, the battlelines are drawn.
9 Feb. 2007
Episode 2Speed Wobble

Dimity’s incensed Stuart would give up medicine just because he killed someone, while Stuart can’t believe her real estate plans jeopardize their family assets. He takes Ollie to stay at the home of playboy surgeon Spencer, leaving Dimity to seek comfort in the arms of her personal trainer.
16 Feb. 2007
Episode 3Land Grab

Dimity Rush’s lovely Ponsonby life is in jeopardy – Stuart won’t come home, and Julian steals money to support his new girlfriend, Arthur’s daughter Amber. The teenagers wreck a sale of the Kumeu lifestyle block, adding to Dimity’s financial woes.

Then her home is invaded by a disgruntled former employee, but Dimity is saved by the unwanted intervention of ex-social worker Arthur, which infuriates her and does nothing for neighbourly relations. Dimity resolves to play her last card to outbid Arthur and evict him – wangling a huge company loan from her deeply admiring boss John.
23 Feb. 2007
Episode 4Battleground

Dimity is on a natural high as her notice to evict Arthur ruins his birthday. While Dim celebrates with a new Ponsonby hairdo, Constance starts to work her devious magic behind the scenes, grooming Dimity’s seven year old Ollie as a secret agent and planting him back inside his own family as a mole. And Arthur discovers just how dodgy his mate Ralph really is.
2 Mar. 2007
Episode 5Burn Time

Dimity’s back gives out in a tug-of-war with Arthur, and Bonnie’s husband Jase comforts her with a backrub. Taped by Ollie, this is dynamite in Constance’s hands. Sharon Short attempts to sort out her wayward daughter but her lover Dara goes on the attack.
9 Mar. 2007
Episode 6A Big Kick

Dimity is conflicted by the news that Julian’s life was saved by Arthur Short, and now she must contend with the mysterious fire which has left their Kumeu house in cinders, threatening her financial masterplan. After Pita’s death, Amber soothes her grief in an affair with an older journalist, breaking Julian’s heart. Sharon is torn when Dara insists she must choose between her or her interfering family, and she finds herself drifting back to her dangerous old haunts. And Bonnie lives in terror awaiting the moment when Dimity figures out just how guilty she is.
16 Mar. 2007
Episode 7Deadlines and Lifelines

Stuart bears the full force of Dimity’s sky-rocketing stress-levels when she receives a 24-hour ultimatum from the bank to sort out her finances or lose both Ponsonby homes.

Into this fraught atmosphere comes Caroline, Dimity’s old best friend and Stuart’s one-time lover, now with just weeks to live, on a mission to make peace with the past. Julian, freaked-out by his parents and desperate to win back Amber, seeks refuge next door with Arthur.
23 Mar. 2007
Episode 8Restorative Justice

Just as her finances collapse, Dimity has an epiphany inspired by her dying friend Caroline, and glimpses her future destiny. Thinking fast, she strikes a deal with Bonnie and Jase, which saves her home but binds them into a devilish contract.

Meanwhile, Amber’s affair with a journalist explodes when he publishes her family’s secrets, alienating Amber from her mum Sharon. Constance pursues a secret life as an investigator which brings her in contact with the dangerous Horse. And Arthur makes a terrible bargain to keep his family together.
30 Mar. 2007
Episode 9Who Loves You, Baby?

Dimity discovers new ways to get compensation from Bonnie, using the loot from the sale of Bonnie’s home to save her own place, while exploiting her as a personal assistant. Dishonesty costs Constance her surveillance job, but when she strives to win it back by completing a dangerous assignment, what she uncovers leaves her shocked and confused. And under Stuart’s care Amber faces the consequences of her reckless personal life.
06 Apr. 2007
Episode 10Ready or Not

Constance reeling from the news that Horse is her real father and going into emotional freefall, drifting away from family life and worrying Sharon and Amber. She confronts him, a tactic that backfires and puts her in increasing danger.

Sharon attempts to warn Horse off her youngest daughter, to get him out of their lives, but she realises that he is now so inextricably connected to them all, that she can’t see a way free from his malign influence. But Constance can.

Meanwhile, Stuart is horrified that Dimity’s book features explicit accounts of their love life, sexed-up on the advice of Hemi, who is renting Julian’s room. But Dimity is preoccupied by the shock of learning that Amber is carrying Julian’s baby, especially when Arthur makes it clear that any interference from her will have desperate consequences.
13 Apr. 2007
Episode 11Full Exposure

The ‘Rude Awakenings’ series final sees Dimity’s devious strategy to stop Amber having Julian’s baby push Arthur past his snapping point. Constance reveals herself as a master manipulator to dish out her kind of justice to Ralph and Horse, and news of Caroline’s death spurs Stuart to kick-start his life in an unexpected direction.
20 Apr. 2007