Winners & Losers - Netflix
Wed 26 June 2019
Despite everything they've been through, Bec, Sophie, Jenny, Frances and Sam are as close as they've ever been to having the three key areas of life – love, work and home – firing on all cylinders. But when relationships, friendships, careers and aspirations are all tested, the girls will question if it is even possible to have it all?
Runtime: 60 minutes
Winners & Losers - Frances James (Winners & Losers) - Netflix
Frances James is a fictional character in the Australian Channel Seven drama series Winners & Losers, played by Virginia Gay. Frances made her debut screen appearance in the pilot episode “Covert Aggression in Netball”, which was broadcast on 22 March 2011. She is one of the show's four female protagonists alongside Sophie Wong (Melanie Vallejo), Jenny Gross (Melissa Bergland) and Bec Gilbert (Zoe Tuckwell-Smith). The series follows their lives after they win eight million dollars on the Oz Lotto. Frances is portrayed as a smart and savvy businesswoman, yet a “complete social loser” disengaged with emotional relationships. Frances' persona is said to have been modeled on the behaviour of her father following the absence of female influence in her upbringing. The character's storyline takes her on the journey finding romance with Zach Armstrong (Stephen Phillips), bonding with her long-lost sister Jasmine Patterson (PiaGrace Moon) and maintaining a close friendship with her personal assistant Jonathan Kurtiss (Damien Bodie). The characters go on to create a family unit. Several storylines involve relationship problems with Zach as meddling characters such as Claire Armstrong (Natalie Saleeba) and Shannon Taylor (Luke McKenzie) threaten their happiness. While others include Frances being held at gunpoint, becoming a lawyer and a same-sex tryst with terminally ill Cat Johnson (Peta Sergeant). The character faced more uncertain times following Jonathan, Jasmine and Zach's departures and the discovery she is pregnant with the latter's child. The character has been favoured by critics such as Debi Enker (The Age) and Michael Idato (The Sydney Morning Herald) who argued that she is one of the show's better written characters. While Idato's colleague's Bridget McManus and Frances Atkinson have praised Gay's acting skills in comparison to the remainder of the cast.
Winners & Losers - Reception - Netflix
Debi Enker writing for The Age said that Winners & Losers had a problem of being to broad with the narrative. But she felt that Gay “notably” often managed “to transcend the limitations” as the “socially awkward Frances”. The writer later said that Frances has a “self-sabotaging lack of confidence” and that Zach has “the patience of a saint” to put up with her “frequent eruptions of nervy insecurity”. Michael Idato from The Sydney Morning Herald said that four actresses had a “palpable chemistry” but Frances and Jenny were “the most fully formed in the writing”. He added that Frances is an “over-thinker” and “bright”. His colleague Frances Atkinson echoed his views writing that Gay and Bergland were given more opportunity to show off their acting skills. Idato has also branded Frances awkward and bright. He added that Frances being mistaken for a lesbian was one of the series premiere's “sharper moments”. James Joyce of The Newcastle Herald branded the character a “tomboy-turned-corporate high-flyer”. Nathanael Cooper from The Courier-Mail labeled Frances “the lost-in-love-and-life lawyer”. A writer from NewsMail described her as “bright and business-savvy” and Louise Nunn of The Advertiser observed her as “delightfully repressed”. A critic from The Canberra Times believed that Gay had only received good stories to work on during the show's second season. Bridget McManus (The Sydney Morning Herald) said of the episode titled “...Must Come to an End” that “there are some seriously heavy scenes but the only true tearjerker comes from the wonderful Virginia Gay as Frances, facing an unexpected goodbye.”
Winners & Losers - References - Netflix