And she’s facing the biggest decisions of her life.
With time running out to become a mum – literally, as under new laws anyone over 38 needs a lot of money to invest in the process of falling pregnant, and her birthday is looming – she has to ask herself if her dream of motherhood is worth risking her own life and if it’s realistic in an already struggling world.
That choice and her determination to live in hope no matter what stands in her way is the backbone of this Stan Original series, and what makes this one of the most inspiring and gripping relationship dramas Australia has produced.
“We’re dealing with these epic themes, but through a very personal and relatable lens, it’s through a family dynamic,” says Ryan Corr, who stars as Shay.
“The series centres around this trio of an unusual family… and that ties in to why it’s called The Commons in the first place.
“Through all of these problems that we’re witnessing if we don’t turn to each other, if we don’t love and discuss these things openly then we have nothing.”
A complex character in an already multi-layered world, Shay is a scientist working to help find a cure for advancing Chagas disease, a formerly tropical problem that migrated to Australia as climate change made our country the perfect breeding ground for the insects which carry it.
He and Eadie’s husband Lloyd are dedicated to saving the world, but at the same time Shay’s a bit over it all, a pessimist who can’t really see a way ahead for mankind… until Eadie asks for his help.
“In a strange way Shay is the voice of pessimism in this,” Corr says. “He’s sort of ‘Look at what you’ve done to yourself’ and we meet him when he’s been in a state like that for many years.
“But ultimately in order to change the world and mend his relationships with Lloyd and Eadie he has to engage in hope. He has to let go of his pessimism.”
Hope is a recurring theme through The Commons, summed up by Eadie at one point who says: “The best thing about mess is that you can clean it up.”
And it’s hope that attracted director Jeffrey Walker (Jack Irish, Lambs of God, Modern Family) to the series.
“The (futuristic) background becomes almost immaterial to the human drama,” Walker says.
“I mean the big conceit over the whole project is to say that if the environmental events that we’ve been experiencing as recently as the fires in NSW and Queensland, if they happened every year for the next five years, what would Australia look like?
“If we have drought-affected farmers walking off their land for the next five years, what does Australia look like?
“And if the storyline was, ‘OK let’s make it about a futuristic, environmentally affected world’ that would have been terrific, it would have been fine, but for me it’s the fact that the human struggle will always remain, under whatever constraints you place upon it.”
“I think a great example of where the show was pitched was that scene one of the entire piece is ‘Interior, day, womb’. That’s about as intimate and personal a starting spot for a series as there can be!”
And it’s also, Corr reminds, as hopeful as you could be.
“This series is hopeful,” he says. “It’s not doom and gloom, it’s saying we can still make changes.
“All of these people in The Commons are actively trying to get better and trying to do their best within their world and I think that’s a really important message.
“If it’s all too hard we get nothing done, if we go oh, we’re all doomed, we get nothing done. If we’re hopeful we can call people to arms in having a say in what our society looks like in the future and I really like that about this.”
Every episode of the Stan Original Series The Commons is now streaming, only on Stan – Australia’s unrivalled home of original productions.
Scott is a contributor for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age