H2O: Just Add Water

Quite a few people have written in to tell me about this Australian television show, which aired for three seasons from 2008 to 2010. At the series' start, it's about three regular teenaged girls named Cleo (Phoebe Tonkin), Emma (Claire Holt) and Rikki (Cariba Heine) who by chance are given the power to transform into mermaids. From there, the girls need to come to terms with their newfound abilities, and work together to ensure that their secret remains a secret.

The three girls also have their own individual powers, starting out with: Cleo's manipulation of water into shapes, Emma's freezing water, and Rikki's boiling water. I've only watched a part of the first season so I can't speak to what happens later, but I've been told that there are new mermaids who join up, power upgrades, and greater changes to the stakes of the story.

As a show that is literally about mermaids, there are a lot of mermaid shenanigans, including extensive group underwater scenes (some of which is CGI-enhanced) and many scenes of the girls with their tails. This series also uses that transformation short-cut which has become more common, where they automatically gain colour-coordinated bikinis whenever they transform. The tails (at least in season one) are long and muscular-chunky, which must've been difficult to manage during production, though perhaps they're comfortable and helped with all the swimming the actress had to do? I have no idea.

This show has a few similarities with another Australian production (Mermaids) in that the light-hearted tone is about the same, and there are three mermaids who each have their own individual powers, but the mermaids in H2O: Just Add Water are all humans who gained their abilities, and the stories follow teenage problems and stakes. An interesting aspect to this show is showing how the girls have to cope with their powers, which not only come with advantages. but some very distinct disadvantages in what they can or cannot do.

This show had two spin-offs: Mako Mermaids and H2O: Mermaid Adventures.

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