Bitchin' Channels

A blog about television and radio with Paul Casserly

Paul Casserly: Let's lay off Sally Ridge - for now

80 comments
Let's lay off Sally Ridge until we've seen her upcoming reality show, says TV blogger Paul Casserly.

Sally Ridge films the pilot episode for her upcoming reality show.  Photo / Doug Sherring
Sally Ridge films the pilot episode for her upcoming reality show. Photo / Doug Sherring

I'm disappointed in you New Zealand.

You see a poll asking if you want a reality show based around the capers of Sally Ridge and her daughter, and what do you do? You tick the box that says "no thanks".

A pilot has barely been shot and already you want to put the damn thing down like a sickly Pomeranian.

And I thought the Great Kiwi Clobbering Machine was in a rusting heap somewhere out the back of Motat. It seems as if someone has sprayed some CRC on the points and got the bloody thing up and running again.

Online polls are a curse. They draw us in with the promise of empowerment. Most of them may as well say: "Hey loser, want to have a moan? Wanna inflict some negativity on some jumped-up curly-haired celebrity?"

Apparently the poll results were 14,157 votes for "No way!", 1107 for "Maybe - It's gotta be better than The GC, right?" and 873 votes for "Yes - It would be trash-tastic".

For God's sake, let them make the show first, then we can set about the process of tearing it apart like the judgmental hyenas that we are.

It's telling that one of the most viewed items on the Herald Site last week was a story about the same Sally Ridge being filmed making the pilot for the show that no one apparently wants, despite being obsessed about.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Clint Eastwood's wife is also about to launch her own reality show.

Apparently the 81-year-old Clint will feature but won't be the focus of Mrs Eastwood and Company for the E! Channel. (I wonder what he did to deserve this?)

The show will be all about his wife, Dina, daughter Francesca and the band that Dina manages: A South African acapella group called Overtone, thus adding a hybrid X Factor vibe to proceedings.

Apart from making us feel better or worse about our own lives - or both - these shows have other uses.

For the past few years one Kardashian or another has been busily providing material for every comedian and columnist in Christendom, like Snooki and The Osbournes before them.

The GC is providing the same useful service here in New Zealand, and let's hope Sally gets the chance to come to the party as well.

I can see the TV listings already: Episode 4: For the Love of GHD. Sally tries out her new hair-straighteners while SBW gets his first perm.

Of course we've been here before - even before The GC came along. Remember The Family, the TV3 series that ran about 10 years back? It focused on the hilarious antics of the larger than life Rippin whanau.

It was a highly entertaining example of the genre that was best realised by the makers of Sylvania Waters. This seminal soapumentary is still unrivalled, the characters and the lines still etched in the memory banks:

Noeline: "Struth Laurie, one of these days I'll pack me bloody bags, and I'm out of here."
Mick, her hopeless son in law: "Do you put the milk in first, or the tea bag?"

Not that Noeline was entirely happy with how she was portrayed on the show. As she told Australian TV: "The average person didn't see Laurie and I going to work every day - they honestly thought we just stayed home, drank bourbon, smoked cigarettes, went out on our great big huge boat."

Naturally the best bits of the show were when she stayed home, drank bourbon and smoked ciggies.

Meanwhile, and even more sublimely, Michael Apted's 7 Up series has just hit the 56 Up mark. The latest instalment screened in the UK a few days ago and the reviews are glowing.

Every seven years since 1964 Apted has been making the ultimate reality show, a study of 14 British people as they make their way through life. I feel like I actually know these guys - like Jim Hickey and the cast of Coronation Street - because they've been there all my life. And every seven years we get to see them again.

Talk about reality. It's surely one of the truly great achievements in the history of television but I'm betting that if the idea was placed in front of us today, via an online poll, most of us would probably tick the box that said: "Terrible idea - won't last."


Have your say

We aim to have healthy debate. But we won't publish comments that abuse others. View commenting guidelines.

1200 characters left

Sort by
  • Oldest

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n4 at 03 Sep 2014 02:16:36 Processing Time: 483ms