TV Eye: A matter of maturity

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Betty White, pretty in pink, co-stars in 'Hot in Cleveland.' Photo / Supplied
Betty White, pretty in pink, co-stars in 'Hot in Cleveland.' Photo / Supplied

One good thing about the RWC having finally kicked off (you see, it's not hard to master this rugby lingo), I won't have to suffer again through being told, three times, during one 3 News bulletin, that there was only one more sleep to go.

One more time of being told that there was only one more sleep to go and there would have been one brick through one television screen. There might have been a tantrum.

If I was a three-year-old.

And if I was a three-year-old, I'd watch television made for three-year-olds. Perhaps that is 3 News' target audience: the terrible threes.

I did wonder who the target audience for New Zealand's Next Top Model was. And with one sleep to go (you see how catchy this silly baby talk is?) didn't that silly story about Rosanagh in nearish proximity to what may or may not have been a bit of grass provide 3 News with a really top story? No.

It provided TV3 with a really top promo for the final.

At least I now know that the girls on New Zealand's Next Top Model are supposed to be role models. So this means that a bunch of girls with all the charisma of stoners are role models. Terrific.

Three-year-olds may well enjoy this sort of stuff. I'm far too old and grumpy and getting grumpier by the sleep.

They probably made Hot in Cleveland (Tuesdays, TV2) for women of a certain age which would, I suppose, be women like me.

It involves three women, best friends (forever, probably) in their disappointed 40s - Melanie, an about-to-be divorcee who has written a book: 200 Things Every Woman Should Do Before She Dies; Victoria, a fading soap actress whose daytime series has been cancelled; and Joy, a bitter eyebrow artist (yes really: they all live in LA) who is sort of famous for Oprah's eyebrow arch.

They are on a plane bound for Paris (number 122 on the list of things every woman should do...)

Two things happen on the way to Paris. The first is that Melanie's ex-husband, Anders, is on the plane.

"Anders is on the plane!" says Melanie.

"Your husband, Anders?" says one of the BFFs.

Now, it may well be that in America every second bloke is called Anders but this did seem a bit like padding.

Melanie has a little fantasy: she and Anders would get together again in Paris. She's been watching Sleepless in Seattle again, but she's got it down to once a month.

"Romantic comedies," said Joy, "are like cellulite cures. Every one of them is a lie."

Anders is going to Paris with his fiance.

"She's so young!" wails Melanie. "She's half my age."

"No, darling. That," said Victoria, "isn't young."

"My fake age!" wails Melanie.

"Oh my God, that is young!" shrieked Victoria.

We hadn't even got to the emergency landing in Cleveland, which is the second thing that happens on the way to Paris, and I was ready to push whatever button releases that emergency chute thing which guarantees instant death - but at least gets you away from really bad jokes.

What happens in Cleveland is that the ladies who are invisible in LA, are ogled in Cleveland - by actual men.

The ladies are so encouraged by this that they order, gasp, fried food and alcoholic drinks. Faint away right now if you like.

Melanie bonks a plumber (married but what the hell) and decides to stay on in Cleveland where the men don't mind cellulite and the real estate is cheap.

The house she rents comes with a caretaker: a cranky old bag in a pink sweatsuit, a character valiantly played by Betty White who is so old she must be great in any character role, even if it involves wearing pink sweatsuits.

This is supposed to be nostalgia television. But nostalgia is made of the stuff we already know, and hanker for again. We're allowed to like naff stuff if it's old naff stuff and so part of our telly-watching past.

Hot in Cleveland is so far just naff and Betty White in a pink sweatsuit is just a cranky old bag on the television. And I can channel a cranky old bag at home, thanks very much.

Now, how many sleeps to go until the RWC is over?

- TimeOut

- NZ Herald

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