TV review: No sick joke, this motherhood

By Michele Hewitson

There is something rather sweet about the new, real Jaquie Brown. Photo / Supplied.
There is something rather sweet about the new, real Jaquie Brown. Photo / Supplied.

Jaquie Brown used to be silly and funny - and fond of appallingly sick jokes. Then she was sillier and perhaps not quite as funny.

Well, I didn't love the second series of the Jaquie Brown Diaries as much as I did the first; it got over-ambitious and over-plotted, which on reflection may have been the gag - it was like the fictional Jaquie, the over-ambitious top light entertainment reporter whose life became increasingly over-plotted, or plain bonkers.

What does a clever, funny girl do after that? The real Jaquie Brown had a baby. The fictional Jaquie Brown would have had a baby and sold it to the women's mags, and then left it at a nightclub.

But that would have been silly - and a bit funny. Now that the real Jaquie Brown is a mum doesn't, of course, mean that she can't still be silly and/or funny.

But it's a serious business this being a mum, although people seem to have been doing it with various degrees of advice and/or interference for a few years now.

So she doesn't offer any.

But there is still learning, of a sort. A mum fact learned from her new show, Keep Calm and Carry On (I didn't know having a baby was the equivalent of living through the blitz, but I knew there was a good reason not to have one): Pregnant ladies in the olden days were advised by no doubt stern Plunket ladies to have a good old go at their nipples with a stern hand and a hard toothbrush. This was to aid the production of milk. Jaquie's nipples went all "introverted" hearing of this. It was an interesting enough thought but I was glad we didn't have to see them being introverted.

Heavens. Has whacky Jaquie become introverted? Or is she just very tired? There is an odd tone to Keep Calm and Carry On (Wednesdays, 8pm, TV One); one that I found both soothing and a bit irritating. It's the equivalent of a lullaby: soothing when you're a baby; not so soothing when you're not. Perhaps that's because this wasn't made for me.

Who is it for? Women with newborn babies, presumably. I'm making an assumption that blokes, even those with newborns, might not be as interested in nipple stories and looking at Brown's post-baby body, but how would I know?

There was a promise of the viewing of this body: "after the break ..." She didn't say which break. We did see bits of the body. Brave or whacky? Up to you. We heard about the pelvic floor: The most important part of the female "joonk". I actually have no idea how to phonetically reproduce Jaquie's "joonk", but we got the idea.

There was a baby whisperer. We learnt that there are different baby personalities: the nosy baby, the dream baby, the sensitive baby. We were shown how to "shunt" a crying baby, which could come in handy, even for baby-less people like me, in restaurants, or on planes, say. Although shouting "shunt that baby up" might not go down particularly well in restaurants, or on planes.

We didn't see much of Brown's actual baby. And there is, presumably, a father of said baby, who is so far entirely unseen. This is entirely understandable. If your wife was bravely or whackily showing off her back fat to complete strangers and talking about her introverted nipples, you might care to be out of the room too.

What will the baby think of it when he grows up? He might be glad that his mother wasn't that other, fictional, Jaquie Brown, the one who could well have left him in a nightclub.

He might even be rather moved to learn that he had just been born and already his mother was wondering what he'd be and who would love him and just how to "grow a Kiwi".

Because there is something rather sweet about the new, real Jaquie Brown. That I preferred the fictional one just means that I like really sick jokes more than I do babies.

- TimeOut

- NZ Herald

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