Dita De Boni 's Opinion

Business columnist, with a political twist, for NZ Herald

Keeping Mum: Nesting in with the Ridges

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Jaime and Sally Ridge. Photo / Supplied
Jaime and Sally Ridge. Photo / Supplied

Two women, mother and daughter, both of whom believe themselves to be "foxymorons", both sets decked out in 80s-inspired get-ups complete with big hair.

Not Kath and Kim, but New Zealand's very own Kardashian knock-offs, the Ridges.

If the intention of Jaime and Sally is to be self-deprecating, kind of like a parody, they've certainly achieved that with what we've seen so far - and I think we should give them a break.

After all, the statistics bear out the fact we love reality TV, and there's no reason to believe their show will be any less entertaining than other reality TV series on the box.

There's another parallel to Kath and Kim in the promised storyline to the Ridges' show, and that is the incredibly close relationship between mother and daughter, with a father figure who is almost entirely absent. (Matthew actually crosses the road to avoid his daughter and ex-wife and their legion of cameras in another promo for the series).

Admittedly Kim takes this to an extreme in the Aussie show, staying with her frustrated mother long after she's given birth to her daughter.

But in the case of the Ridges, not only is Jaime seemingly unwilling to leave the nest, she and her mother seem to be best friends, partners in crime, bosom buddies.

But is it a good idea having your mother tag along as you visit bars, your famous boyfriend, parties and other youthful events?

Perhaps Sally is doing what she couldn't do herself in her twenties, when she was too busy having lovely-looking babies with that other foxymoron, Matthew Ridge.

Apart from a desire to share and bare all, another modern trend underlying the Ridges' programme is a tendency to idolise our children, to write endless screeds about them on Facebook, ear-bash all and sundry about their achievements, and boast about them endlessly (Sally Ridge has been doing this for a while now in the women's mags).

It's fine for friends and families and other interested parties, but it can be over the top. And some have had enough.

Witness the "unbaby me" browser plug-in, which replaces your friends' kids on your Facebook news feed with other "awesome stuff" like fruit and vegetables and cats. Tempting, even for those of us in the thick of kid craziness.

Putting your child forward for a reality show is really just an extension of this desire to promote your child's brilliance to the world - with fame as a platform to fortune. But even if fame is relatively easy to come by in New Zealand, fortune is not.

Hopefully, at least, the Ridges are getting paid enough of a 'fortune' to make the inevitable criticisms and loss of privacy worthwhile.

And maybe pay for Jaime to - one day - get a pad of her own.

Dita De Boni

Business columnist, with a political twist, for NZ Herald

Dita De Boni is a columnist, commentator and TV producer/journalist. She first wrote columns for the NZ Herald in 1995, moving to daily business news in 1999 for four years, and then to TVNZ in Business, News and Current Affairs. After tiring of the parenting/blogging beat for the Herald Online she moved back to her first love, business (with a politics chaser), writing a column for Friday Business since 2012.

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