And so it begins.

As TV crews capture Sally and Jaime Ridge having lunch on Ponsonby Rd to see if they're interesting enough to helm a reality show, a bunch of 20-something Maori Aussies (aka "Mozzies") are busy sculpting their hair for a night out on The GC (8pm, Wednesdays, TV3).

New Zealand's Got Talent? Nah, apparently it's all on the Gold Coast.

Forget that Master-whatsit cooking show where you actually get to learn something. The GC is designed strictly for entertainment value, only without much entertainment, and not a lot of value.


Although I did discover how to baste human skin with oil. The guys lather themselves in the stuff.

Despite The GC being compared to Jersey Shore, a show in which a group of endearing yet Neanderthal Italian-Americans cause chaos by simply living together, this is more like The Hills, that annoying series in which a bunch of smug young Los Angelenos talk about themselves in contrived situations.

Still, last night's debut episode showed there's potential for things to get better. I mean worse. It was a nose-to-tail, rather than a full-on car crash.

We could complain about rubbish television but it was inevitable someone in New Zealand would try to replicate the massive success of lowest-common-denominator shows like Jersey/Geordie Shore and The Only Way is Essex, another semi-scripted guilty pleasure about an incestuous, working-class friendship group.

Hence, $420,000 of NZ's taxpayer money going to a Julie Christie executive-produced production.

It wouldn't matter so much if they'd actually found any truly memorable (aka hideous) characters. I enjoy laughing at The Situation every now and then.

But where would they find such people? Not New Zealand. Kiwis are embarrassed by anyone willing to risk their dignity purely for fame - not that it appears to bother the Ridge ladies.

So how about following the lives of the most outrageous, glamorous, ambitious and hedonistic of the 130,000 Maori living in Australia? Wouldn't they make for compelling TV?


Maybe. Some of them are good-looking. Personality-wise, Tame, the show's most jumped-up star, has potential. As does "wannabe rapper" Nate, who claims to have pulled 30 hot chicks in under 30 minutes, yet does his hair like Fido Dido.

You can count on the Aussie contingent too. Jessi, Mozzie Jade's "wannabe model" girlfriend, showed another guy her butt in the first episode and speaks like Ja'mie from Summer Heights High.

But so far, what they get up to is about as exciting as watching tattoo ink dry. That's a compliment, because I really wanted them to be totally obnoxious.

Instead, they're mildly narcissistic and occasionally amusing in a nudge-nudge-bro kind of way.

The rigged element explains why Tame has only just met Nate, why the girls have only just met Alby and why, on The GC, no one holds natural conversations.

Jade-Louise sings. Why? Because, she and Nuz are contestants on X Factor, another TV3 show. The others sit side by side for the camera's benefit.

It also explains why Tame's housewarming party was so well lit. Don't most people, even those who think they're really hot, use the dimmer switch when they're trying to score?

Oh well. At the end of last night's episode the girls got home to their apartment to find the boys still out and a bit of broken glass on the floor.

"If you have a mental problem you need to sort it out," Rosie (one of the glamour models) raged into Jade's answerphone, apparently irate about the glass but also well aware a camera was filming her explosion of JWoww righteousness.

"We know you did this."

Except the viewers didn't. Ooh, will we get to find out next week? Or will everyone just go off to work in the morning like nothing happened, then head to the club for shots?

Now I know why they had to set up the drama. There isn't much.

* What did you think of The GC? Post your comments below.