BossBabes (TVNZ On Demand)
I want to give social media influencers the benefit of the doubt. It's not as easy as it looks to take nice pictures, do all the right snazzy filters and think up funny or inspirational captions, I know. If you can do that every day and make money off it, even turn it into a successful business, well you must be doing something right.
But if there's any special genius lurking behind the social media presences of the two Kiwi influencers in the new TVNZ On Demand docuseries BossBabes, it's well hidden in the first episode. This is a half hour of television so punishingly vapid it makes Real Housewives of Auckland look like Tea With the Dames and the Kardashians seem like Nobel Prize candidates.
The series follows the lives of successful young "online entrepreneurs" and BFFs Iyia Liu and Edna Swart as they juggle a life of partying with the pressures of running their own businesses. In the first episode Edna is helping the "freshly single" Iyia throw a housewarming at her expensive country mansion. "We just wanted it to be like, everyone should wear white," Iyia explains.
Yes, there's a grazing table. There's also a troupe of samba dancers who look like they've come straight from the carnival in Rio, there "to look really cool when everybody does [Instagram] stories."
"How much is [this party] costing you?" Edna asks. "Maybe like twenny [$20,000]," Iyia estimates. "It is an investment I guess," Edna reasons, "because what if you find the man of your dreams there? The ROI [return on investment] is massive." They're babes, they're bosses, they're BossBabes.
The party is attended by every identical-looking young socialite in Auckland, including – controversially – both Max Key and his ex-girlfriend, Amelia Finlayson.
"Are you gonna say hi to Max?" a girl asks Amelia. "No way girl, are you serious?" Amelia replies.
A scheme Edna dubs "Operation Find Iyia a Husband" culminates in a one-on-one with the enviably self-confident Jordan. "So, you're single," he deduces after a few minutes of inscrutable banter. "I reckon we change that."
"I reckon me, you, yum yum sauce, a bit of teppanyaki, a bit of daikoku, Tuesday night... We should hit that. Big time. Chopsticks not forks, you know?"
Gordon Ramsay's daughter serves up kitchen nightmare
Taylor Schilling on Orange is the New Black and breaking out
Reality star tells all: 'You'd be better off going to prison'
"Okay," Iyia replies.
Sometimes when you're writing about television, a character will gift you a line that neatly sums up the whole show. Here's Iyia, narrating her date with Jordan: "I'm trying to understand and I just can't understand what's going on."
A recent Instagram post suggests that not only are Iyia and Jordan now a couple but that they're expecting a baby. The ultimate ROI, in a way.
And that's not the only metric by which the party was a success. "I posted this photo from it that got really good engagement," Iyia reports at brunch the next morning, before inviting her best friends to Sydney next weekend for her Brazilian butt lift.