Wednesday, 18 January 2012

No Winners Here, Just Losers

Following the long tradition of bland, lightweight Aussie drama, comes "Winners and Losers".

This show is about four sassy 20-something gal pal bff's and their mundane suburban lives. It follows the same tired and unimaginative Aussie drama script of ordinary people and their everyday problems.  In Aussie drama land, there really is no getting away from the standard plots - someone has relationship problems, someone's mum gets sick, someone's trouble making brother shows up, someone's friend drinks too much, blah blah, YAWN!  They certainly have the loser part of the title covered!

But what of the Winners??  The whole premise of this show was that the characters were supposed to win a lotto that would change their lives.  But alas, this was too much of a stretch for the scriptwriters, and they went back to their vanilla flavoured comfort zone of ordinary people, everyday problems.  So instead of making a show about friends who win a stack of cash and crash their Lamborghini into a police station while high on coke, they make a show about friends who win a stack of cash and.... put it in the bank.  Surely the writers could have been brave and attempted something new?  It could have been a good concept, but in the end there are no winners here, least of all the suckers that watched this show hoping for something fresh.

"So who got the job on Packed to the Rafters?"

And so Winners and Losers starts with a high school reunion.  Every high school reunion has those bitter losers who show up trying to outdo and impress everyone else that they've held a grudge against for 10 years.

"How am I doing? Well I drove here in a BMW, how do you think I'm doing?"

"I'll laugh it off, but my wife and mum
are gonna be so angry when I get home"
In W&L, our four bff's ARE those bitter grudge-holding losers who no one remembers from high school or beyond. If you haven't moved on from high school in 10 years, not having a hunky boyfriend is the least of your problems!

There is one curious thing about this show.  Every time a phone rings (and its several times each episode), the ringing phone is filmed for a minute and the volume is bumped up so that we know its an iPhone ringing.  Its Bizarre!  I’m not sure whether they’re going for the "wow, they have iPhones, sooo cool" angle, or the "omg, they have an iPhone on the show, I have an iPhone… this show is sooo me" angle.  Either way its lame.  And don't get me started on the Facebook references.

Another thing is the successful business exec character. I love seeing her at work, in a supposedly high-end flashy office in the Melbourne CBD.  However, she works in a small company which has just a few staff.  Just a hint to the writers, companies with five employees don't rent 30th floor city offices.  Either the business exec bff works in a large corporate or she doesn't, trying to have it both just looks stupid.  Also, people's friends and family don't just show up at people's desks! There is not a building in Melbourne that doesn't require security passes!  Clearly the writers have never set foot in an office environment, and have not bothered to do even basic research.

But worst of all is the is the over the top gay assistant.  Full of forced camp one liners and cliched gay stereotypes, it seems this character's only purpose on the show is so that they can say that they have a gay character.  The actor is way out of his depth, and he’s not able to convince himself of his character, let alone the audience. On numerous occasions, he almost breaks character to remind us that, “Yes Australia, Winners and Losers has a GAY character, we are that progressive”.

The worst thing about this twat of a character is that he is a blatant rip off of one of my all time favorite tv characters, Marc from Ugly Betty.  The difference is that Marc's character is likeable, consistent and funny.  Team Marc up with Amanda and you have pure gold! (Like This - Mark & Amanda give Betty some advice on love).

"Marc, that bad Australian actor has stolen your identity" 

Marc is everything that the W&L actor wishes he was, and its evident that he has been closely studying Marc's character, but with no success.  Of course, it could just be that Marc is played by a fantastic actor, whereas the W&Ls actor is a try-hard hack.

So even though this show is supposed to be about everyday life, it ends up as a convoy of cliches about what the writers think everyday life is. The lightweight stories and interactions are so contrived and cliched, that its almost like children have written them in a school project about what it would be like to be when they are grown up.

Surely things cant get any worse...

...Oh wait, yes they can! Rob Mills was a guest star on Winners and Losers!

I'm Millsy!


Xavier said...

Cant wait for Young Talent Time to hit the screens. I'd like to hear your thoughts about Australian, World, Universe premiers that we can't afford to miss.

dave said...

check out my latest post!

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