Sunday, 22 January 2012

2012 TV - Whats New?

With a new year comes new attempts at Australian content by the uninspired networks.  Here are a few that have caught my eye...

Tricky Business
Channel Nine describes this family drama as "Warm, funny and moving". So we can safely assume this will follow the same old Aussie obsession of lightweight drama about 'Ordinary People, Everyday Problems'.  I'm already bored.

To add to the awful, the other tradition of recycling washed up hacks is alive and well here. Shane Bourne plays Dad, and as expected, will be dishing out the cliched jokes that weren't funny on Hey Hey its Saturday 20 years ago. Mum is played by the definition of washed up royalty, Debra Byrne. They will be inadequately supported by the obligatory crop of Home and Away and Neighbours rejects.

Tricky Business has thinly disguised itself as a show about a family business, to differentiate itself from the bleeding obvious fact that its a carbon copy of Packed to the Rafters. But all I'm seeing from the previews of Packed to the Rafters, ahem, Tricky Business, is that its about grown up children working out their predicable relationship problems with their eccentric parents. The only tricky business here is how channel 9 have been able to to avoid a lawsuit from channel 7 for stealing their ideas.

Outcome - After a few weeks will go to the "Special Time" of 9.30 to make way for a 2 and a Half Men double episode, never to return. Next step will be the 10.30 death row slot, and after a few weeks it will silently slip away from our screen forever.

Young Talent Time
I guess it had to happen sooner or later. Obviously channel 10 are trying to cash in on the popularity of dancing and performing, a la So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing With the Stars. They are also following the uncreative trend of borrowing from the past. After the abysmal failure of Hey Hey its Saturday, has no one in tv land learnt their lesson?  Lookout for Tina Arena to lose her sh*t, push the kids off stage, belt out a Sorrento Moon, exclaim "I used to be amazing", and then run off sobbing. Here are four reasons why this will fail:

  1. Three years too late. If SYTYCD has been axed for a while, what hope do dancing children have. We're over dancing.
  2. The audience are a lot more mature than in the YTT heydays of the 1980s. The popularity of SYTYCD and DWTS has upped the ante.  People appreciate and expect great, semi professional dancing. Kids shuffling about on stage with fake smiles, real tears and snot noses just wont cut it.
  3. This show will have undertones of child beauty pageants, crazy mums and dodgy old men who shouldn't be near kids. It WILL get disturbing and awkward.
  4. Millsy.

The shirt, the hair, the shady smirk. Already disturbing.

Outcome - Blink and you'll miss it, doomed from the start. Don't expect to see the next Danni any time soon.

Celebrity Apprentice
This was a bit of an unexpected hit in 2011. 2012 will be even bigger because of one man. Hasselhoff. No doubt he'll start some kind of controversy, and it will be definitely worth watching.  I still think its funny that the Aussie version of this show has the Wizard Home Loans guy as the boss - not quite the Donald!

But aside from the Hoff, this show will have the D grade celebs who have contracts with channel nine, but not enough talent to be put on a real show. My other predictions are:
  • The anticipated return of Wilbur Wild
  • Some random young 'model' with a misspelled name like Byankah who is the next Jen Hawkins because she is Miss Moonee Ponds.
  • A reality tv 'celeb' who nine has poached but has nowhere else to put them
  • Some old Footy Show panelist Larrikan like Nathan Brown
  • As its an Olympic year, and Nine have the Olympics, the cross promotional possibilities will no doubt see a washed up Olympian.  Welcome to the Apprentice, Tamsyn Lewis.
  • One of those lame Good News Week comedians who lost their contract with channel 10.

UPDATE: Being behind the times, the celebs are already named. I proud to say that a few predictions weren't far off!

7 out of 12? You're hired!

David Hasselhoff - Already knew
Jason Akermanis - Yep, Footy Show panelist
Ian “Dicko” Dickson - Nope
Nathan Jolliffe - Who?
Ben Dark - Who?
Vince Sorrenti - Yep, Good News Week reject
Patti Newton - Yep, no talent with channel 9 contract
Charlotte Dawson - Yep, no talent with channel 9 contract
Marion Grasby - Yep, reality tv celeb poached from other channel
Lauryn Eagle - Yep, I assume shes the 'model' misspelled name and all
Fiona O’Loughlin - Yep, Good News Week reject
Tania Zaetta - Nope, gutted I missed this one!!

Outcome - Don't hassle the Hoff. 2011 did well, 2012 will do better.

The Block
Boring boring boring. I can't stand this show. Full of cashed up bogans and cliches. Who can stand watching these whiny, self-obsessed couples with their bogan nicknames? Polly & Wally, Bazza & Shazza, Chooka & Dogga. Its just terrible.

And then there is the obligatory back story of misfortune to make viewers feel connected.  Surely there won't be a dry eye in Australia when 2012 contestants Flozza & Jay-Mee tell that the tragic death of old age of their Great Aunt's second cousin in 1999 was the inspiration for going on a reality to show renovate a house they will never live in. "Its what Agnus would have wanted us to do. We just miss her so much".

Urrrgh. It wasn't worth it.

I live right near the houses of the 2011 Block in Richmond, and they're rubbish.  The have no off-street parking and face a dodgy shopping centre which will soon turn in 100's of apartments and hopefully some good coffee shops and restaurants. As I drive past on my way to my secure car park, I can't help but laugh at the fact that all the houses have a garish Channel 9 symbol plastered in the front of the houses.  All I can say is thank God the block isn't in Richmond this year.

Outcome - There are no winners with this show

Excess Baggage

A blatant but unapologetic rip-off of The Biggest Loser. Celebrity reality is always a winner in Aus, but I'm not sure about this one. Using D grade celebs here could work well, as they may be humbled in to potential likability by their quest for self improvement. Dipper will do well, as he's a genuine good guy, and Ajay should do ok too. Not sure where Kevin Federline fits in though! That photographer guy will win no fans. And Kate Cebrano as host? Umm, wouldn't she be better off as a contestant?

Outcome - 50-50 may work but probably won't. Go Dipper!

Update 8 Feb: Gooooone. Off to the doldrums of channel Go!

Speaking of the fatties, an interesting footnote is that the Biggest Loser this year will have fat singles, and a few of them will hook up! Not sure if this is healthy or not!

Ready for this?

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