Next week Durie competes head-on with himself in a curious piece of Aussie network scheduling. Nine, which dropped his programme Backyard Blitz claiming the gardening genre had been exhausted, has been somewhat-embarrasingly attracting good figures for their unscreened episodes dusted off their shelves.
Seven, which was happy to snap up Durie, offers an alternative point of view, and a potentially fresh take on the genre via Australia’s Best Backyards. (Nine is cheekily calling BB “Australia’s best backyards” in its own promos).
The two viewpoints couldn’t be more opposed. So who is on the money here?
After a look at Australia’s Best Backyards I’d have to say Seven….
This thirty minute magazine-style show is effortlessly easy viewing.
Viewers get the chance to snoop into lush and varied properties, both suburb and and rural, with the same vouyerism that attracts an auction down your street. It’s a no-fuss peek around a block with three gardening presenters on hand to illustrate and educate us on the flora. In this sense it really doesn’t see the need to reinvent the wheel which has long been in place on host of other gardening and lifestyle shows.
Each week one garden is selected as the night’s best to compete for a series title as “Australia’s best”, which serves neatly as a throughline.
Durie bookends the show with relaxed ease. He only appears in one location sequence (which probably fits into his Oprah-style schedule) and two co-presenters do two more.
The use of music and in particular, the computer-generated modellings of each garden, work well.
I’m not a regular viewer of this genre either, but I do feel I’d seen enough of down-and-out families having sandpits and pergolas thrown up in their backyards in record time on Nine.
In contrast it’s easy to partake of a finished product and admire its achievements. Should fit well in a family-friendly Sunday slot.
Australia’s Best Backyards premieres 6:30pm Sunday July 29 on Seven.