Aussie Ladette to Lady
Sending our worst back to the Mother Land might have passed for convict payback if only we weren't so wise to the constructs of 'reality' television.
As Nine continues to skew younger and younger to advertising friendly demographics it has been stocking up on racy shows: Kitchen Nightmares, Underbelly, Balls of Steel, How to have Sex After Marriage, Secret Diary of a Call Girl and even Adults Only 20 to 1. You could be forgiven for thinking somewhere the ghost of Kerry Packer might be reaching for the phone.
Now it’s got a local version of ITV’s Ladette to Lady.
“In Australia there’s a new kind of woman emerging,” says a British narrator. “Loud, vulgar, drunken and dangerous. They’re called Ladettes.”
Well them’s fightin’ words right there. While you could easily debate whether there is indeed any new Aussie woman emerging, you would be hard pressed to find anyone in our nation who bothers to call them “Ladettes.” You sure you’re not confusing them with your own kind, Mr. Narrator?
The premise here is pretty simple. 8 of our worst meet 2 of their best. It’s The Girls of St Trinians meets Supernanny.
The Aussie girls arrive with a bad reputation, having misbehaved on a boozy flight from Dubai to Newcastle. They even made news in a local press for their obnoxious behaviour. This press article is raised when they arrive at Eggleston Hall and face Gill Harbord and Rosemary Shrager.
The brash girls, most of whom were probably too young to compete on Australian Princess, are restless, rude, impatient and insolent. Exactly what was ordered.
Sending our worst back to the Mother Land might have passed for convict payback if only we weren’t so wise to the constructs of ‘reality’ television.
The narrative skims thinly across a scenario of girls acting up for cameras only to be reprimanded by outraged school ma’ams. The ladettes know it, the camera crew know it and the ladies of Eggleston Hall know it. It’s probably closer to British pantomime.
But is there really anything wrong with that if it’s still entertaining?
The girls surely rise to the occasion here. They swear, vomit, abuse, flash brown eyes and that’s just for starters… The casting department have certainly filled the brief. It’s a series devoid of all class (although it purports to be bettering our girls), and with an M classification it will probably attract media chatter. But that never hurt any new series.
Harbord and Shrager are ideal as olde worlde women with an unshakeable faith in traditional values. They too know how to turn it on for the cameras. They drop their jaws on cue and play dumb when necessary (eg. leaving a party that looks under control only to return outraged after it collapses in chaos).
Aussie Ladette to Lady is puerile and phony. And loving it.
Aussie Ladette to Lady premieres 9:30pm Monday and continues Tuesday on Nine.