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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.

skye-ladyAs 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.

35_starsAussie Ladette to Lady premieres 9:30pm Monday and continues Tuesday on Nine.

31 Responses

  1. I agree with Sharpy – thoroughly entertaining! I think the challenge for all the contestants of this show is how they use the time and profile gained. We looked after 6 years of Big Brother contestants and it really came down to the individual. Who was prepared to work hard and were not sitting back waiting for the fame and fortune. Around 2 or 3 per series were actually prepared to work at something and create a business for themselves. In a depressed media market, flooded with high profile talent who are not woking, reality stars will have a tough ride if they expect to “make it”. I hope to see a few miraculous transformations. I would also suggest redirecting their energy to help other girls of a similar background who are trapped in their own glass cage of booze, sex and dangerous behviour.

  2. I am curious about the demographic thing – is this really something under 30’s watch? The only people in my office who talk about it are the over 40’s who like to tut tut the young women and who clearly empathise with the hosts. Of the dozen or so under 30’s none of them are interested. A couple of them fit the definition of ladette but either don’t see themselves that way or don’t see anything wrong in their behaviour that would warrant travelling to the other side of the world to fix.

    For the record I’m 40 and can’t stomach the show but I am curious about who really is the target audience

  3. That woman’s pose in the image at the top of the story pretty much sums up what I think of the show, an insult to intelligent thinking people, just the sort of series nine should be airing

  4. Ramsay definitely more appealing to women. Wonder who would have thought otherwise? Isn’t that obvious? Generally speaking, guys are less into the idea of restaurents, cooking, etc. than woman are.

    Nine may have more information at their hand to “know” more, but this doesn’t seem to help their programming at all. They’ll win this week thanks to cricket and Underbelly, but watch what happens from next week on.

  5. Oh and neil you could be right but the main demos for particular shows could be far different to what we think & Nine would have access to all this detailed info. For eg I recall people saying the main audience for Ramsay’s KN were young men. Sounds logical right? Not right though the main audience for KN was wealthy middle aged women. Go figure!

    The point is Nine know far more then any of the keyboard programmers here.

  6. No guarantee it will win the 18-49 demo with Dexter being screened right against it. Dexter will almost surely soak up most of the younger-male demo who view Underbelly, whislt DH’s audience will more than likely flow into B&S on Seven

    Underbelly is the worst possibly lead in ever – here we have Underbelly, a series mainly viewed by men of both older & younger demo’s, running into a series that’s surely to be dominated by younger woman – what a terrible match!
    As bad an idea as having Cashmere Mafia following Underbelly last season…

    Nine may boast about the numbers it will receive next week (where the show will lose at least 1mil from UB), but they would want to hope for something decent with the amount they’ve spent on advertising for this series

  7. I have seen the first few eps and this show is clearly made from a British point of view. Have you ever heard an Australian talk about a “Ladette” before the UK version of the show aired?

    Meanwhile, pantomime is exactly the word – everyone here is playing it up to full effect; the girls with their behaviour and the “ladies” with their horror. (Which I secretly loved)

  8. Andrew..I can see your point about lead ins but we’ll just have to wait and see how it goes. Even if it gets 1m it’s likely to win the under 50 demos comfortably.

    I’m sure a lot will turn off or over but the competition is so dire i see LTL doing reasonably well. If there was something else at the same time other then an ordinary serial and a show too smart for the masses I’d agree.

  9. Koverstreet – disagree completely with you.

    Underbelly and Ladette so different, that at 9.35 or so when Underbelly finishes, you’ll see 9’s viewing audience drop from over 2 mil to under 1 mil. It won’t even lead under 40’s. Maybe 18-25’s if you”re lucky.

    Ch 9 have no idea about lead ins. There’s some good ideas of how 9 should be programmed in the TV Lounge thread (along the lines of having trashy shows on the one night, etc).

  10. Flash brown eyes? lol classy gals!

    Sounds like fun guilty pleasure tv and a smart scheduling move by 9. It has the huge Underbelly lead in + it has almost zero serious competition. should rate around 1.2m and dominate the under 40 demos.

  11. i loved the UK version of this show and will definately be watching this. it’s the only one of 9’s trash shows that i enjoy.

    David do you know how many episodes there are. the UK version usually only have only around 8-10 eps and if 9 are doing 2 in a week i doubt their season would be that short.

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