Here’s the burning question everybody wants to know: will you see anything in The Real Full Monty?
I have no idea.
Seven in their wisdom, after having me sit through nearly 90 minutes of rehearsal footage, decided to end the preview before the final performance. Whoever made that decision needs to think better about the experience it leaves and have more faith in reviewers who will avoid spoiling.
When this special was announced at Seven’s Upfronts it struck me as one of the more fun ideas on offer: a bunch of stars getting their kit off for a good cause. But the execution outstays its welcome, in what could have worked a treat as a tight special.
Based on a UK format (itself based on the 1997 feelgood movie), this was filmed before a Live crowd at the Enmore Theatre, Sydney in April. If it’s anything like the stage musical, you’ll see backsides, embarrassed blokes, a wild female crowd and blinding lights timed perfectly for the money shot. I suspect only eagle-eyed theatre patrons see the goods, depending on where they were sitting.
But it is all for a good cause, awareness of Prostate Cancer. TV can be very powerful at hitting middle Australia with a message they are often tone-deaf to hearing.
Shane Jacobson leads the story here, roping in celebrity mates (ok we’ll overlook the casting was done in advance) such as Sunrise weatherman Sam Mac, model Kris Smith, radio’s Brendan ‘Jonesy’ Jones, and AFL commentator Brian Taylor.
Most of the very nervous blokes have all had relatives or friends touched by cancer and men’s health issues. Along with ironman Jett Kenny, sports champs Matt Cooper & Campbell Brown, everyone agrees that the mountain of stripping in public is no hill to climb compared to actually facing cancer.
Todd McKenney serves as choreographer and motivator to the cause, guiding 8 nervous nellies through the rehearsal process and reminding them that everyone will be “cheering your pants off.”
Cameras follow early dance moves, costume fittings, and even a kind of supermarket flash-mob performance to break the ice.
Hearing one young man’s battle with testicular cancer was particularly stark and hopefully resonates with the audience (more women than men may be watching, but maybe they can push for check-ups). “Statistically we should absolutely save lives,” Jacobson reminds us, merely by being in primetime viewing.
However any buzz for a cheeky, theatrical idea is dissipated by taking far too long to arrive at the big night -it will be 2 hours on air and that requires more drama than what is served up. The title may also be a misnomer if viewers are under the belief they will see stars going full frontal on air.
So whilst this is a great cause, and it looks like a hoot to have been in the audience, far too much time is given to man-shimmys, G-strings & spray tans than the one-night-only performance.
The Real Full Monty airs 7pm Sunday on Seven.