My 80 Year Old Flatmate

Be warned. There’s a lotta botox in this show, and it’s not just with the millennials.

My 80 Year Old Flatmate is the fourth and final of 10’s Pilot Week offerings, a reality construct from Screentime  -sadly, it’s no improvement on their other pilot, Sydney’s Crazy Rich Asians.

The thin premise suggests that millennials are locked out of the rental market while Australia’s population is ageing. Hey presto, why don’t we just push the two problems together and film the whole darn thing for our merriment?

As a result we get two seniors, John who lives in an expansive waterside house in The Shire, and Christa, a socialite who lives in a Sydney penthouse with skyline views.

Each will interview a range of millennial housemates and trial two, before offering one a ‘permanent’ rent-free residence. I say ‘permanent’ because I don’t personally believe anything lasts longer than the TV shoot, but we’ll get to the credibility matter later.

Housemate interviews are car-crash telly, from the guy who likes dumpster-diving to the girl with 12 cats.

Eventually John settles on 25 year old Talia who openly lies about agreeing to do some gardening in exchange for free rent. Charming. John’s dialogue about house rules (“no bonking”) and reactions (“You told me you could do all this”) all sound like they have been fed by producers.

Christa test-drives “self-proclaimed” diva Stewart, 23, who can’t cope with sharing a bedroom with her 3 chihuahuas but gets a kick out of swapping frocks. Seriously. Watch for lots of inappropriate touching.

A little more sincerity comes with second housemates, Caleb, 20, a musician from the western suburbs who jams with John, and Chipo, an 18 year old African-Australian whose conservative views are tested by producers Christa with her nude portraits and flowing bubbly. She asks Chipo to cook up a meal for her friends, including Justin “Human Ken Doll” Jedlica and his flamboyant pals, who are all quick to judge  her reserved views. If it wasn’t for Caleb and Chipo this hour-long episode would be excruciating instead of just being torturous.

Narrator Sarah Harris (possibly under network orders to voice this dross) tells us the decision on which flatmate each will select will “change both their lives.” But I’m calling bullshit on that.

This has no lasting contribution to either our housing problems, ageing population or entertainment menu. Everything reeks of vacuous constructs badly executed with people seeking insta-fame or reality careers. Compare this to Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds which has a societal benefit and brilliant casting.

I’m all for Pilot Week but not with content wasting everybody’s time and intelligence. Viewers are already time-poor without being expected to make room for a premise devoid of authenticity. Pass.

My 80 Year Old Flatmate airs 8:30pm Friday on 10.


  1. Why would channel 10 allow these desperate people on TV

    she looks like she’s surrounded by botched rejects and needs to be in rehab, so delusional and desperate. Sad very Sad. We need inspiration TV not trash

  2. This woman is better candidate for the show Botched.

    Arent socialites suppose to be known?? or at least involved in philanthropy, special events, galas , any of the above?
    Her messy and over priced art gallery serves $5 champagne to D listers or anyone she can get to attend. This woman isn’t at any important event anywhere. Just a wannabe who obviously pays a publicist to enrol her in any role except the one she most needs Botched!!

  3. What a hilariously shocking showing from 10. There was at least some semblance of ambition in last year’s pilot week (even though that was full of very safe duds too, with almost nothing proceeding to series), but they have already thrown in the towel this year with all of this Arena-style trash.

    Even the only non-atrocious pilot Part Time Private Eyes looks like an off-peak schedule-filler at best; hardly fit for prying viewers away from better, or perhaps more popular programming (and forget competing with the plethora of infinitely superior content available via streaming).

    The most ambitious thing 10 have commissioned this year is arguably that animated spin-off of My Life Is Murder, and that was limited to a series of web shorts. Have 10 not received the memo that audiences are over procedural crime dramas? (look no further than current figures for NCIS and SVU)

  4. I will now be deleting the scheduled recording. My assumption (stupid of me) was that this was more like Old Peoples’ Home for 4 Year olds, with people in their 20’s moving into the homes as a housemate to an elderly person now living on their own who want’s companionship, and may a little support to delay the need to move into a care home. Pilot week is a joke this year.

  5. Wow I’d love to see what compromising photos Screentime must have of Ten executive staff to get this crap on air.
    Sounds like Screentime came up with these stupid ideas after a particularly long lunch.

  6. This seems such a missed opportunity. It had the potential to follow on from the beautiful Old People’s Hone for 4 Year Olds but has instead gone down the full on reality route.

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