Welcome to an hour of your life you will never get back.
Sydney’s Crazy Rich Asians makes The Real Housewives of Melbourne look like the Best Documentary at the Oscars.
The first in 10’s 2019 Pilot Week is a dud, a trumped-up advertorial for a luxury travel & events company and its founder, Karim Gharbi. It isn’t clear if he is Asian but he has wealthy Asian clients, several of whom we meet in this Screentime reality show.
Clearly subscribing to the genre of wealthy, Insta brats feigning drama for the cameras, this is thankfully narrated by Lee Lin Chin. That’s pretty much where the good news ends.
Amongst the clients are ‘Southeby’s Auctions mogul’ Lulu, ‘charity princess’ (I have no idea what that means either) Crystal, and ‘international beauty queen’ Emily. Showing a clear lack of storytelling, there’s no attempt at endearing us to these unknown women. I could care less about them, nor the bloke constantly telling me how stressed he is in trying to meet their whims.
Over the course of the hour we watch them get zapped with a Vitamin intravenous drip, go on a date at Bennelong restaurant, get swimming lessons from a hunk at Hotel Intercontinental Double Bay, and meet ‘Chinese Yacht King’ Jeffery who wants a boat party on the harbour, pronto.
These serve as loose, unrelated fodder which are nothing more than colour and movement.
The central event is a fashion / dog show fundraiser for Sydney Dogs & Cats Shelter. It has to be said the scene visiting the shelter is horrific with a whimpering, shaking dog clearly in distress. While Crystal sheds tears and Karim expresses concern, they agree to a fundraiser, but not to address the dog’s immediate crisis.
As event management dramas lurch from one disaster to another (model won’t wear dress, red carpet has stains… you get the drift), Karim is constantly on his phone or instructing his young assistant Jenny to problem solve, which she does with more humility than anyone else we meet. As a result I found her to have the more interesting story, afforded fleeting screen time.
Having endured this TV hour (seriously, an hour!) the fashion show didn’t even tell us how much was raised for the dog’s home -and certainly not how much they took out for expenses and fees.
Based on the rip-off title I thought I was going to get some insight into various cultures living it up in Sydney (Chinese, South Korean, Thai, Japanese, Malaysian etc).
Instead I watched an advertorial for somebody running an events company manufacturing conflict land hogging the camera time. Was this show commissioned or handed over for free?
If Pilot Week is to test our interest in a full series, my vote is Dear God No.
Sydney’s Crazy Rich Asians airs 9pm Sunday September 8 on 10.