EXCLUSIVE: In the final Programmer’s Wrap for 2021, TV Tonight asks “TV’s meanest critic” Rudi Vanderstone (aka Triple M’s Lawrence Mooney) to cast his eye over the year ahead. But it’s a brutal assessment…. no network gets off lightly.
Read with caution, a Dutch accent and a swig of Advocaat.
Not much on TV in 2021 gets Rudi Vanderstone excited. Least of all that so-called TV blockbuster, Bluey.
“When somebody can make a popular cartoon about a dangerous breed and have it ironically become the most popular children’s TV show in Australia I take my hat off to them,” he begins.
“But the show is inaccurate. The dad never licks his balls, bites his wife on the neck or drags his arse across the carpet.”
And TV 2021 is all downhill from there according to Rudi… in fact, he is still recovering from summer TV.
“I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here made me want to pour boiling water over my head solely because of Grant Denyer.”
Don’t expect TV’s newest hit, Holey Moley to make him change his tune.
“If I wanted to watch losers play mini-golf I could go to any seaside carnival in Australia.
“So it’s come to this …watching mini-golf but with a flame thrower. Please end me with a giant sausage.”
He isn’t even looking forward to Seven’s follow-up, Ultimate Tag.
“This stinks so badly it’s an absolute must. Seven are going from mini golf to chasey. Has somebody sustained a head injury at Seven? What next: international finger painting or musical chairs?”
But don’t think Married at First Sight fares any better. According to Rudi, it’s a show peppered with “more real estate agents and hairdressers torturing each other under the auspices of alcohol. What’s not to love?”
Even Andy Lee is an instant fail for turning to game shows, with 10’s The Cube.
“Absolutely …who wants to miss Andy Lee without Hamish? I cannot wait. It’s a car crash,” he insists.
Sorry Kate Jenkinson, Rudi won’t even bother with Nine’s upcoming drama, Amazing Grace.
“If I’m going to watch a happily ever after story I’ll do it on ACA where two workmates from a chicken factory have worked together for 30 years and happen to be brothers from war-torn Bosnia. No soundtrack required.”
Other reality shows also come in for a Rudi-drubbing, including 10 favourite, MasterChef Australia.
“If none of these presenters are underpaying people in their hospitality empire, I’m not interested. I prefer to watch Nigella coo about stewed fruit.”
Farmer Wants a Wife should also be retitled.
“This show is a lie. Farmer doesn’t want a wife. He wants a tractor, a government handout, super phosphate rebates and to be left alone. What farmer wants is a cook, that’s what they should call the show.”
But he is at least pleased to see Boy George cut from The Voice coaching.
“Whenever I see Boy George I think he falsely imprisoned somebody by hand-cuffing them to a pipe in his home and then assaulting them. And now he’s on a talent show. They should have a talent show with all convicted criminals as the judges.”
While Rudi described Love Island as “filthy neck-tattooed bogans procreating,” he has a long memory when it comes to Big Brother.
“You have to give it one watch just to see how desperately they’ve tried to make it Survivor or I’m A Celebrity. The days of the bum dance and turkey slaps are long gone. Now it’s vile influencers flexing. I hope the house burns down AGAIN.
“Kruger though is a delight,” he adds.
I ask who Rudi would prefer to see cast on The Bachelor (“Don Burke”), The Bachelorette (“Sandra Sully”), The Masked Singer (“Jacinda Ardern”) and SAS Australia: “I’d like to see Barnaby Joyce thrown out of a helicopter, into bushland.”
Meanwhile he doesn’t see a bright year for many of TV’s favourite personalities.
“Sam Armytage deserves a lifetime achievement award for forcing laughter at Kochie’s jokes. She’s a kind woman, she’s marrying a pensioner. He took three days to get up after proposing,” he quips.
“I’m sure Osher will impart yogi zen wisdom whilst torturing people on reality TV this year. And Scott Cam, Australia’s richest tradie, finds it hard to hide his disdain for humanity. I love him.
“But Lisa Wilkinson is the classiest bird on Aussie television. Intelligent, stylish and her burden is having to be interested in Tommy Little.”
Ouch. Not even the ABC is safe from Rudi’s barbs. Vanderstone is no fan of Charlie Pickering.
“Are you f***ing kidding? I prefer Seth Meyers or John Oliver, original funny men,” he insists.
“And Hamish Macdonald is so excited to be on the ABC it’s like watching somebody in a fever dream. Q+A is done. Nobody wants to watch idiots arguing. I think Paul Keating put it best when he said the only way he’d go on that show is with a can of mace. Amen.”
I ask if he feels the ABC is biased? You better believe it.
“Is Vladimir Putin biased? Mind you for all their BS about diversity and equality let’s sample the diversity. Charlie Pickering, Adam Hills, Hamish Macdonald, Shaun Micallef, Tom Gleeson, Leigh Sales, Sarah Ferguson, Annabelle Crabb, Julie Baird. It’s whiter than Antarctica.”
Not even Foxtel (“I smashed my Foxtel box years ago”) nor SBS find favour in 2021.
“There’s more chance of me watching The Sunday Project than ever switching on this dross,” he declares.
But finally, Rudi gets the last word, teasing his very own annual awards, named after the inventor of television, John Logie Baird.
“The Brown Baird!” he grins.
Pray you’re not nominated.
Moonman in the Morning airs 6-9am weekday on Sydney’s 104.9 Triple M.