One day in the future, somebody will sit down and write about Australian television in 2012, which may just be the year that dumbed us down for good.
First up, we have Being Lara Bingle, a vapid reality series in which the Sydney model pretends to live in a house she doesn’t really live in and discusses important topics such as dieting, paparazzi and her famous ex-boyfriends. In small doses, it can be a guilty pleasure; anything more and Bingle begins to grate.
Next, Ten inflicts The Shire on us. The first episode of the much-panned ‘‘dramality’’ series almost sent Twitter into meltdown. Comedian Tony Martin summed up the thoughts of many by musing: ‘‘I miss the days of sophisticated shows like Being Lara Bingle.’’
On Monday, Nine has the chance to hit back with its revived, revamped version of Big Brother. The show that, in its eight seasons on Ten, brought us such unforgettable moments as Sara-Marie’s ‘‘bum dance’’ (which led to her releasing a single of the same name – no, I don’t remember it, either) and Turkeygate, the great turkey slap scandal of 2006.
Really, must we go through this again? The inane conversations between housemates, the long-winded eviction shows, the constant and impossible to avoid discussions in the supermarket.
Nine has kept many details under wraps, including information about the housemates in an exhaustive national hunt that attracted more than 20,000 candidates.
Interestingly, the last time Big Brother was seen on Australian screens (2008), social media such as Facebook and Twitter wasn’t as ubiquitous as it is now. Nine is proactive, with its official Big Brother Facebook page already boasting 105,000 fans.
The social media responses to Being Lara Bingle and The Shire fill plenty of column space in the daily papers; Nine is hoping to engage viewers from the get-go with what it promises to be an ‘‘explosive’’ premiere on Sunday.
Sonia Kruger (pictured) takes the hosting reigns and former Friday Night Live host Mike Goldman will return as the resident voiceover guy.
The controversial adults only show also returns, this time on GO! instead of Nine itself.
From Bingle to The Shire to Big Brother, it’s been an interesting couple of months in Australian television. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to reacquaint myself with the contents of my bookshelf.