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Tube Talk: Ozzy And Ruby Serve Up The Trash

Tube Talk With John T. Forde

Ozzy And Ruby Serve Up The Trash

Election coverage is undoubtedly the most boring point of the TV year. To compensate, TVNZ have served up a symphony of entertaining trash. And with Sex and the City and starved meerkat Ally McBeal’s now gone, the trash-fest couldn’t be more welcome.

Even TV1, the traditional haven of costume dramas and Jude Dobson, is loosening its corset strings, screening Queen of Trash Ruby Wax. Ye gods!

Famous for simulating sex with Pamela Anderson in the back of a limo and discovering Imelda Marcos’s shoe collection, Ruby is the big-toothed piranha who happily tramples around where angels and publicists fear to tread.

But in TV1’s Hot Wax, the Red-Haired Raucous One seems to have lost her edge. Wax’s trip through Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion seemed like the perfect opportunity to unleash her sabre-tongued wit and love of the absurd. But Wax spent most of her time gabbling, cow-eyed, in front of Hef and his seven live-in Bunny-whores, or lamenting her own sagging cleavage.

Still, she’s in better shape than former pin-up Mamie van Doren (150 years old and still overdoing the boobs and eyeliner) who Wax met at a party, or a scarily-facelifted Roseanne, who she literally fell over in the Bunny Cave. Sigh – RIP, Ruby.

In better form was The Osbornes, a silly new reality-TV series about aging rocker Ozzy Osborne and his horrendous family in their crucifix-laden LA home.

Osborne’s wife Sharon (who’s also his publicist) cleverly plotted the programme as a homage-parody of traditional TV sitcoms – beginning with 60s retro The Nanny -like credits and a kitschy family photo album, before launching into snappily-edited scenes of family crisis.

Ozzy is the living embodiment of why the 60s were a bad idea. 40 years of sex, drugs and ear-shattering rock n’ roll have left him a dribbling, shaky cadaver of a man. Once he bit off bat’s heads – now he staggers around the house, unable to operate his TV remote control, ripping off the heads of Diet Coke cans. Thank God his caustic Northern English wit hasn’t left him, although most of his synapses have.

Meanwhile, his hiddy-beast son Jack and petulant, pink-haired daughter Kelly take the term “Celebrity Jailbait” to new heights. Acting pretty much as you’d expect, they bicker, bitch, slap each other around, and trade on their surname to get them into hot LA clubs.

Meanwhile, Sharon, in true TV sitcom-Mom mode, tries to hold the whole gang together. She just tends to say “Fuck” a lot more than Mrs. Brady.

You suspect the Osbornes are acting-up mercilessly for the camera, but who the hell cares? Their cheerful insistence on being foul is a welcome break from sanitised TV families, or those appalling posers on The Villa. Rock ‘n roll, man!

If you tire, gentle reader, of aging rockers and bitches past-their-prime, check out Bob & Rose, TV1’s gorgeous new romantic comedy series (Fridays at 8.40pm.) Written by Russell T. Davies of Queer as Folk infamy, it’s the sweetest, strangest love story of the year. Don’t miss it.


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