Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

TUBE TALK With John T. Forde: White Trash Paradise


TUBE TALK With John T. Forde

White Trash Paradise

Like most Wellingtonian emigrés, I’m only one or two steps up the evolutionary ladder from small town white trash. Despite my snazzily-cut trousers from Mandatory and a daily trim soy latte, I, too, once drank Ribena out of plastic mugs, danced to Kylie at school discos and endured 80s polyester-cotton leisurewear.

Which is why TV1’s new Australian comedy, Kath & Kim, (Mondays, 8pm) isn’t just a welcome comic relief to a humour-free spring TV schedule – it’s also a timely reminder that, try as we may, there’s no getting away from our roots. Especially not with your roots are burrowed at the bottom of a spectacularly bad frizzy poodle perm, like Kath’s.

Kath (Jane Turner) is a perky 40something “empty nester” who’s enjoying a new, frighteningly physical relationship with Kel, a “purveyor of fine meats” (and, in Kath’s words, “a big hunka spunk”). Her wicker furniture-filled home is a temple to her daily home exercise regime of Pump and Pilates – the Glade Air Spray serenity broken only by Kel knocking over the salt and pepper shakers in his attempts to “take her to Paradise” on the dining room table.

Trampling unexpectedly through Kath’s “me time” is Kim (Gina Riley), her spoilt bug-eyed daughter who’s left her husband of three months. “It’s not enough! I wanna be effluent, Mum - EFFLUENT!” “Kim, you ARE effluent!” Kath remonstrates, before hopping into the shower with Kel for a post-breakfast quickie.

Later, Kim, who thinks she’s a size 10 (“Huh! Country Road size 10!” Kath sniffs), gets her second-best friend Sharon, a sports-mad heifer with an eyepatch (the brilliant Magda Szubanski), to stalk her husband Brett. Kim’s convinced her marriage is over, but equally convinced she’s a “hornbag” who deserves better.

Meanwhile, Kath dons her favourite parrot earrings and stretch denim jeans for a romantic dinner with Kel, which turns out to be – onya! - a fabulously tacky marriage proposal in an electronics store. “Kel and I have decided to make our beautiful, sensual relationship a mere formality!” Kath announces proudly. Then she tells Kim to drop a dress size before she can become a bridesmaid.

Australian trash TV is nothing new – after all, we’ve endured Big Brother, Sylvania Waters, The Crocodile Hunter AND Pauline Hanson. But Kath & Kim leaves ‘em all for dead.

Like their best work on The Comedy Company and Fast Forward, Turner and Riley’s writing is hysterically funny and almost cringeingly accurate about Antipodean trash-to-middle-class aspirations. Yet somehow, the satire never seems cruel or malicious.

For all Kath’s scary hot pink leotards, bizarre expressions (“I can feel it in my waters”, she says of her impending wedding) and unholy vowel sounds, she remains delightfully, unstoppably herself. “Yes, I am high maintenance – but I think you gotta be”, she says, trowelling on the rouge, wart remover and breath spray. Kim’s routine seems to consist largely of binge-eating junk food, but she shows promise too.

Good on ya, Kath and Kim. You’re both little Aussie battlers, and you deserve all the hornbags you can get your hands on.

mailto: mailto:tubetalk@nzoomail.com


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Reese Erlich: Foreign Correspondent: Trump Plays Both Sides Against The Middle

Is he a hawk? Is he a peacenik? The President keeps us guessing . By Reese Erlich President Donald Trump has convinced Republican isolationists and hawks that he supports their views. That’s a neat trick, since the two groups hold opposing positions. ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Waiting For The Old Bailey: Julian Assange And Britain’s Judicial Establishment

On September 7, Julian Assange will be facing another round of gruelling extradition proceedings, in the Old Bailey, part of a process that has become a form of gradual state-sanctioned torture. The US Department of Justice hungers for their man. The More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Sorry Plight Of The International Education Sector

Tourism and international education have been two of the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic. They’re both key export industries. Yet the government response to them has been strikingly different. There has been nothing beyond a few words of ministerial condolence and a $51.6 million package (details below) to get the sector through the pandemic...
More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Google’s Open Letter: Fighting Australia’s News Media Bargaining Code

Tech giants tend to cast thin veils over threats regarding government regulations. They are also particularly concerned by those more public spirited ones, the sort supposedly made for the broader interest. Google has given us an example of this ... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Trump’s Current Chances Of Re-Election

By now it seems clear that National have no fresh ideas to offer for how New Zealand could avoid the Covid-19 economic crisis. As in the past, National has set an arbitrary 30% ratio of government debt to GDP that it aims to achieve “in a decade or so,” ... More>>

The Conversation: Rogue Poll Or Not, All The Signs Point To A Tectonic Shift In New Zealand Politics

Richard Shaw AAP(various)/NZ Greens (CC-BY-SA)/The Conversation Strong team. More jobs. Better economy. So say the National Party’s campaign hoardings. Only thing is, last Sunday’s Newshub-Reid Research poll – which had support for the Labour ... More>>

The Coronavirus Republic: Three Million Infections And Rising

The United States is famed for doing things, not to scale, but off it. Size is the be-all and end-all, and the coronavirus is now doing its bit to assure that the country remains unrivalled in the charts of infection . In time, other unfortunates may well ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Altars Of Hypocrisy: George Floyd, Protest And Black Face

Be wary what you protest about. The modern moral constabulary are out, and they are assisted by their Silicon Valley friends in the Social Media club. Should you dare take a stand on anything, especially in a dramatic way, you will be found out ... More>>