At Home With Julia: meh

Helen has posts up at her own Balcony and crossposted to Larvatus Prodeo.

Mocking Gillard’s partner doesn’t leave her untouched. Not the way they did it. I switched it on in trepidation, wondering what antidiluvian gender-policing tropes they would serve up. I wasn’t undisappointed. Besides Amanda Bishop’s HILARIOUS take on Gillards voice (She’s got such a FUNNY VOICE HURH HURH HURH – That stuff never palls!), the focus is all on her partner, Tim Mathieson (Phil Lloyd). And it’s all hanging on the side-splitting scenario of Man Living with a woman who’s More Successful than Him ZOMG!! WEARZ TEH PANTZORZ!!111!!

Predictably the LP thread is full of folks talking about women/lefties/feminists needing to get a sense of humour because it’s all just a bit of lighthearted fun.

I just left this comment at LP in response to a betcha-didn’t-complain-when-it-was-Howard-copping-it taunt:

I somehow missed any sitcom fully devoted to PM Howard’s life at home.

Of course every PM (and most opposition leaders) will be impersonated by comedians on stage and in radio/TV skits – always have been, always will be. But these short and pointed bits of business are rarely turned into sitcoms for the very reason that sitcoms need to sustain the characters’ “situation” and relationships while still churning out those punchlines. Skit characterisations can rely totally on caricatured visual quirks and catchphrases worked around the topic-of-the-day and know that they’ve got solid material in their hands for skits spaced out over months/years, because the personas only have to be sustained for 2-3 minutes at a time.

Historically Aussies have been very hit and miss with sitcoms, and this one looks like it mostly goes in the the miss column to me. The performances in AHWJ are much better than the material they’ve been given to work with, and I always find that painful to watch.

It’s hard enough to write a sitcom when you don’t have to worry about the potential for defamation issues and being overtaken by news developments between filming and airing. I have no idea why somebody thought that it was a great idea to shackle their sitcom with such stultifying constraints.

Categories: arts & entertainment, culture wars, media, Politics

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6 replies

  1. I found the whole premise offensive. Political satire is one thing but this is not satire.

  2. I’m almost more annoyed at its being so mediocre rather than the premise being trite.

  3. The show is based entirely around the scary -but laughable! – notion of a woman with a more high-powered career than her partner. Oh noes, can you IMAGINE what the poor guy must go through, like consistently having people only use his first name in contexts where this is disrespectful, particularly since he alone is singled out for this treatment? Or more generally, can any of us imagine the horrors of having someone incorrectly – lazily or even knowingly! – refer to us using our partner’s surname, even on official forms? Or worse: Can you imagine having to do CHORES! Like a grownup! Or… wait for it… the BULK of chores!!!

    • @Donna, I can even believe that some of the people involved in this think that laying on this stuff with a trowel will lead to the audience realising that the double standard itself is ridiculous.
      They should know their comedy history better. That’s what the producers of Till Death Us Do Part thought was going to happen with the OTT bigotry of Alf Garnett – that the British public would wake up to just how ridiculous bigotry was. While lots of people did get the joke, they were the choir being preached to. Other members of the British public embraced Alf Garnett as a lovable rogue and used his bigoted lines as catchphrases against people.

  4. Or worse: Can you imagine having to do CHORES! Like a grownup! Or… wait for it… the BULK of chores!!!

    And people who live in the Lodge wouldn’t even be doing “the bulk” of chores. And I haven’t even started on the Lodge servant who is hispanic and whose name is Jesus – HURH HURH. It’s just fail all the way down!
    Thanks for the link, TT!

  5. Like most things on the telly that I intend to watch these days, I forgot it was on. Now I’m really glad I missed it!

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