Being Lara Bingle, Channel Ten, Tuesday June 12, 8pm
There's a lot to be said for coming to a show with low expectations. Lara Bingle's celebrity is based on few discernible achievements and her lifestyle seems comprised mainly of parties, fashion shoots and being pursued by the paparazzi. It's quite a surprise, then, that this first episode is as entertaining as it is.
Setting Bingle up in a luxury Bondi apartment with her manager, Hermione, and older brother Joshua (who would have thought Lara got the brains in the family) certainly helps, providing some low-level domestic friction and a postcard setting. The somewhat contrived controversies that surround her do the rest.
Ultimately the show works because Bingle has a weird but undeniable charm. There's an innocence, a guileless vapidity about her that is strangely beguiling. The show invites us to laugh at Bingle as much as with her, but does so gently, so in terms of who is exploiting whom, it would seem the ledger is just about even. Whether or not there's enough here to sustain a 10-part series remains to be seen, but this is not nearly as bad as it could have been.