Ever since the news Being Lara Bingle had been commissioned, I’ve not been looking forward to it. I bear Ms Bingle no ill will and hope she continues to be a productive and tax-paying member of society however I could not understand why we’d want to see a show all about Lara. With the premiere of the “behind the scenes look into Lara’s life” screening last night on Channel 10, from the opening strains of Bop Girl we all got to see pretty much what we expected – not much.
For mine the show missed the mark from the opening scene. It should have shown Lara being pitched the idea so that the audience understands – presumably, and as Lara’s been attesting in media interviews over the past weeks – this show wasn’t her idea. Sure, she could have said no but opted to take the chance and see what could come of it. Let’s face it: living for six to eight weeks in a Bondi penthouse apartment with your best mate as “work” isn’t too hard a sell. What we instead saw was a woman of some privilege packing up her belongings from her already pretty decent apartment to move to a better one “for the sake of the show”. A reality show. Meant to be about her real life. Talk about starting off on the wrong foot.
BLB inadvertently does nothing to paint Lara in a strong or sympathetic light. From her being caught by police driving unlicensed to being snapped by paparazzi in the nude inside her new unit shutting the blinds only reveals her to be an irresponsible ditz. If that’s ‘real life Lara’ then the scolding her Nan (one of the REAL stars of the show) gives her over the phone about the nude photo scandal is dead right - that she’s not gonna amount to anything. Appalling judgement is Lara’s number one sin – be it the driving, the shutting the blinds in the nuddy, or making your best friend your manager (Hermione is no longer Lara’s manager), Lara needs to listen to her Nan a whole lot more. Perhaps she should be Lara’s manager for a stint.
The biggest difficulty surrounding comment of the entire show (and there is plenty, and most of it is unprintable – check the #BeingLaraBingle Twitter stream if you so choose) is that criticism of the show is being misinterpreted as criticism of Lara herself – which is near impossible to separate as it’s not called “Being A Model In Modern Sydney” or “Being A Stupid Head Featuring A Bunch Of Different People Making Bad Decisions”. By having her name in the title and the focus of the show on her in a distinct reality genre means the ‘'Lara the character in BLB'’ and '‘Lara the actual person’' are going to be judged as one and the same, and from what is portrayed on the screen it’s not going to be flattering.
Being Lara Bingle as a television show has very few redeeming features. The characters are vapid, vacuous and lacking even the smallest amounts of common sense while the show is bland and reveals this celebrity’s life is quite dull day-to-day. The premise is faulty in assuming the Australian television-viewing public want to know about the characters and their day-to-day lives. At best it comes across as poor imitation of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, and to be frank if that’s what people want to see they’d be better tuning in when the Kardashians are on Foxtel than watch this upper-middle-class white girl pretend to be a poor facsimile. At worst … well, there’s so much better television than the utter drivel audiences were subjected to last night. The biggest mistake Lara made wasn’t starring in a show all about her – it was saying “yes” to the idea in the first place. And surely she can blame Hermione for that.
Being Lara Bingle – Tue 8pm (for now), Ch10 (for now).
This post first appeared on MolksTVTalk. Steve Molk is a member of the BT Blog Army.