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The Shire is dire

God's own except for the lips, the breasts, the hair, the tan ... Sophie and Vernessa from <i>The Shire</i>.

God's own except for the lips, the breasts, the hair, the tan ... Sophie and Vernessa from The Shire.

I have lockjaw from watching Channel Ten’s new reality show The Shire. I spent half an hour on Monday night with my mouth open. In disbelief. In horror. In shock. I looked like Maculay Culkin in the Home Alone poster. Who were these people? Why did they spell their names so strangely? Why did they speak like robots? And what in the name of all that is Australian were they wearing??

I’m not alone. Social media has been in overdrive confirming similar sentiments. Are these men and women for real? In the opening scenes we meet most of the cast on the beach in their swimsuits. Or rather bits of fabric stuck onto body parts that would otherwise be pixelated in the 8pm time slot.

The Shire fashion looks are stripper, Beach, Barbie and Beach Stripper Barbie.  

There’s good-looking Mitch and his cute, blonde ex-girlfriend Gabby. A couple of other guys (Simon and Andy) who look so much like Mitch that I can’t be sure he wasn’t playing all three. Then there was Vernessa and Sophie who Twitter quickly dubbed the ‘Botox Twins’. At first I mistook them for rocks lying on the sand because they were spray tanned the colour of well, dirt but soon realised that they were a life form with massively enhanced cleavage and lots of fake hair. Sophie was wearing a pair of denim shorts that defy description. But I'm going to try: imagine a leotard circa 1985. Really, really high cut on the thigh. Then imagine it in acid wash denim with a frayed hem. Then imagine wearing them in the same way you would wear underpants but in public.

Sophie & Vernessa on Facebook

Vernessa and Sophie thought the shorts were hot. They think each other is hot. The only life pursuit they seem to be interested in is The Getting of Hotness. Or was it Fakeness?

Vernessa: "We've got fake lips, botox, boobs, tans, so forth. In the end, we're real." Um ... but you just admitted that 30 per cent of your body is fake?"

And…Sophie: "I think image is everything. If you look good, people will fit you into that role."

The role of what Sophie? What?? These two young women – their life goals, attitude, fashion choices- are beyond adjectives.

Beckkaa however is not. I could throw the whole dictionary at her. Disturbing. Vacuous. Beige. Beckka is the princess of the show who we meet as she returns from a shopping and plastic surgery trip to Dubai. Her Dad picks her up in a stretch limo at the airport and for two horrifying minutes it seemed like her might be her Sugar Daddy not actual Daddy. Beckaa gives him a throwaway hug and proceeds to list all the stuff she’d bought with his money including a new nose. Later she lay on her bed with two really bitchy blokes (friends) and told them she wanted to devote her time to pageants. Of the beauty variety. They offered her this heartfelt advice.

Kris: "You've lost weight, but you've got a massive arse."

The backdrop to The Shire is all gorgeous white sand and shimmering blue water. It really doesn’t look that different to Summer Bay. Nor does the core cast. Pretty, beachy, everyday Aussies. It’s the fashion that separates The Shire from any other cast on reality television anywhere in the world. It is devoid of glamour, humour, irony - it’s just plain woeful. The key looks are stripper, Beach Barbie, surfer and Beach Stripper Barbie. It’s as though the girls made a deal with the Style Devil and traded new consonants and vowels to spice up the spelling of their ordinary Australian names (Beckkaa I’m looking at you) in exchange for every ounce of fashion sense they might have possessed.

If The Shire's plot makes Being Lara Bingle look like Q & A then its fashion makes Jemima’s smock on Playschool look like couture.

Paula Joye is Editor of or you follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

51 comments so far

  • Horrendous tv.... what's wrong with you channel 10?

    Date and time
    July 18, 2012, 12:08PM
    • Replace the 'r' with 't' and it's aptly named. Commercial free to air TV in this country appears to be going down the same path as print media.

      Date and time
      July 18, 2012, 12:17PM
      • Dear God enough!!! 5 articles in two days is too much SMH.

        Chairman Miaow
        Date and time
        July 18, 2012, 12:39PM
        • But you've taken the click bait again.

          Date and time
          July 18, 2012, 3:22PM
      • Bogan fashion. What else would you expect on a show that celebrates tacky?

        In fact, it's even worse than that. These girls look like street walkers. But then that's probably an insult to street walkers.

        I really hope people don't encourage this sort of thing by watching this trash. If we ignore it surely it will disappear?

        And I really hate people that spell their names in some weird fashion. What is wrong with people? (Vernessa I am looking at you! Rather not actually) Seriously, just when we thought TV could not get any worse. It exceeds our expectations. The end of civilsation indeed.

        Date and time
        July 18, 2012, 12:42PM
        • td, bogans dress better than this lot

          Date and time
          July 18, 2012, 1:57PM
        • however I do agree - dont watch this show and it will flop in the ratings. Vote with your remotes

          Date and time
          July 18, 2012, 2:02PM
      • The only beauty pageant Beckaa can go in is a horse show. I watched the show expecting good looking girls. What's going on Channel 10?

        Date and time
        July 18, 2012, 12:53PM
        • Who cares what these trashy culture vultures are wearing. Stop watching this bogan trash and stop writing about it, then we can forget about it and it will sink like a lead balloon.

          Date and time
          July 18, 2012, 12:55PM
          • no need for travelling freak shows anymore when you can tune straight in on the tv

            husband of the year
            Date and time
            July 18, 2012, 12:57PM

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