The Ridges: a show about nothing?

Last updated 08:23 13/09/2012

If the point of The Ridges* was to prove that Sally and Jaime Ridge are just normal people (relative to their social standing and household income) who do absolutely nothing remarkable in their spare time, with the exception of the occasional masquerade ball, then I guess you could call it a resounding success.

20120913As television entertainment, however, the show is a hot mess of tedious interactions between mother and daughter and mind-numbing scenes of relative domestic bliss that stand as (arguably) the worst use of a half-hour of broadcasting time since ... well, maybe ever. It's the ultimate show about nothing, because nothing interesting happened in the entire half hour.

For example, in the second part of the show, we returned from a commercial break to find Sally and Jaime talking while driving alongside each other in separate vehicles. Next, we went into Sally's new house - which I'd been led to believe was a rundown shanty reminiscent of the Favelas in Rio De Janeiro, but which was actually tidier than my last flat - wherein the elder Ridge taunted her daughter with a ball of hair the pair found in the bottom of the shower.

From there, we moved into the kitchen, where Jaime washed her hands with hand sanitiser after touching a chair, then noticed a mouse (which I can only surmise was purchased at a local pet store**) wandering across the floor. Forcing an overwrought reaction to the thespi-mouse that would have made the cast of Home & Away blush, the pair jumped on to nearby chairs before fleeing down the hallway.

Those two paragraphs, ladies and gentlemen, constitute an entire seven-minute segment of the opening episode of The Ridges. The first and third segments of the show were no better: a major plot point leading into the first ad break revolved around whether or not Jaime would have a wardrobe, while most of the third act was spent in the back of a van with the pair as they headed along to a masquer- ... honestly, who the hell cares about this tedious crap?!

The only moment that elicited any kind of reaction from me was an interview segment in which Jaime laughed while admitting she rarely sees her father, former rugby league player Matthew Ridge, and hasn't yet met her half-brother - which came after a scene in which Mr Ridge crossed Ponsonby Road to avoid running into his ex-wife and eldest daughter. My reaction was one of sadness, mostly at the fact that a serious family problem was being laughed off in a forgotten scene in a terrible reality show.

Look, I'm sure Sally and Jaime are nice people. Sally has endured plenty of coverage, both positive and negative, from the press, and Jaime is following in her footsteps - seemingly because gossip columnists in this country have precious few people to write about. Sally has just bought a new house to do up, and Jaime tells us she is studying law and commerce at university. I wish them both luck in their endeavours.

But make no mistake: there is no reason, none whatsoever, for this show to exist*. We watch television to be entertained, to see things that take us out of our daily lives. The Ridges doesn't do that - in fact, it doesn't actually provide anything that couldn't be gained by calling your mum and asking how her day was, or talking to your kids, or relating your day to your partner. At least you know those people and can muster some passing interest in the day-to-day trivialities of their lives.

If the plan was to prove that Sally & Jaime are normal people, then they've outdone themselves. This is a boring television show, full of boring people doing boring things. I don't care, not one iota, about anything to do with these people. And I won't be watching another second of this pathetic excuse for a television show.

Did you watch The Ridges last night? What did you think?

(*) I mean, beyond selling advertising time in the commercial breaks.

(**) I've seen wild mice that have been living in a wall and they never look that well groomed or fed. My girlfriend points out that it's also the least camera-shy mouse she's ever seen.

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Steve   #1   08:25 am Sep 13 2012

A show about nothing and nothing to show. Plain & simple.

Michelle   #2   08:32 am Sep 13 2012

Sorry but Jaime Ridge has to be the most spoilt cow I have ever seen. And that mouse was soooo planted there. Embarrassing to watch and wont be watching again.

tinnyliz   #3   08:35 am Sep 13 2012

Accidentally saw the hair-in-the-shower and mouse bit while channel surfing. Appalling stuff. Just who do these people think they are??? I guess it could only happen in Auckland.

Leon   #4   08:36 am Sep 13 2012

Sounds like a waste of time, glad to report that I missed seeing it :-)

Loonybonkersmad   #5   08:37 am Sep 13 2012

Well said. A vacuous show full of vacuous people designed for vacuous viewers.

It's actually tragically sad that this train wreck is inflicted upon us when there are much bigger issues for the nation to be dealing with ... child poverty, breakdown of families, lack of jobs ... I despair at times.

Mel   #6   08:37 am Sep 13 2012

I agree with everything you have said. What particularly surprised me was just how different Jamie is to what I had thought; she actually seems shy and sweet and quite genuine. A shame really what this show might do about that.

sarahf   #7   08:38 am Sep 13 2012

I agree. It was boring. And wild mice are grey-brown, that one was a two-tone which is a breed. Yup. Boring.

Geoff   #8   08:40 am Sep 13 2012

Please tell me that no tax-payer dollars were used to make this sad, self-indulgent sham

g   #9   08:40 am Sep 13 2012

I thought the GC had hit rock bottom. But that show pales into insignificance compared with the Ridges. I have never seen such utter crap on TV. All the show managed to portray were the inane utterances of two blonde bimbos in stupidly scripted and contrived settings. The women must have skins like a rhino to expose themselves to potential public ridicule in the name of "reality TV." A very good reason to switch of tv and read a book....

Ali   #10   08:46 am Sep 13 2012

I think I speak for the vast majority of TV viewers when I say it's not that we hate the Ridges. I'm sure they're nice people. It's simply that we DON'T CARE. No one cares, whether Jamie is going to have a wardrobe or whether you saw a mouse. Why can't TV3 play reruns of Knightrider or something, at least that was vaguely entertaining.

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