Even the Australians are cringing at The GC.
That confirms it must be really bad.
Gold Coast Tourism chief executive Martin Winter said this week the television series about young Maori in Queensland focused on a small segment of the community and a particular kind of lifestyle that was less than mainstream.
Less mainstream than what? A group of vacuous, self-absorbed, plastic young Kiwis living on a small strip of east coast Australia renowned for its shiny coatings and lack of depth.
The GC is an 80-part Kiwi-made reality show about a group of Maori friends living on the coast. That they are Maori is irrelevant, except that's what attracted $420,000 of NZ on Air funding for the series.
The original concept was for a show called Golden Mozzies (Maori-Ozzies; get it?) following seven Maori families on the coast. "The series will explore emigration from a Maori perspective and how tikanga Maori supports them as they adapt to life in a new country," the producers said.
In the TV3 publicity this turned into "a group of talented and attractive young Maori as they work hard and play even harder in Australia's favourite playground".
Granted, they are all toned and attractive. During the first two episodes there has been some evidence of job-hunting but mostly the partying. And the sex. And the methods of getting over a hangover.
One young bro on Thursday night was working out in the park so hard after the party he was "vomiting from both ends". Charmless?
The first two programmes have been panned by the critics, who have in turn been dissed for Maori-bashing.
Let's be clear, though. It doesn't matter that these are Maori kids. They could equally be Pakeha of any genetic background – that would make it no less insulting as a piece of trash masquerading as informative entertainment. And costly trash at that.
While it sets out to portray a more positive side of young Kiwi making a new life for themselves in exciting surroundings, it does the opposite.
One bro with a desire to be a DJ shows only an ability to get up noses, while a young woman wearing a tiny orange bikini is too self-conscious to get on the catwalk of her dreams.
It is astounding that NZ on Air has handed over precious funds for such a pointless, meaningless production.
- The Marlborough Express