Review – Myf Warhurst’s Nice
Myf Warhurst’s Nice – ABC1 – 8:00pm Wednesday – AUS
Since Being Lara Bingle debuted last night there has been a lot of negativity directed towards Bingle and her reality series, some of it justified but most of it mean-spirited. As I sat there reading awful comments on the internet I wondered if I might ever find something I could use as an example to point out the general hypocrisy involved in picking on a pretty, empty-headed blonde model simply because she dared do something outrageous like star in a self-titled show all about herself. Thank god for the ABC, because Myf Warhurst’s Nice may be a wholly unremarkable new documentary thing but it sure does make for a great comparison point to Being Lara Bingle.
Would the internet and the mainstream media, who have spent the last twenty-four hours picking apart Lara Bingle for being so stupid as to star in a navel-gazing reality series that follows her around as she has staged conversations with friends and family then turn right around and heap niceties all over essentially the exact same thing if it just happened to star an ‘internet friendly ABC star’? You bet your ass they would. Myf Warhurst’s Nice follows Myf on a journey back into her childhood where she looks at the daggy, or ‘nice’, things that shaped who she is today. In this first episode she reminisced about missing out on a blue light disco and falling in love with Kenny Rogers – she even had a conversation with Alan Brough about it (and boy, did that chat look staged or what? oh wait, sorry, wrong show – this is completely different because this show stars somebody we like – my mistake).
Myf Warhurst’s Nice follows in the long tradition of ABC series where they send a known personality on a personal journey of discovery. We’ve had John Safran exploring race relations, Lawrence Leung journey into the unexplained, Judith Lucy heading off on a spiritual journey and now we have Myf Warhurst remembering stuff she used to like. The problem here is that Myf isn’t as clever as Safran, isn’t as interested in comedy as Leung and isn’t as sharp as Lucy. Myf is a lovely, adorable, affable, and yes, nice, person. We know this about her, it’s why she has the many fans that she has (it’s why it’s okay for her to have a show named after herself and it’s not okay for a taller, blonder, more modelly person to have a show named after themselves), and the scenes where Myf remembers her childhood are amusing enough – the entries from her diary would make a great starting point for a much more interesting scripted series – unfortunately most of the show is spent with Myf conducting terribly dry interviews about love songs and boy bands.
It’s telling that the only amusing conversation Myf has in this first half hour is the chat with Alan Brough. They’re obviously friends, and they obviously get along, even it’s a little self-indulgent when he sits there telling her about how her daggy musical tastes make her the amazing person that she is, but he’s an interesting guy and it’s an interesting chat. Less interesting was her dull chats about why love duets are so good and what it meant to sneak out and see The Beatles. Again, there’s interesting material within these conversations – the idea of Myf looking at why teenage girls fall so heavily for the boy bands of their era would be a great topic to explore, but the show doesn’t seem that interested in that and moves on quickly to a drawn out chat about Gregorian chants and Sonny & Cher.
What really tipped the show off the edge of nice-enough doco series into self-indulgent snooze-fest was the moment Myf sat down with her childhood crush Kenny Rogers. Not only did we have to sit there as Myf had a little duet with Kenny that went on for way too long but that was followed up by a full duet between Myf and the lead singer from that boy band she crushed on all those years ago. It speaks volumes that the folks on Twitter and in the press can put a boot into Lara Bingle for being so full of herself for thinking we could possibly give a shit about her life and yet call Myf “simply divine” or “adorable” or “deliriously entertaining” after she decided people might want to watch her sing her favourite song with not just one person but two people for the last five minutes of her show. Yes, the show is nice enough, even if it is rather dull for long stretches, and yes, there is a huge difference between Myf Warhurst and Lara Bingle – Lara Bingle’s navel-gazing isn’t funded by taxpayers.
Good, Alright, Bad Or Ugly?