Review – Being Lara Bingle
Being Lara Bingle – Ten – 8:00pm Tuesday – AUS
Before it even debuted Being Lara Bingle seemed to have cornered the market on snarky remarks and snide dismissals. This is one of those shows that people form opinions about before even watching it. Mainstream media outlets have been especially good at acting fed up with talking about Lara Bingle whilst breathlessly reporting her every move. If the newspaper columns that discuss Lara’s comings and goings ad nauseum could be given facial expressions they’d adopt a half-cocked sneer and a lecherous stare: “I think you’re dumb, but tell me more…” Now that Being Lara Bingle has actually arrived it’s unlikely the snarky comments are going to stop but at least now we know that the show itself is just an above average reality-soap and not the end of the world.
Lara Bingle, as we all know, is an attractive person who has her picture taken for a living, and occasionally gets to sit down and have conversations about ‘brand Bingle’ with her new PR firm which sounds excruciating, not because of Lara but because ‘yuck, a PR firm’. Lara has moved out of her old apartment into a fancy new Bondi house to live with her brother Josh and best friend slash manager Hermione. It is at this point we should all feign shock and horror that the Bondi building is not Lara’s real house and it was rented for her by the production company. I know y’all are coming over all a-quiver at the news that a reality television program is fudging the details in order to tell a better story but let’s try and cope shall we. If you are appalled at the idea of a television program faking meaningless details like that you’re going to be really shocked when I tell you that the cast of Sunrise don’t even like each other AND YET THEY ALWAYS PRETEND TO BE ENJOYING THEMSELVES – they’re not, it’s really early, they’re tired, and Kochie’s annoying.
This premiere acted more like an extended ad for the series rather than a coherent episode of television. Lara doesn’t really have much of a goal and it leaves the show feeling rudderless as she flits from a photo shoot to a meeting to dinner round the couch. There are some highlights throughout the episode but you’ve probably already seen them all on the ads, and they don’t feel connected. Lara is pulled over by the cops, nude photos of her are leaked by the paparazzi (or the ‘paps’ as Hermione and Lara keep disturbingly calling them), and her grandma calls to tell her “you’ll never ever do any bloody good”. These are solid reality-soap moments but if Being Lara Bingle wants to catch on it needs to tie them together better.
The most fun to be had in the episode was when Lara was off-screen entirely and Josh and Hermione went shopping together. Again, it’s rather obvious what the show is trying to do in pairing them up (picture a future episode where Lara gets totes mad when Hermione hooks up with her brother. OMG you guys.) but the goofy banter between the two is kind of fun. This isn’t high-art but at no point has anybody said they were trying to produce anything even resembling high-art. Reality-soaps come in three varieties – there is the outright trash, the passably enjoyable and the absolute bores. The only type that’s unwatchable is the bores (see, or rather don’t see: Freshwater Blue zzzzz). This isn’t a bore, this isn’t that trashy but it is passably enjoyable. And as Being Lara Bingle seems to be inspiring everybody to shoot off their snarky one-liners has anybody made this easy joke yet: I can’t believe Channel 10 are wasting half-an-hour every week on an empty-headed moron who wouldn’t know what an intelligent thought looked like if it landed in their lap, but enough about The Bolt Report, let’s talk Being Lara Bingle. BAZINGA.
Good, Alright, Bad Or Ugly?