x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Australian reality TV show criticised as a 'lobotomy'

Sydney beach show derided as pale imitation of Jersey Shore.

An Australian reality series set on Sydney beaches has been panned as a pale imitation of the US show Jersey Shore.

The Shire, which debuted in Australia on Monday, quickly attracted a barrage of criticism on social media sites. It is modelled on the wildly popular MTV series which has broken cable television records since its 2009 premiere. One critic described the show as Australian TV's "lobotomy" moment, while the Sutherland Shire mayor Carol Provan said the bronzed, surgically enhanced cast made for "painful" viewing.

"I think the community's very upset to think that the law allows television crews to come in and denigrate a community," she said. "It's just so wrong."

The Shire follows a group of tattooed, photogenic 20-somethings, including the aspiring rapper Rif Raf, the surfer Mitch, the sales assistant Gabby and a raft of botoxed young women.

The Australian TV presenter Jessica Yates described it as "one of the most inane, embarrassing, highly offensive pieces of rubbish TV that has been produced, ever".

But others were not writing it off just yet. "The fact that most people will kick the show doesn't mean much; the 'reality' genre is engineered to create conversation, not adoration," said the culture critic Michael Idato.