Let me start by saying, I have nothing against reality TV. In fact, I have been known to watch both Jersey Shore and The Hills. ‘The Shire’ on Ten has already been compared to all. I’m not bagging the ‘reality’ of it, The Shire is nothing we haven’t seen before. A bunch of beaches, throw in some pretty looking people, that’s Australia in a ‘reality’ package. And they must be white! so so white! Well, not so white, they do err on the side of oompa loomp. Also the shows central characters Matt and Kerry are a very pretty multiracial couple so score 1 to Ten. The shire has a bit of a bad rep though, not totally deserved (as any resident of Sutherland Shire will tell you) but it’s there.
How much will “The Shire” reflect on what this area represents to many Australians? Years after the Cronulla Riots, Will these models and surfers acknowledge one of the worst racial attacks in recent history?
My guess is no. In order to make it palatable for the average Aussie, they might have a little talking heads moment but I highly doubt it will come to any breakthroughs. We have a pretty solid history of racist denial here in the “Lucky Country”. Alternatively, we have Joe Hildebrand over at the ABC, talk about being an apologist! Not only did we learn that we’re racist but we’re actually more racist than Poor Joe first thought. *sarcasm* what an eye-opener! Now before you accuse me of hating on Australia (or *gasp* being ‘Un-Australia) I’d like to clarify. I love my country, there’s a lot of good things, beautiful and amazing things & people but I’m open-minded enough to admit that we have a long way to go. We might just deserve that bad reputation.
Here’s something you need to repeat to yourself while watching The Shire… ‘First step to being the perfect racist is not admitting that you’re a racist.’
P.S. If you do also choose to watch I assure you that not all the residents of Sutherland Shire are like this.
(photo courtesy: The Leader)