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The Age

Tuesday - Pay TV

Author: Brad Newsome
Date: 29/05/2008
Words: 485
Source: AGE
          Publication: The Age
Section: Green Guide
Page: 42
That's Amore

MTV, 5pm

"Want to see more desperate American chicks whoring it up in a mansion? This is the show for you." Part of my pay cheque this week goes to my viewing companion for that succinct summation of this train-wreck reality show, which otherwise goes close to defying description. The desperate American chicks are competing spitefully for the chance to shack up with a sawn-off little Italian chap named Domineco, who was one of the 32 men and women who competed for the chance to shack up with bisexual soft-porn model Tila Tequila in A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila. He seems a cheerful, hyperactive and good-hearted kind of fellow but his challenges are among the most dangerous and sexually degrading I've seen in this sort of show - this arvo, two of the girls wind up in hospital - and they're usually conducted outdoors in bikinis in freezing weather. The timeslot is perfect for children who want to watch some nasty, amoral, sexually themed garbage before their parents get home.

Australia's Next Top Model

Fox8, 7.30pm

There are just six girls left and tonight they're off to Fiji. Four of them turn up to the airport carrying teddy bears, which is a reminder of how young they are - some of them just 16. For a little while this made me a bit more forgiving of schoolgirl Demelza, left, for being such a nasty little cow but then it just made me annoyed that the hosts and crew don't step in more often when fragile little flowers such as Alamela are getting bullied. Anyway, the star of tonight's show turns out to be guest photographer Chris Ferguson, whose quick wit and knockabout charisma are a treat ("Your face is a bit vampy for me - I feel a bit raped," he tells Sam). At one stage I found myself enjoying this episode much more than usual and realised that it was because Jonathan Pease hadn't been on camera for a few minutes. Sadly, at that moment he came oozing down the beach in boardies and big sunglasses looking every inch a toolie at Schoolies' Week. Pease doesn't do himself or the girls any favours in this show. Rather than being the mentor he's meant to be, he's a relentlessly snide critic who only seems to back off only when he's driven one of the girls close to tears. I'm sure he thinks it's tough love but from where I sit it looks a lot like - and here's that word again - bullying.

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS:

Phew! Finally, some wholesome family viewing as a new series of the beautiful Big Cat Diary kicks off on Animal Planet at 8pm. Another new documentary series, Eco-Tech (Discovery Science, 6.30pm), is dumbed down in style but is actually very informative, tonight looking at amazing new fuel and battery technology.

 
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