RE­BEKAH DEVLIN OUT OF THE BOX

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Saturday -

WHEN open­ing ti­tles have a smi­ley face and a sad face, I get concerned. Are we watch­ing a show put to­gether by pri­mary school stu­dents? Will it fea­ture Justin Bieber and Han­nah Mon­tana?

While it may not be cre­ated by chil­dren, the plot could prob­a­bly have been some­one’s year 2 project. Get per­fect strangers (a bo­gan fam­ily and a snobby fam­ily, both from Eng­land) and make them spend two weeks to­gether on hol­i­day. One week the snobs choose the spot, the next week the bo­gans are in charge. Pro­voke fights and film it.

The bo­gans are the Matthews fam­ily. ‘‘ In a quiet corner of the south coast lives a fam­ily who’s any­thing but quiet,’’ says the com­men­tary.

Sin­gle mum Caro­line has three kids: Emma, 20, Richard, 15, and Jes­sica, 13. They smoke, drink and swear.

‘‘ My mum’s style of par­ent­ing is pretty much do what you bloody well like. There’s no rules, there’s no forc­ing us to be a fam­ily and sit around a ta­ble hav­ing a meal. We don’t do that,’’ Emma says.

The Wil­liams fam­ily are the snobs. Dad Chris is a bore who loves to lec­ture the Matthews un­der the guise of ed­u­cat­ing them. It comes across as con- de­scend­ing. With wife Mag­gie, son Robert, 20, and daugh­ter Rachael, 18, they hol­i­day in a French chateau.

‘‘ So many times I just want to jump up and say, ‘ Shut the f---up’,’’ Emma says of Chris.

I’d use slightly dif­fer­ent lan­guage, but agree with her.

The Matthews are ob­sessed with wine tast­ing.

‘‘ I think that’s straw­coloured, ac­tu­aaaaally,’’ says Rachael about a white wine.

Their choice of group ac­tiv­ity is ridicu­lous: a wine ap­pre­ci­a­tion class. Richard is 15 and Jes­sica is 13. What the?

The Matthews get their own back when they head to an ad­ven­ture hol­i­day park with skir­mish, a sur­vival course and quad bik­ing. Hol­i­day Show­down Life­Style, Fox­tel/Aus­tar, 9.30pm

Snob: Chris Wil­liams.

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