Pssst! Wanna see a used-car show?

Herald Sun - Switched On - - On The Couch -

WHERE are our TV shows about used car deal­ers? It’s not like there aren’t sto­ries out there. We all know peo­ple. We’ve all bought cars, or seen cars, or I mean, I know a guy my­self, he’s dodgier than any­one on this show we’re go­ing to talk about in a minute, he does this thing where ... ac­tu­ally, prob­a­bly not the right venue. The Big Steal, Ben Men­del­sohn, 20-odd years ago, that’s the only one I can think of and it’s a film and it’s not re­ally what I’m talk­ing about any­way.

Call Me Fitz is set in a used car busi­ness. Now, if that doesn’t speak to you as a con­cept for a tele­vi­sion show, tell me what does? The main dude in it also has a touch of the Cal­i­for­ni­ca­tions about him. Cal­i­for­ni­ca­tion: the se­ries where David Du­chovny plays a dog-off-a-lead mid­dleaged writer, now a by-word for do­ing what­ever you feel like.

I have no way of know­ing, but I imag­ine Richard Fitz­patrick— the Fitz of the ti­tle— is a ve­hi­cle plenty of 40-year-old has-beens in Hol­ly­wood would’ve done any­thing to get. Such as sell a Mus­tang to a woman in a coma, the way Dick Fitz at­tempts to in the first episode tonight. And it needs a de­gree of des­per­a­tion to play it. (And just an­other rea­son why used car sales­men are such a beau­ti­ful fit with the Aus­tralian tele­vi­sion in­dus­try.)

Call Me Fitz’s lead Ja­son Pri­est­ley al­ways had steady work af­ter he left Bev­erly Hills 90210. Just hardly ever the right work.

I’m not sure what 90210’s rep­u­ta­tion is now, I think it’s per­haps been clouded by its hot­ter (bet­ter) spin-off Mel­rose Place, but it was one of the first se­ries in the world about teenagers. There had been shows with teenagers in them, but they were part of the fam­ily, re­ally only an in­ci­den­tal thing. There were break­out teen stars, but they were splin­ters off the tree. It doesn’t mat­ter what its rep­u­ta­tion is any­way, its in­flu­ence is al­most im­mea­sur­able.

But don’t worry: Ja­son Pri­est­ley (pic­tured) is noth­ing like Bran­don Walsh in Call Me Fitz.

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