Pushy par­ents make child­ish celebri­ties

There is plenty of po­ten­tial for ex­cru­ci­at­ingly ad­dic­tive view­ing

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Tv -

My Kid’s a Star 7.30pm, Nine

MY Kid’s a Star is what hap­pens when you com­bine re­al­ity television, he­li­copter par­ent­ing and the no­tion that fame is an am­bi­tion in it­self.

Given that from the mo­ment they ex­ited the womb ( and pos­si­bly even ear­lier) many chil­dren have been de­vel­op­ing their tal­ents in so many dif­fer­ent di­rec­tions that they make Bill Gates look like a slacker, it seems get­ting fa­mous is a mere for­mal­ity.

Es­pe­cially for those with par­ents who are keen to live vi­car­i­ously through their pre­cious snowflake, even though if said child wanted to be a po­lice­man at six, they’d hardly trot down to the po­lice academy to en­rol them. ( Thank good­ness, be­cause at six I wanted to be a nun, prob­a­bly more as a con­se­quence of watch­ing The Fly­ing Nun ev­ery af­ter­noon than any call­ing.)

In My Kid’s a Star , all this is on pa­rade as 10 par­ents and their chil­dren com­pete for $ 50,000 in a tal­ent show where the par­ents’ Dina Lo­han ten­den­cies are as much a fac­tor as any ac­tual abil­ity. I feel sorry for the kids hav­ing to go through harsh judg­ment, but look­ing at some of the out­fits they’re made to wear, you sus­pect theirs isn’t an easy life any­way.

If you’ve seen the ad­dic­tive Show­biz Moms and Dads on pay TV you’ll know that par­ents who want their chil­dren to be fa­mous are hor­rif­i­cally com­pelling view­ing, and My Kid’s a Star of­fers all flavours. There’s the mum who dresses ex­actly like her daugh­ter and clearly wants peo­ple to say they look more like sis­ters. There’s an­other mum who dresses like a one- year- old and who scar­ily mouths the words as her daugh­ter speaks in in­ter­views. And there’s the dad who wants it much more than his son.

The judges, Syd­ney agent Max Markson and Hol­ly­wood agent Marki Costello, at­tempt to alert the par­ents to the fact that while their chil­dren may be tal­ented, so are a lot of other young­sters. How­ever, I miss Danny Bona­duce, who ap­peared in the first episode as a guest judge.

The for­mer Par­tridge Fam­ily reg­u­lar and child star train­wreck de­liv­ered an­gry and witty ser­mons on the pit­falls of fame to the par­ents in a bid to stop their off­spring turn­ing into him. Not a bad idea, as he slashed his wrists on his re­al­ity show.

Early episodes of the show have been slow, as host Cameron Daddo looks slightly nau­se­ated by the whole ex­pe­ri­ence and the show strug­gles to es­tab­lish ( or man­u­fac­ture) the par­tic­i­pants for the au­di­ence, but there is plenty of po­ten­tial for ex­cru­ci­at­ingly ad­dic­tive view­ing.

It would be nice to think the par­ents, af­ter see­ing them­selves yelling at their chil­dren to per­form bet­ter un­til they cry, would de­cide to throw out the whore make- up and send the kid into the yard to play, and then spend a good 40 min­utes slap­ping them­selves in the face.

But that pre­sup­poses a level of self­aware­ness that does not ap­pear to ex­ist. Watch­ing them get yelled at by a mus­cly Danny Par­tridge was the next best thing.

Ker­rie Mur­phy

Oh mother: The hope­fuls on My Kid’s a Star

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