Off Their Rock­ers

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television -

Sun­day, 7.30pm, Com­edy I sup­pose it was naive of me to as­sume that Betty White, now 91 and still work­ing, would be host­ing this sea­son of Off Their Rock­ers. If you don’t know, the pro­gram is like a ver­sion of Can­did Cam­era, in which all the tricks are played on young adults by pen­sioner-age crack­pots. In my de­fence, the pre­view discs were thought­fully marked ‘‘ Aus­tralian Pre­miere’’ not ‘‘ Aus­tralian Edi­tion’’ by those fun-lov­ing kids at the Com­edy Chan­nel. Nat­u­rally I thought it was the new sea­son of the orig­i­nal se­ries, which be­gan air­ing last month in the US. Nope, this is the Aus­tralian ver­sion, hosted by lamb-lov­ing Aussie lar­rikin Sam Kekovich. The truth is, the pranks are just as good, if not bet­ter, and the prank-ees are mostly Aussies, which is a hoot. But I miss me some Betty White. Hopefully Com­edy will do the right thing and get it to air here soon. tonight when the en­tire cast gath­ers on the front steps of the Gal­lagher fam­ily home. ‘‘ You really don’t know what hap­pened last year?’’ asks one of the girls. By way of an­swer, the en­tire cast, in­clud­ing young chil­dren, flip us the bird, some with two hands. Ah, Shame­less. So edgy and coun­ter­cul­tural. Use­fully, a col­lage of all of the up­heavals, per­sonal col­li­sions, rep­re­hen­si­ble sex­ual en­coun­ters and drug-in­duced stu­pors of the sec­ond sea­son fol­lows. Then there is that ap­palling ti­tle se­quence where al­most ev­ery­one has some sort of vi­o­lent en­counter in the fam­ily bath­room, in­clud­ing a lit­tle bloke who brushes his teeth in the toi­let water. If you can get through this you have no ex­cuse for be­ing of­fended by what goes on later. No, it’s not all booze, drugs and sex in toi­lets. Tonight there is a mur­der and a dis­mem­ber­ment, and sev­eral cast mem­bers com­pete in a robot­fight­ing com­pe­ti­tion. You stand warned. moment when, af­ter 300 years, South Africa fi­nally de­cided it would be a coun­try where ev­ery­one counted. ‘‘ Good pre­vailed, and jus­tice pre­vailed, be­cause peo­ple in­sisted on it,’’ says ac­tress Al­fre Woodard. ‘‘ All colours of the rain­bow moved out of each other’s way to ac­com­mo­date,’’ says Bono. Beau­ti­fully shot with widescreen con­tem­po­rary land­scape footage, this is thor­oughly in­spir­ing tele­vi­sion about how the cra­dle of hu­man­ity fi­nally man­aged to treat all of its ci­ti­zens as equal un­der the law.

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