Pick of the week
Outback Nation with Jamie Durie Monday, 9.30pm, Lifestyle Home (128)
The pitch for this new series presumably went something like this: Crocodile Dundee does backyard landscaping — and funnily enough, it works. Enter Jamie Durie, with a “that’s not a knife, this is a knife” machete on his hip, a didgeridoo playing in the background, here to help American families conquer their out-ofcontrol backyards. In this first episode, Durie meets the Farleys of Florida, who have lost control of their 2000 square metre backyard, not least of which because alligators have taken up residence. (Thankfully, he refrains from wrestling them, and calls animal control.) But in a twist on the genre, Durie doesn’t merely complete the work, and chaperon the family though the finished product; he puts them to work. Not only that, but he also insists they camp in the backyard during the project too. The Farley family’s requirements are diverse, but Durie delivers a Lacrosse practice area, an artist’s studio, an alligator fence and a dock. He puts his body on the line, too. I’ve seen enough fake drama on reality shows to know he very nearly falls out of a tree in this first episode. Earlier this year, he catalogued his injuries from the series: “I’ve broken two fingers, a rib, dislocated a shoulder, drawn blood pretty much daily.” The subtext is just as much about American culture as it is gardens. “We didn’t just make over the Farley backyard, we made over the Farleys,” he says.