The Sunday Mail (Queensland)

Reality show could finish off Byron Bae

- TWITTER, FACEBOOK: @HELLOJAMES­WEIR

Australia’s number one mission of destroying Byron Bay is almost complete. We’ve been working tirelessly over the past few years to ravage the oncesleepy, surfy shire and this week’s news of a reality show about influencer­s in the bay means we’ll soon be able to kick back and admire the fruits of our labour.

Netflix describes the upcoming docu-soap Byron Baes as “a feed of hot Instagramm­ers living their best lives, being their best selves, creating the best content”.

So … it’s basically just Instagram Stories but on Netflix.

The streaming giant also labelled the yet-to-be-shot series as a “love letter to one of the world’s most perfect playground­s”.

Of course, Byron Bay locals are not accepting it as a love letter. To them, it’s hate mail. And you better believe their mood rings have turned a murky shade of brown.

When we took this column on the road over summer to check out Australia’s most talked about hotspot, the locals were already fuming about the influx of influencer­s and had no issue articulati­ng their thoughts and feelings.

To use influencer terminolog­y, the feedback shared by these locals was #raw, #unfiltered and #BrutallyHo­nest.

“They’re spoiled brats,” Wreck Surf store owner Bert Reid said. “I think social media and Instagram … they’ve got a lot to answer for. It’s like, ‘Come to Byron and get ya photos!’ We’re, like, ‘Just be normal’.”

“Byron Bay is basically a meme,” a skinny hipster named Snake said.

“(It’s) More like Bali’s Potato Head,” another local said.

The Byron Bay locals get wound up so easily, which is funny because when you drive into the town, there’s a sign that says, “Cheer up, slow down, chill out”.

They’re all bitter and twisted over a couple of hot people taking selfies. Just imagine the collective conniption they’ll have when a rooftop bar eventually gets installed at the top of that dusty old lighthouse.

First came the Hemsworths.

Then the influencer­s. A reality show was really the final stage in the evolution.

Resisting change only makes it harder. These disgruntle­d locals should just burn their incense, polish their magic crystals and channel the positive vibes they’re always crapping on about.

They’ve got more in common with influencer­s than they care to admit.

They both indulge in convenient spirituali­ty, nonsense wellness products and just general selfabsorp­tion.

The town has absolutely nothing to worry about.

Just look at all the other esteemed reality series set in iconic locations.

Like Jersey Shore. Byron Bay would be lucky to have a Snookie or Pauly D representi­ng the town on the world stage.

Same with those Real Housewives of Wherever.

On Byron Baes, there’ll be countless opportunit­ies to throw a green juice in someone’s face.

And we would be remiss not to mention Channel 10’s 2012 foray into the docusoap genre with The Shire.

I still remember the night it premiered. It was the worst thing ever.

They should bring it back. Netflix hasn’t revealed which influencer­s will star on Byron Baes but of course we have a wish list.

At the top of the list is that older less successful Hemsworth brother.

It’s always great when a reality show tries to offer some star power by recruiting an offbeat relative of someone famous.

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