The great ego race heads for the finish
Total Xposure (TV3)
Sharon Osbourne's Charm School (MTV)
Total Xposure is not, as we previously believed, a case of a dead horse being sliced open and its entrails cynically strung out like garland in order to fill the crater-like creativity gaps in the summer schedule.
On the contrary, it's a cunning post-modernist television masterpiece. For a start, there's the title, which you may have imagined was a lazy assemblage of words punning on Xpose. Not a bit of it. Someone at TV3 clearly thought long and hard (which must have hurt) to find a title that would accurately reflect the series' ethos.
In most reality-slash-talent shows the participants resort to extraordinary subterfuge to conceal the fact that they're territorially pissing on one another's shoes. The Total Xposure contestants, on the other hand, have allowed their outer skin to be peeled away like an onion's, thus exposing the raw, throbbing ego beneath.
And no one throbs more rawly than ruthless Ruth, who talks VERY LOUDLY and opens her mouth so wide while doing so that I fear that she might swallow one of her rivals whole, like a jungle snake consuming an entire deer in one sitting.
Reacting to the news that Anthony had won a place among the last five, Ruth discreetly roared: "I THINK ANTHONY SHOULD HAVE GONE THREE WEEKS AGO, IF I'M BEING TOTALLY HONEST. LET'S BE HONEST -- WHEN IT COMES DOWN TO IT, HE HAS THE LEAST ABILITY."
With one week to go, Ruth is now the sole woman in the group alongside Sean, Simon, Stuart and the aforesaid Anthony, who have a tendency to melt into a single, vanilla-flavoured blur of hair mousse and man-moisturiser.
The would-be Famous Five were split into two groups and sent to the Galway Races to compile two-minute reports "worthy of Xpose". As they milled among the horses and hags in hats, it was as if the various ids of a hydra-headed monster had escaped and run rampant. Sean and Simon (collectively, Seamon, if you will) jostled for control of the microphone like two kids fighting for the last '99 in Mr Whippy's van. Both of them went through to next week's final, while one of the other three will be axed by public vote on this evening's Xpose. Apparently, the camera crew said Sean had absolutely no ego. So, an abundance of post-modernism, but as yet not a single sighting of its longtime companion, irony.
From the moronic to the oxymoronic and Sharon Osbourne's Charm School, in which the classy dame who gets back at her enemies by sending them lumps of her own poo through the post teaches a bunch of manky, implant-inflated rawk chicks, none of who will see spring again, how to be ladies.
At least I think that's what's going on amid the squabbling chaos. The series assumes prior knowledge on the part of the viewer. It also assumes said viewer will be satisfied with 60 minutes of babes, boobs and bikinis.
If you've seen my byline picture lately you'll know that I, more than anyone, realise true beauty resides on the inside. Still, these women look as if they've had their faces turned inside out in order to locate it.
Total Xposure * *
Sharon Osbourne's Charm School *