Screen, TV

The Logies: still pointless but making death less frightening

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Last night, dozens of Australians gave in to the choreography of the Logies. There are reports today that the spectacle is now seen as a “joke”, but I do not fall in with this assessment. This is not the camp of Eurovision, undisturbed despite its self-awareness. This is not the Brownlow medal red carpet parade of comically gendered extremes. This is largely a reminder that network television is dying, save for its profitable excursions to Summer Bay.
I watch the Logies as I imagine many do: in the lifeless spirit of the very late weekend. I watch the end of times. The Logies. A joke? No. Television’s night of nights is a death and one barely disguised by its stabs at mocking detachment, which become more artless by the year. Tony Martin’s Pete Smith voice-over parody is not a wink to a razzle-dazzle Australian infomercial past, but a sign only of disdain for what came before. As for Shane Jacobsen and his “irreverent” interviews with stars. These are as shocking and unprecedented as the annual award to the most deluded show on television, which is, of course, The Block.
(FFS. Take that thing off. Start a program abut hoarding gold for the coming financial collapse. You can renovate what was once a shelter for the marginalised all you want; pop up a lovely bright splashback to hide the bloodstains and piss. You’re still not going to make money, you twits. The property market is in the lav.)
The decision to watch the Logies is no longer taken in ironic distance. Instead, inertia moves us nowhere to watch it. Perhaps it is also inertia that moves persons to vote for it. Who knows how, why and by what small number the votes for the Logies come.
I have not voted in the Logies myself, but I did once download the Love Island Australia app to vote for one Hot Couple above another. This was largely to postpone making a difficult choice in my own life: margherita or peperoni? Sometimes, it is easier to deliberate about nothing than face the thought of Monday morning.
Sometimes, it is easier to lie like a corpse than locate the remote for the telly. I have now recovered this device. It was in the bedclothes, as was one medium pizza box, one pizza delivery menu and two richly illustrated left-wing publications, neither of which I bothered to read. I am yet to recover the paralysis of the Logies, whose nostalgia for a past it didn’t like felt as dead as I did.

Taking the piss, as the contemporary Logies does, out of a medium that took its own piss from the outset——is brutish.

There were, it should be said, a few signs of life. Dressed in an entirely terrible frock painted with the skyline of the Gold Coast, Madame Julia Morris performed what may truly be named a “number” in which she brought both levity and respect to the #MeToo moment with a medley that included the instruction, “U can’t touch this”. A round of terrible jokes were meticulously shot by Bert Newton, whose person should remind us that camp piss-taking has been part of Australian television since its inception. Taking the piss, as the contemporary Logies does, out of a medium that took its own piss from the outset—look at almost any moment of footage from In Melbourne Tonight—is brutish.
Winners saving the night from the latrine were comic Dilruk Jayasinha—“Don’t worry. I don’t know who I am, either”—the patrician Miss Pamela Rabe and someone or other else I did not long to slap. I did wish to slap Jacqueline McKenzie, who ought to have apologised for agreeing to appear not once but twice in the bigot-porn of Romper Stomper instead of banging on about her daughter for an entire five minutes. All very well and good that the charming and precocious Brynlee, Dakota or whatever-her-name-was enjoys a life filled with love and comfort. Would that we could say the same for the many families whose lives are maligned by this heap of shit that somehow won the prize for best mini-series.

The former host of Family Feud gave a very moving speech about himself and his journey from an unspecified illness to the full health only hosting a quiz show can provide. He seems nice. I found myself crying.

It is quite possible, of course, that no one in Australia made a mini-series other than Romper Stomper this past year.  Even if this were the case, the program deserves no accolades and has its place only as a lesson in how to take a complex political present and make it as simple as fuck for idiots. Oooh. Get this: fascists are bad, but so are the people who fight them. Let’s move to the centre, say the writers, as though a central position were not fundamentalist itself.
I am very pleased for Gold Logie winner Grant Denyer. Not to come over all We Only Watch The ABC, but before last evening, I had no previous knowledge of this tea-time slot entertainer. Either way, the former host of Family Feud gave a very moving speech about himself and his journey from an unspecified illness to the full health only hosting a quiz show can provide. He seems nice. I found myself crying. Then again, I am often found crying on a Sunday evening as I look toward Friday’s distant light.
Honestly, I think all participants in the Logies would have a good deal more fun if the Logies were never to be televised again. We can begrudge no industry its night of nights or its chance to misbehave en masse, in finery and after the chicken dish. We can, however, see that this industry is falling apart, even and especially when it tries to hide the evidence of its increasing pointlessness with jokes about its pointlessness.
One cannot love the Logies, and one cannot loathe it, either. One can simply watch, hope for a voting “hack”, such as that which raised Denyer out of C-time obscurity, and pretend that the thing that seems like it will never end will actually never end, and you’ll stay in half of your pyjamas with a half-eaten pizza in this purgatory of nothing forever. It is not good, but is preferable to the hell of weekday movement.
The Logies is not, as Jacobson suggested, a “wild ride”, but a very mild antidepressant. It is not strong enough to distract the viewer from thoughts of death, but it does make the thought of death less frightening.

14 responses to “The Logies: still pointless but making death less frightening

  1. Tony Martin’s Pete Smith voice-over parody is not a wink to a razzle-dazzle Australian infomercial past, but a sign only of disdain for what came before
    I disagree. I challenge you to find anyone on Australia who does not hold Pete Smith in the highest regard than Tony Martin

  2. the lolz!
    I can only imagine that it must, at times, be quite painful to see the world as clearly as you do Helen.
    The hapless creature that lives inside me and hankers for a bit of self-flagellation now wants to watch the Logies and delight in the visceral vision of such small inconsequential deaths.

  3. Poor old Bert , up there still showing his hatred at being sacked from compere of the Logies We all know big stars exploit the little ones behind locked doors Bert! I do find it strange that Helen Razer would watch the Logies, but then you don’t know people do you? I never watch the Logies or much el.se on Free To Air, the shows are pretty weak by my thinking , but my daughter watches them all ,Batchelor and BEtte, love Island ,Dating My EX etc etc , so I must be a mean old shit, because I love Netflix ,SBS On demand ,ABC , but it’s all a matter of taste like Art & Music ,I do think Free TV will survive they have AFL, NRL, NBA, Soccer , the races ,, Bold & the Beautiful , I could go on But you will be OK next year Helen Razer to have Pizza and Chardonnay in the bed watching the Logies Loving every minute!

  4. I find Helen Razer’s articles boorish, boring and unnecessarily vulgar, exciting herself with the use of expletives and an “aren’t I clever?” self-delusion. Most of us would agree that awards programs in general need to be improved, but she could have argued this point with at least some degree of intelligence in her critique. Has Helen ever won an award for her work? Maybe that’s her problem.

  5. A vision splendid of Helen’s pepperoni strewn sheets extended…..Ahhhh…don’t we wish Bill Leak was still upright to draw this vista.
    In this hyper sensitive era of identity diversity types looking hard at every utterance for possible offence (and a possible reference to the Human Rights Commission), the Logies are bound to be a problem for everyone. Those like me who like giving and taking offence as part of our right to free speech, will find it pissweak, and those who like only taking offence will be trying to jail Bert Newton for his jokes.
    I did rather like his pisstaking of Mr & Mrs Walid Ali though. Belittling Mrs Ali’s conversion to Islam from Catholicism (why are Islam converts always convent Catholics?) as akin to Patty’s taking to drink and gambling, was a needed jab. The Ali’s were unsure about laughing at Bert’s uppercut (maybe they were looking for guidance elsewhere).
    Grant Denyer was very touching in his speech – I’ve never watched his ex-show either Helen.
    Grant’s unspecified illness was actually a day job he took standing on wedding cakes with his twin brother at Gay weddings. You can see how a game show with bogan families could restore your health after that hey Helen??

  6. You’re a gas Helen. And I’m happy to spell check you for free – “Start a program abut hoarding gold for the coming financial collapse.”
    May you continue to make life less hoary.

    1. I rather enjoyed that line, but I think the blood and piss defeating splashback was great too.
      Lipstick on a pig is the name of the game in the block.

  7. You suffered needlessly. Pepperoni is the obvious choice.
    I dont want to be considered a perv, but I’m trying to visualise ‘half pajamas’, it’s intriguing.
    Thanks for the fun coverage of the logies. I actually don’t know any of them apart from Bert Newton.

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