Monday, June 30, 2008

Aerobics Oz Style

I'm really getting old, I really am. Not just because I just did a blog post about how Miley Cyrus sounds like Corey Hart. I can now list no fewer than four camp idiots who are annoying me every time I see them on adverts - the camp Mary Poppins off the Dominos ad, the gay bear off the Bundaberg advert, the guy who seems genuinely uncomfortable being with three girls at Burger King (footnote - they've made an edit that makes him look less odd now), and now the guy on the Bunnings ad who talks about doggie doors. Why are the idiots (and males are the last people you can poke fun at) on these adverts now incredibly camp as well? The guy who is supposed to look really wicked hip taking three models on his AFL trip just looks...virginal and awkward. Who's impressed by that?

Of course, this kind of awkward virginal nervousness really doesn't play well in the sticks, or Penguin to be precise. When I said before about the girls with the paddle pop sticks scraping the mud off their husbands boots, I wasn't joking - it was a very blokey town. Such blokey blokes would solve problems practically, drink beer until their liver exploded, keep their emotions bottled up until they exploded and talk graphically about what they would do to any girl they saw either in real life or on television. And for a period of about six weeks in the mid 90s, it seemed as though every single male in Tasmania would gather around with a carton of beer, a limited vocabulary and talk about which girl from Aerobics Oz Style they would, er, befriend. Everyone had a position on this, and when they retired to do research, they would secretly pray it wasn't an episode hosted by Anton. It was my first real experience of Tasmanian graphic manly discussion, and I drank in a lot of this wisdom. And I still stuck to my Jaynie Seal position. Matron.

As the name suggests, Aerobics Oz Style was a TV show, of which there are only slightly less episodes than Days Of Our Lives. It was a show that involved a 1/2 hour Aerobics work out, 15 minutes of which were taken up plugging their videos, and obviously by definition it was a pervy view at times. There are two eras of classic Aerobics Oz Style - let's call them the indoor and the outdoor period. The indoor period was a studio based Aerobics session which involved nothing but the instructor bullying Effie Michaels to do more sit ups. The outdoor period was marked by the fact that any idiot seemed to be able to walk up and join in, which happened more than once. What is strange is that at some point between outdoor and indoor, the show became a parody of itself. No really - the indoor years had June, Michelle and Wendy - mumsy types, fit but ordinary looking really - they were all about the fitness. They would talk about the tapes that were playing, their kids, whether their husbands were watching, and then head off and bully Effie a bit more. But they were dedicated professionals when it came to leading a workout. By the outdoor years, those women were shown hardly at all on camera, as the director became Jodie Low obsessed and the in jokes took over the show. They would dispute that, but the blokes in the pub knew the difference.

Jodie Low is a bit like the Abigail of Aerobics Oz Style, the Leanne Fenwick, the Anne Maree Cooksley - she really was pointless, but attractive. Like I used to argue with female Collingwood supporters about Chris Tarrant, yes, you find him hot, but he can't kick the ball, that's a lot more important. She was a female Chris Tarrant. On a practical Aerobics level, she was hopeless. She didn't even seem to do the exercises 1/2 the time. She was always the one doing the "beginners" exercises. And yet she got most of the camera time. I'd imagine this was deliberate, as she was a complex character - she was the most attractive, but the worst at Aerobics. If she'd been the best, would any housewife have watched? June Jones should have kicked her ass for not being able to do a leg curl, but oddly, she'd just step over her and yell at Effie some more. It really sucked to be Effie.

It's amazing though that some guys in Penguin I'm sure are still discussing which one they'd nail, without knowing Laughing Ed Phillips has beaten them all to it. If only they'd got off the damn...hey, fellas, another round, what were we talking about again?

No comments: