Secret Load of Toss

12:00 am DIY, Media

It might be billed as This Life meets Friends in Australia, but The Secret Life of Us lives up to that description only in the sense that it takes the worst bits of both and stirs in an over-glossy Oz soap sheen. Where does it go wrong? All over the place. For a start, there are nine central characters. Six I can keep track of, but nine? I’d have to take notes.

And they’re not interesting characters, either. Like Friends, they’re all airbrushed beautiful people with fantastic apartments who apparently do no work at all. Secret Life… even has out of work actors, for heaven’s sake. This is fine if you’re doing a comedy. But Secret… is purportedly a comedy-drama. It’s certainly more Cold Feet than This Life. But obviously Cold Feet doesn’t command the critical respect of This Life so they’re not going to mention that. About all this show has in common with This Life is the odd crazy camera angle and the whole flat-sharing young professionals thing. Except that This Life had characters with proper issues. Somehow blonde Australians sitting in comfy flats worrying about never making it as an actress isn’t quite as riveting as lawyers in London doing coke in the office loos and then going out on all-night benders.

And then there’s the voice-overs. Oh, my, the voice-overs. Secr… has characters doing voice-overs on their own scenes from the perspective of an older, wiser them (think The Wonder Years) which is OK up to a point. But then you get different characters (or it might just be one of them in a narrator stylee, but all the male characters appear to have the same voice so I can’t tell) commentating on the actions of the others. How do they know what they were thinking just then?

It’s a measure of just how compelling Se… is that I’ve managed to see the first ten minutes of two episodes and then turned them off. Oh, and the name’s too long.

Hairy Lookalike: Mike Gatting is a more hirsute Phil Mitchell

Oh, and we had builders in today. Who took out the spurious wall in our house (that we’d been half-heartedly chipping away at and wondering how long it would take us to remove) in an hour and a half. We now have a massive bathroom. Ankle-deep in rubble and with no ceiling, admittedly, but it’s a start…

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