Forget the Logies, this year’s Australian TV anti* awards, the TV Fugly Awards, or Fuglies, are in full swing.
Hopefuls vying for a gong are eagerly anticipating Friday, 2 May 2008, local television’s afternoon of afternoons, and the day Fuglies founder and MC, Anthony Dever takes the podium in what promises to be a lavish awards ceremony.
Anthony was good enough to take a little time out from steam cleaning the Fuglies trademark brown carpet mat in preparation for this year’s ceremony, to talk about the awards, and also share a few thoughts about Australian television.
(* or actual awards, depending on your opinion of the medium)
Q: So, is it that you “love to hate” what’s on local TV, or are some of the offerings really that bad?
A: It’s a little from columns a and b. I wish I could say that I have the best viewing taste in the country but the reality is I love rubbish television shows as much as most people.
Australian Princess was by far the greatest unintentionally funny show our country has produced in the last couple of years. It was an awful show but also so very good.
It is shows like The Nation which was on on Channel Nine last year that really annoy me. I say this even as a fan of Mick Molloy, but it was such a pedestrian offering. A sad show to watch knowing how funny Mick is and how much money was involved yet the overall idea couldn’t be made into a decent weekly offering.
But it’s not just the shows these awards take a swipe at. I’ve found out by running a survey like The Fuglies that as many people are dissatisfied with the logic defying programming decisions than they are with the shows themselves.
Hopefully one day all the programming things that networks screw over loyal viewers with will be eliminated thanks to technology like Digital TV, PVRs, EPGs and TiVO. I say bring on the Televisión en la revolución!
Q: Something tells me you aren’t too impressed with the “official” TV awards, the Logies. What’s up there?
A: The voting process which was originally linked to buying TV Week magazine as well as the ownership ties between the magazine and the Nine Network were the initial catalyst for it all but now that has mostly changed it’s more that the Logies continue to be so taken so seriously by the industry yet almost universally mocked by the public.
It is fun to be tucked away on the internet hiding behind a laptop parodying the seriousness of it all.
Q: And, er, has there ever been any comment from the TV networks, or Award winners, regarding the Fuglies?
A: Nine time Fugly award winner Eddie McGuire has been bundled up in a wacky breakfast radio interview (mp3 file 185k) saying through gritted teeth that we can keep doing what we do.
Other than that, nothing. I really don’t think anyone in a TV network cares. As much as I’d love to be completely self important and think television executives note down the results, unfortunately I live in reality where I know it doesn’t matter to them.
It’s just a bit of annoying publicity on the Friday and Saturday after our results are announced which is swamped and forgotten once the Logies hype machine spins into gear on the Sunday.
Q: So far no winner has ever collected their award in person, but I understand there was a “close call” once… what happened there?
A: Each year I fly down from Brisbane to Melbourne so I can announce the winners on a small square of brown carpet on the footpath outside Crown Casino.
It’s done on the Friday before the Logies which are on the Sunday. But I fly back that same day. As much as I adore Melbourne I don’t bother hanging around. Just drop the lightweight bomb that is our awards and get out as quickly as possible.
So, one year late in the day while I was waiting for my flight back at Avalon airport I received a call from a publicist at Token a company which manges a heap of comedians.
She wanted to know where Adam Hills could come to accept his award. He was the recipient of one of our good awards, the Most Under Acknowledged TV Personality.
I was just too far away and too poor to rearrange my flight to get back to Melbourne in time to make it happen. Maybe this year now that we’re having an actual ceremony people might turn up, I doubt it though.
Q: You’d be pretty familiar with Australian TV. What would you personally consider to be quality local programming?
But the one standout new show last year that I was disappointed to miss or not record and once even tried to get SBS to send me review tapes was Wilfred.
And while not produced here or screened here yet and technically not even ours but in the great way Australia adopts successful New Zealanders I think Flight of the Conchords is worthy of being claimed as our own.
I have really enjoyed the illegally downloaded episodes I’ve obtained via the wonders of the internet. That show is a classic example of local production companies and television networks not backing our own creative talent.
These two insanely brilliant people were part of a show on ABC TV called Stand-up! in 2004 yet no one here had the gumption to sign them up.
Later they got spotted at an overseas comedy festival and now they have their own show on arguably the best channel in the world, HBO. A New Zealand, sorry, Australian folk-parody duo have a show on HBO.
Let that sink in. Sex and the City, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Entourage, The Sopranos, Big Love and now Flight of the Conchords.
As someone who loves watching telly I just shake my head and think how many other shows are out there in the heads of young kids with unique ideas who are stuck entering film festivals or doing stand up comedy that just aren’t seeing the light of day.
With TGYH being sold into so many overseas markets and therefore making Working Dog crazy coin it has shown that the world gets our sense of humour and can be financially lucrative.
So you’d think just from a potential money earning perspective local networks would be throwing a little more effort into producing the ideas of talented people.
Thanks for your time Anthony, we’re all looking forward to the awards ceremony!
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