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The Family – Will This Be The New Sylvania Waters?

As the commercial networks finish off their shows this week, tonight SBS are premiering The Family, a show which follows a family over the course of their day to day lives.

It is bringing back the reality genre to where it all started, and some would say what it should be, just the cameras and the cast.

The Family  follows Melbourne family, the Cardamones, which consists of three sons plus the mother and father over a period of three months.

In a great article in the Sydney Morning Herald, Paul Franklin from Shine Australia talks about the casting of the family.

He said:

Of the hundreds of families that applied, 30 to 40 were considered, according to director of programming at production company Shine Australia, Paul Franklin. Some were eliminated on the basis of background checks and psychological assessments but the Cardamones were always at the fore.

”We weren’t sure there was enough dynamic there,” Franklin says. ”There was nothing major coming up in their lives but eventually we hit a point where we felt they were right.

”I flew to Melbourne to meet them and they were so likeable I thought, ‘Perfect’.”

It was, he admits, a daunting project as the show rides entirely on the selection of the family.

”We were strict in not getting involved other than having our cameras in [the house]. You couldn’t stimulate storylines as you normally would as a producer. It was [a matter of] sitting on your hands with fingers crossed.

”From that point of view it was exciting, anxious program making. You have to let it play out, have faith that the cast will be likeable enough, that enough will take place.

”If you were making it for a commercial network you might not feel comfortable with that. It was nice to make something pure, though.”

Will the show be like the iconic Sylvania Waters which really was fantastic at the time?Noelene Donohue was scarred by the show and how she was portrayed. However, Noelene was the early protoype for all those Real Housewives we see on our screens weekly.  Hopefully it is a more positive experience for the Cardamone family.

What I do know is it will be very entertaining and interesting for the viewer.

The Family on SBS One 8.30pm Thursday nights.


1 JStar { 11.24.11 at 1:51 pm }

RR, there’s a part of me that secretly hope that this series unearth another Noelene, and I believe most of the UK would be behind that thought as well. Sylvania Waters confirmed every ugly stereotype the Brits have about Australians – the drinking, the foul mouthed behaviour, the inappropriate racism, the loser kids, and not to mention the “shocking” fact that the parents were not married. I believe most Australians who remember Sylvania Waters were thankful that their family were fairly sane in comparison.

I think this show, given SBS’s multicultural charter, will provide a refreshing look at an Australian family’s life 20 years on from Sylvania Waters. Still, nothing beats a good screaming match that forced poor old Noelene to drink in EVERY episode.

2 Wurstsemmel { 11.24.11 at 1:54 pm }

Not sure if I’ll go for this but I’ve been watching a fun reality show on Weds on ABC called Undercover Princes – found it by accident – 3 princes from Sri Lanka, India (gay) and South Africa coast Brighton in the UK looking for Miss Right. Finished last night but apparently there is Undercover Princesses starting next week.

3 Culinary Boner { 11.24.11 at 2:16 pm }

On the subject of SW, two Aussie TV icons meet –
and produce nothing.

My highlight from SW was Noelene’s waste-oid son, Paul?, and his dim, up-the-duff girlfriend.

A memorable scene was Paul’s favourite mode of transport, in which he’d make his dog a sleigh-dog for his skateboard.

Is the Shine producer on crack? “They were so likeable I thought, ‘Perfect’ “. Hasn’t he read your Report Raver?

I’m not sittin’ on my arse getting haemorrhoids watching a ‘likeable’ family do mundane things like watching tele and cooking dinner etc… I’ve seen the ‘effing Royle Family and don’t want to put through such shite again.

I want a family I can either tut-tut, feel superior to, or best still, laugh at or laugh with. Bring back The Osbournes.

4 brain dead dave { 11.24.11 at 2:39 pm }

The producers are going to struggle to find someone who could put away as much bourbon and coke as Noelene.

5 Reality Raver { 11.24.11 at 2:50 pm }

BDD – in my heyday I may have had the legs to match her, but not anymore.

CB – I am sure there will be drama in there. Obviously they will polarise the audience. Remember SBS did The Nest and that was edited to make most of the characters appear unlikeable

6 Georgie { 11.24.11 at 2:54 pm }

Mmmm – the Cardomones has a similar ring to it as the Kardashians!

7 Culinary Boner { 11.24.11 at 2:59 pm }

Hope you’re right Raver.

I quite liked The Nest, but thought it could have done without the the constant and flimsily-relevant comments – I’m looking at you Bernard Salt.

8 brain dead dave { 11.24.11 at 3:00 pm }

If they’re fat… I christen thee The Lardomones.

9 Culinary Boner { 11.24.11 at 3:06 pm }

Perhaps the Medichs or Gattellaris would have made more riveting viewing

10 Culinary Boner { 11.24.11 at 3:07 pm }

I’d rather see The Ramones

11 Georgie { 11.24.11 at 3:08 pm }

The Ibrahims would make for exciting viewing – not a day goes by without a ‘drive by’.

12 brain dead dave { 11.24.11 at 3:19 pm }

When the Ibrahims talk about having a few shots at Xmas time,you know they’re not talking about drinking.

13 Georgie { 11.24.11 at 3:27 pm }

And they may as well get paid for being on the tele every night.

14 brain dead dave { 11.24.11 at 3:32 pm }

Most people like magazines- the Ibrahims prefer emptying them.

15 Georgie { 11.24.11 at 3:35 pm }

And bollards are used to keep most people in line but not the Ibrahims.

16 Chunks { 11.24.11 at 4:17 pm }

“Some were eliminated on the basis of background checks and psychological assessments…” Shudder.

17 Culinary Boner { 11.24.11 at 4:49 pm }

I just checked the SBS website to challenge… no correct that…validate my feeling that this will be a boring as watching paint dry and can reveal this goes for 8 weeks!! – – And covers such compelling subjects as Episode 2 “Talking about Sex” – hopefully this just entails mum and dad letting them watch a season of “Jersey Shore” – and surprise, surprise mum “being bored at work and feeling like a slave at home” (Episode 6).

Bludgeon me to death with 15inch rubber cock Harry the Hatchet, I just can’t wait to watch this banality unfold.

Obviously Shine weren’t putting their background and psych tests to proper use.

18 Georgie { 11.24.11 at 8:55 pm }

I just watched the first 5 minutes of this – CB can I borrow the bludgeon.

19 Leop { 11.25.11 at 7:22 am }

Disappointing – maybe its still raw day or week one for the family with cameras in house – can’t figure why the parents are walking on egg shells with the kids – as their friends over for bbq said ‘you are the parents’ – it was a no brainer taking internet and mobile away during a school week with my kid – tough love. Dad in show is ball-less, mum (who has her work cut out for her for sure) grating on nerves

20 Culinary Boner { 11.25.11 at 8:21 am }

Georgie, Harry’s still giving Smithy Robinson a pounding with it…you’ll have to wait.

21 Georgie { 11.25.11 at 8:44 am }

I’d had enough when she started about how he made the bed. The Boredomones definitely won’t be on my ‘to watch’ list.

22 seepi { 11.25.11 at 2:59 pm }

Twas on the dull side last night.

And why did she wait 30 years to tell him how she likes the cushions on the bed?

I wonder what the filming agreement says – they seem to have cameras in all bedrooms, bathroom etc – bizarre= I wonder why the family are doing it?

23 Culinary Boner { 11.25.11 at 3:07 pm }

In the bathroom, on the throne, reading the paper is the last refuge for men in today’s society.

While I might be comfortable with a webcam catching me tweezering me nose hairs (’cause of the cringing this would induce across Raver’s “social sofa”), I’d definitely be drawing the line at ‘dunny cam’.

Maybe Shine needed to add an IQ test to the battery of psych tests and background checks they performed.

24 Reality Raver { 11.25.11 at 8:33 pm }

OK guys just watching it now due to other reality TV commitments last night.
Seepi I agree with you why wait that long, and I agree with the Dad the whole cushion on cushion thing is ridiculous.
I will be recapping this show next week as it is gold.
A couple of thoughts:
If the cameras were in the bedroom for 3 months did the mum and dad not have sex for that time. Snap for the boys if you get my drift.

I have heard more riveting conversations on Big Brother;
The father was talking about different values of the generations, obviously the sons are a bit more hair phobic then the father.
Also the mother is doing the sons no favours by waiting on them.

25 Leop { 11.26.11 at 3:51 am }

RR – can’t wait for you to recap this. Apparently the cameras do go off for a few hours late at night and no, none in the toilet. Also I doubt whether sex is a VIP after 25 yrs of marriage, yawn, lol

26 Patty { 01.01.12 at 9:10 pm }

This family live in Donvale……million dollar plus homes. Kids go to Whitefriars College. $8600 per child per year tuition. Two boys now go to uni and I’ m sure mum and dad are paying the fees. Mum is a partime sales lady at myer and dad manages a concrete joint. Are these people for real?? They seem to eat expensive food and can afford to hold lavish parties. Am I missing something? Maybe they were offered alot of money to be in this show. Mum did mention $50000 on one show.