The Super Models (Apple TV+) is a new 4-part documentary from producers Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. It’s pop culture history with fashion icons Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista and Naomi Campbell, and it’s fabulous.
Still friends after all these years, there is lots to unpack about how they all handled their mega fame and power. Evangelista has fared the worst after cosmetic surgery gone wrong and she struggles to stop herself from crying while talking about having to give up modelling.
Naomi Campbell explains how racism dogged her early years and how it was only the insistence of these women that got her included as their equal. She is also open about how her own bad behaviour led to her reputation of being an angry black woman, something we all fell for hook, line and sinker.
There was always more to her story, but perhaps it has taken #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter to help us look past the lurid headlines and ask more questions. As a society, we have always been very quick to judge women, while some men like Russell Brand have behaved badly for years and gotten away with it.
Going through some old tapes of Channel [V], it struck me how diverse we all were with VJs that were multicultural and multisexual. What made me cringe, however, was how sexist we could be 20 years ago. Female singers, like Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Geri Halliwell, were always easy targets whereas male singers of the day rarely copped any flak.
Therefore, it’s great to re-examine pop culture from any era when it was curated for us. Today we are more cynical, and social media is quick to expose hypocrisy and uncomfortable truths that mainstream media refuses to see.
For example, last Monday’s Q&A episode, all about nuclear power, featured a 17-year-old panellist who was described as having no affiliation with politics. The next day, however, social media revealed links to the Liberal Party which had just been scrubbed from his website. Oops.
Q&A facilitating a biased discussion was bad enough, but how did Will Shackel, who is yet to finish high school, become more of an expert on nuclear waste than an actual scientist? At this rate, the next nuclear expert on the ABC is going to be Homer Simpson.
Read more Mercado on TV here.
Welcome to TV Gold: Mediaweek’s weekly TV podcast
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Listen now on your favourite podcast platform for 30 minutes of TV reviews and recommendations every week from Mediaweek’s Andrew Mercado and James Manning.
This week: Super Models, Far North, The Other Black Girl, A Pack of Lies
One documentary and three new dramas this week. The documentary is The Super Models (AppleTV+) which features the life and times of Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista and Naomi Campbell. The dramas are Far North (Paramount+), The Other Black Girl (Disney+) and The Following Events Are Based on a Pack of Lies (BBC First on Foxtel & Binge).
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