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A Very Naughty Boy (We’ll be live blogging during the premiere episode of John Safran’s ‘Race Relations’!)

October 21, 2009 – 11:17 am19 Comments
Source: abc.net.au

Source: abc.net.au

Live, from 9.30pm tonight!

Tune your TV to ABC1 and your internet browser to GalusAustralis.com.

The story so far:

John Safran Gets Busy with Cross-Cultural Love.

Pasty bespectacled comic John Safran is coming back to ABC TV with an eight-part comedy-documentary, and it’s his most daring and personal adventure yet. It’s about cross-cultural, interracial and interfaith love.

Torn between his Jewish upbringing and his inclination to hit on Eurasians, Safran comes up with some of the craziest television ever. Safran’s insane globetrotting takes him to Israel, Palestine, Togo, Japan, The Philippines, Thailand, The UK, The Netherlands and the United States. He turns black and goes undercover in Chicago, talks to his dead mother, becomes a ladyboy and an Elephant Man, all in an attempt to make sense of cross-cultural love.

Safran might be figuratively crucified for this series – but seeing he is literally crucified in the climax, he’s not too worried. You see, John Safran just needs to know: when it comes to love, should you stick with your tribe or escape your tribe?

Source: ABC press release

John Safran’s Race Relations starts Wednesday October 21 at 9.30pm on ABC1.

*

9.29pm – Waiting. Brief promo. Hope this thing works.

9.29pm – Oh yes, of course the internet is down.

9.30pm – Back up. Yeehaa.

9.32pm – C’mon ABC

9:33pm – Yay!

9:35pm – Rabbi Groner back from the grave? Oooh, ouch. Oh well, Yeshiva’s probably disowned Safran already. Justin Heazlewood’s khet pronunciation is commendable! And tefillin will never seem not-kinky ever again.

9:37pm – Carlisle St is the beating heart of Melbourne, OF COURSE, but I didn’t know it had an international airport.

9:38pm – “Cogolese”? Oy! She must be thinking something along the lines of, “When the hell is this moron going to start asking the real questions? I have women’s rights to champion!” Oh yeah, that little sideways eyeroll says it all.

9:39pm – “What about me?” Yep. It always comes down to this. At least he’s honest about being self-absorbed, unlike the rest of us pseudo-humanitarians.

9:39pm – Did you catch that headline from the Women’s Weekly mag article about Michiko’s parents wedding?! “The Bride Wore a Kimono”!

9:40pm – Really hope this letter to ex-GF bit isn’t true.

9:42pm – UNDERGARMENT TEST?!!!! HAAA HAAA. This bit is GOLD.

9:43pm – OH YVETTE NO

9:45pm – Is he seriously stealing Pussycat Doll undies? They’ve gotta be fake. No way.

9:45pm – So that’s why Dools and Linda on JJJ is now just Dools. (This whole collecting things in plastic baggies is very reminiscent of Jonathan Safran Foer’s character in the film adaptation of Everything is Illuminated.)

9:45pm – “So Penny won’t return my calls, she thinks she’s too good for me?!” Exactly. She knows what’s good for her. Or her publicist does.

9:46pm – “One Eurasian underpants short” – Been waiting my whole life to hear those words in a sentence together. Look at how he’s inhaling those puppies. Argh.

9:50pm – JELLYSTINIAN?! (Am I spelling it right?)

9:51pm – “How long do people take in there?” Puh-leeze.

9:51pm – Even the dedicated masturbation room gets a mezuzah.

9:52pm – John looks like a kid in a lolly shop. Fakest masturbation scene ever…. at least I hope that was fake… Hmm. Now even John looks kind of uncomfortable.

9:55pm – I’ve always admired Yasser Arafat too! He IS a great guy.

9:58pm – “He’ll be throwing rocks at himself” – THAT’S THE MONEY SHOT, RIGHT THERE

You know, despite (or perhaps because of?) the tasteless humour, this episode in general is actually quite a nuanced take on racial tensions – the whole bit about John’s Baha’i girlfriend feeling it’s OK for her to mock Muslims; the skin-shade tensions in Bolivia (no better place to discuss racial tension than Caulfield park, right?); the joke about Palestinians making their own Schindler’s List... This is what good satire does – it enables the viewer to both relate to the non-PC views s/he shares with Safran (but in a guilt-free, “I’m in on the joke” way), and also see them for what they are – hypocritical/racist/rude, etc.

10:00pm – Well. That wasn’t so bad, was it?

FURTHER READING: Here, there, everywhere.

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