Network Ten has been pretty open about the fact that its new series The Shire is "lightly scripted", even going so far as to call it "dramality" rather than straight-up "reality", but after last night's premiere, we're all wondering, is there anything real about it?
Not really, according a source close to production, who tells The FIX that the producers went to insane lengths to manufacture drama, even going so far as building a fake club.
Apparently, scenes set at Fusion Night Spot were actually shot in a hotel dressed up to look like Fusion. This, the source says, "allowed them to control who came in and who was a part of the scene at all times".
Well, scripted or not, Australians gave the series a big thumbs-down, with the who's-who of Australian TV taking to Twitter to pan the series' limp drama and terrible acting:
While it's too soon to call it a flop, The Shire only managed to attract 913,000 viewers (most of whom were probably watching ironically), lagging behind ABC1's Australian Story (942,000) to rank 11th among programmes last night.
But let's face it, The Shire isn't the first local TV show to embarrass us...