“Hello Australia!” It was only SEVEN DAYS ago that we last found ourselves here in the throes of Being Lara Bingle’s penultimate episode and tonight we’ve come to the end of our journey. Yes, tonight is the grand finale of the little show that could. The dramality series that has slowly but surely captivated/revolted (see above) a nation has come to its inevitable end.
It’s hardly event television but whatever – we’re gonna rock it tonight, we’re gonna jazz it up and have us a blog, a) because it’s too late to pull out now and b) because life’s too short not to document in detail the slow, painful death of Australian television/culture. Not even this chick can escape.
8:09 – The Terrible Trio are chilling on a grassy knoll at Bondi. “Stop perving, we’re trying to have a serious conversation,” says J-Bing. Not sure if we’re going to be discussing climate change/refugees but it’s looking likely! Here are some extracts from said conversation about all the serious things: “It’s not about just pumping it in and pumping it out,” says Lara. “Do you even know what love is Hermione? Treat ’em mean and keep ’em keen,” says Josh.
It’s here and now that Lara has her Forrest Gump moment and we’re knee deep in profundity: “[Life is like a pizza] You work out the base, and then choose the toppings.” I will miss this show. It’s definitely worth letting my dinner go cold for.
8:11 – Lara is discussing hiring Josh to be her driver for $200 a day + lunches. “Blah blah blah shut up Hermione” (Josh’s character hasn’t changed and unfortunately is still entirely abhorrent) and Lara shakes on their ill-advised deal. “What have I told you about negotiations?” asks Hermione, Lara’s failed career manager. “Not much apparently” looks to be the answer.
“You and everyone else continually take advantage of me” bemoans Le Bing, for what you’d hope isn’t the first time.
8:13 – New scene. Lara is having a pub lunch meeting with designer Peter Morrissey at The Beresford. Peter is a friend and mentor of Le Bing, and tells Lara she has to grow up as he spends a lot of time defending her (me too! Just kidding. Maybe a little bit). Morrissey Lite says “The only chance you’ve got to change people’s opinions is by walking up to people as The Lara they think you are then Being The Lara I know,” which is good advice coming from a man whose facial hair (eyebrows inc.) resembles that of a very sage spiritual advisor. Sadly I think it might be a little too late for that.
8:15 – Buckle up guys because we’re going to Shoal Bay to see Nana Bingle and Pop Bingle. Lara is late for bingo (“tsk, tsk fucking tsk”) and Nan is seriously pissed. She’s a good little actress, this Nan. Anyway, so now we’re watching people play bingo and I’m going to use this gap in proceedings to eat my steak. I think Lara just won $50, and according to Nan “that’s better than nothing, love!” The Grandbings are eating pies, chips and cokes and there’s no other way to spin that into something interesting!
8:25 – Whoops haven’t written anything for ten minutes. Here’s what you and I missed. Melbourne > Car > Winery > Drinking wine > Speaking French. Now we’re at Mama Baba, George Calombaris’ restaurant. Lara’s wearing The Inappropriate Shoes again! Good one, Lara. They’re really come into their own as a fully formed character on the show. I like them but they’re yet to make an appearance in a Balenciaga-apropos environment and neither a dusty Indian road nor a commercial kitchen fall under that umbrella. Lara and George have some good banter while they’re making ravioli.
“Chiddy chiddy bang bang” says George, who looks pretty smitten with Lara, as he does with all petite blondes. “I’m going to like you by the end of this I think” he continues. Uh, that’s the purpose of this whole exercise, isn’t it? More on that later. Both George and Lara are ambassadors for the Bowel Cancer Foundation, which is a nice touch so kudos those two.
8:33 – Cool, so something I missed before when I was on dinner hiatus is that Hermy1 and Le Bong are conducting a little Henry Higgins/Eliza Doolittle experiment with Jerksh because they’re trying to turn him into “a gentleman.” Ha! After a trip to Topman, the trio visit Scanlan & Theodore to dry on a nice red dress (#luxe). Fortunately it’s not for Josh, who is being a total skeeze and hitting on the anaemic shop assistant. Poor girl. Here, have some of my steak. (Sorry, I can’t stop talking about it because it’s so delicious and getting cold).
8:36 – We’re having dinner with someone – Corban Harris? Is that a thing? A quick Google search reveals that it is, and I think he is that thing. Lara is going to find dates for both Herms and J-Bing, who are desperate and dateless (surprised face -_-). “It’s a challenge” says Lara, who looks to have set herself up once more for an inevitable letdown. Yes, if everything we’ve seen over the past nine weeks of our lives is anything to go by, it will be a challenge indeed.
Hang on, is this a special extended episode?
8:43 – Success! Or something akin to it. Lara has found dates for both Hermione and Josh. “They both are the perfect candidates for you!” says Lereh Berngle. Prediction: I bet she is setting them up with each other because they belong together (a la Mariah Carey and that guy from Prison Break)! Nope apparently not.
Hermione’s date is called Christian (I think) and he’s very animated, for want of a better word. He works for an airline on “top secret business” (he’s totally a steward! I wish he was called Steve/Stove) and he doesn’t want to say what he does. He looks like a bit of a cross between Ian Thorpe and – dare I say it – Michael Clark. Back on Josh’s blind date at Toko (does tonight’s episode have a Surry Hills exclusivity contract?), we meet up with Jasmine, one of Lara’s friends who looks pretty stoked to be making her reality television de-butt. Jasmine is some sort of dancer and the two engage in flirty banter about their hometown: “I’m sort of semi-over The Shire” says Josh, which is the only good thing to have ever come from Josh’s time on screen/mouth.
8:47 – Hermsés is interrogating her date further as to the nature of his profession. Turns out he’s a pilot and it also appears the once dateless two (H&J) have been texting each other all along. Josh calls Hermione from the bathroom on his date: “Sorry, I have to answer this,” says HRMNE.
No you don’t Hermione, you actually don’t have to answer the phone on a date because that is really rude and won’t get you any pants action. Although, I guess if you have producers telling you what to do you kinda do have to answer the phone, so go ahead. Also, I have to take issue with something (surprise!) because it looks like these dates are taking place at very different times of day.
8:54 – Hermione’s date is asking for a post-date evaluation and he’s all awkward and giggles and LOLs, which makes for really riveting conversation/television/writing/reading. The two are going to meet up for breakfast the next day, which is where we find ourselves now in a very natural scene down at Bondi. Everything is very casual and not at all staged. Oooh, scandal’s news – Herms didn’t come home (bow chicka wow woooow) last night and is having breakfast with her new lover. Because she landed a second date, Hermione scores $500 from Lara (flashback to earlier in the episode: “You and everyone else continually take advantage of me“) and that’s gotta be the easiest $500 Herms has ever made. Nice one Hermsy.
8:56 – Yes! It’s montage time, which must mean we’re approaching the end! We’re flashing back through the season that was. Here are some highlights: Lara’s boob pics, wardrobe malfunctions at FERSHERN week, the sexy indiscretions of Josh and Herms, discovering Clarkey’s wedding, Lara’s earwax burning on television, the trip to LA, actually being in LA, the Jewish Pyjama photoshoot in LA, the fortune teller in India, meeting Lara’s stalker and taking a Bollywood dance class, the fucking COLONIC IRRIGATION PROCEDURE, Lara’s 25th birthday party, snowboarding in New Zealand and finally Lara’s bodacious photoshoots for H2CoCo, GQ and Cosmo.
The latter provide a neat segue into one last swimwear shoot. It’s a fitting way to end the season, with Lara in swimwear and background music with lyrics like “you’ve got a beautiful body/body/body,” just in case you hadn’t noticed. Whoever does the music for this show continues to excel in their chosen field!
9:04 – ERMAHGERD this is taking soo long. I still haven’t finished my dinner. I think we’ve finally reached the finish line though, because Sharon, Josh, Hermione and Lara are going skydiving. Imagine four people skydiving – that’s what’s happening now, but with nice little freeze frame snapshots that I think are supposed to evoke feelings of warmth toward the four characters we’ve shared this journey with. The awesome foursome come together for one final group hug (“el natural” to borrow a phrase from Bongle) and again the camera freezes sentimentally on the group, before fading to black. Fin!
Well, that was Being Lara Bingle. I don’t want to take up any more of your time (I don’t actually care about your time, it’s more out of concern for my own) so here’s a final thought courtesy of last night’s episode of Q&A. A nice elderly gentleman said something along the lines of: “That girl Laura Bingle, okay, she is no mental giant, she was a public figure. She had her name, her naked image dragged through the media and the muck by a Neanderthal footballer. Her boyfriend ran a mile from it and didn’t stand up for her and they rewarded him with the captaincy of the Australian cricket team. There’s something wrong here.”
I’m not sure how far Being Lara Bingle has gone in righting that wrong, and perhaps the most telling indicator of that will be whether or not Ten renews the show for a second season (even though ratings between the first and last episodes had more than halved). Perhaps more revealing than that will be to see what the ever-divisive Lara does next (watch this space). I say ever-divisive because she really does have a very dedicated following and the show definitely has its pretty vocal and loyal fans. Conversely, there are those of you who can’t seem to stomach her at all, which seems like a bit much considering she’s perfectly harmless – innocuous even. After having spent so much time with her (via TV) I’m strangely fond of her inoffensive brand of humour/life (are you reading this Lara? You’re okay kid).
Either way, “there will always be people watching…” That was so lame I just gagged on my own reflux, but that actually seems like an fitting way to sign off: sitting on the floor providing you with the finer details of my gastric motions. It’s life imitating art, and I think that’s how my friend, the colonic connoisseur Le Bing would want it.