Rant Of The Day THIS RANT 23/05/97

Rant Of The Day is where I get to mouth off about whatever I feel like for however long I like. Theoretically, I'll update my whinge/opinion piece every weekday; in practice, maybe not so often.

From Melbourne to Man About The House, and back again

Yes, Gusworld is back from the depths of obscurity and a nice long holiday. I spent much of my break in Melbourne, where I indulged myself in my usual pursuits of spending too much money, buying too many CDs, eating takeaway food, testing the limits of public transport and watching television.

On the latter front, like many other people who don't bother to get out of bed before 9:00am in the morning, I found myself becoming strangely addicted to Good Morning Australia With Bert Newton. I don't want to talk about the full ramifications of this turn for the worse here. Instead, I want to comment on a related and possibly even stupider topic: Rhonda Burchmore.

Rhonda (the tall singer with the big teeth and legs who shows up on Hey Hey It's Saturday occasionally, if you're unfortunate enough or dumb enough to watch it) is currently starring in a lavish musical variety extravaganza, Red Hot And Rhonda, at Melbourne's Crown Casino. Despite massive promotional billboards all over Melbourne and souvenir mugs on sale throughout Crown, the show received a bit of a pasting from the critics.

How do I know this? My range of obscurities is pretty wide, but leggy torch singers aren't a speciality of mine. I know this because Bert Newton mentioned it, not once, not twice, but with every passing breath on his show. He seemed incapable of flogging an exercise cycle or bitching about the Logies without mentioning in passing that Rhonda was an "international talent", a "true professional", a "real trouper", that "she will be working just as hard as she can to make sure those glitches are ironed out", that "you shouldn't judge the show by what the critics have been saying", that "this was a magnificent piece of work".

I started the week barely caring if Rhonda Burchmore was breathing. By the end of it, Bert's endless rambling had convinced me that she must be singing flat, dancing as badly as I do and being constantly nutted by flying bits of scenery and jealous fellow cast members. That's what friends are for in the media, I guess.

On a more cheerful televisual note, I'm going through a period of mass obsessiveness with the pictured 70's sitcom classic Man About The House at the moment (an obsession that may yet result in an episode guide on this site, if I get my way). I was therefore very pleased while in Melbourne to obtain a CD entitled The Return Of Cult Fiction: 36 Cult Classic Film And TV Themes. Along with audio classics like the themes from Wonder Woman, Doctor Who and Grange Hill, this also includes a recording of the Man About The House theme, entitled 'Up To Date' and performed by the Hawksworth Big Band. Fancy that, eh?

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