There is something that touches on the macabre in the presentation of a This Is Your Life program for a living person. “Celebrating your life, your career & how much you’re loved by your friends.” All you need is the music in a minor key and you’ve an instant wake or extended epitaph. But it’s simple enough fun.
Channel 9’s first choice host Eddie McGuire fronts this season of TIYL, and while he normally delivers very well in front of a studio audience, this first ep feels a little stilted (though it isn’t the first filmed in the series). He’s affable enough, although the throws to friends and celebrities in the audience (“Hi Rove!”) are more forced than they should be. I remember fondly the style of Mike Munro or even Roger Climpson – a man who knew how do deliver the memories with fondness and aplomb.
The first featured TIYL’er in 2011 is Deborra-Lee Furness, and that Hollywood glamour-by-association can be the only reason this is inserted before Ch9’s edited replay of the 2011 Acadamy Awards ceremony. Add some Hugh Jackman and other associated Hollywood colour and glamour and there’s your show. Although the surprise reveal in Sydney and then an opener featuing Melbourne & Crown Casino is confusing, but I guess it is meeting the contractual obligations. Special things to look out for while playing along at home (TIYL bingo): Over gesturing acting teacher; blue-framed glasses; can you name all the stars in the finale?
You’ll see many stars wax lyrical about Deborra-Lee, and with good reason. She’s delivered some fine performances through movies like Shame & TV series like Halifax F.P., Fire & Corelli. You’ll also see a man reflect on and be completely in love with his woman, and view versa. There’s lots of guest stars sweeping across the screen with joyous or hilarious anecdotes, and, above all it’s a celebration of DLF and just how loved she is.
If you’re a fan of her or Hugh, or intrigued with the show, then tune it. It’s a great return to form though likely won’t set fire to the ratings.
This Is Your Life (featuring Deborra-Lee Furness) – Mon 8:30pm, Ch9.