Brad Newsome April 12, 2012
The wives and girlfriends of sportsmen in WAG Nation.
Pay TV show of the week: WAG Nation, Arena, Wednesday, 9.30pm
AH, THE banality of reality. You might have imagined that the lives of Australian WAGs (wives and girlfriends of sportsmen) would be terribly exciting. And perhaps they are, but it doesn't seem so in the first episode of this new series.
Sure, the WAGs go to the footy, they go to the races and they wear nice dresses but anyone can do that. Hell, there are plenty of male footballers who run around in fetching little frocks, especially on Mad Monday and any time they're on The Footy Show.
So what sets WAG Nation apart from such other potentially winning formats as Beekeepers' Wives and So I Married a Mid-Level Manager?
Well, there's the sport stuff. And tonight we get the most insight into that through Jackie Spong, who is married to Carlton player Jarrad Waite. We see her in the kitchen, asking Waite about how his dicky groin is holding up, and later she provides too much information by revealing that she gives him bedroom incentives to kick goals on the field. We also see her being worried sick when Waite is concussed during a pre-season match.
Perhaps the most interesting of the WAGs are those who have business ventures of their own. Terry Biviano, who is married to Sydney Roosters player Anthony Minichiello, is a shoe designer, and Lynette Bolton, wife of Sydney Swans player Jude Bolton, is trying to establish an events production business.
But that's no guarantee against dullness. Much is made of Biviano going to present an award at a Marie Claire magazine event. But when she finally gets up on stage and opens the envelope, the award goes to - some kind of hair-care product. That might have been fun if a giant bottle of shampoo had then waddled up on stage to accept a statuette but, as is, it just leaves you stunned by the inanity of it all.
Speaking of inanity, any show like this needs a queen ditz, and the woman cast in this role is serial WAG Chantelle Raleigh, who describes herself as ''the blonde Kardashian''.
At the time of filming, Raleigh was at an impasse in her long-distance relationship with Gold Coast basketballer Adam Gibson. Raleigh didn't want to move to the Gold Coast and he didn't want to move to Melbourne. Here we get an icky nightclub scene in which they snog each other's faces off as if they were auditioning for Geordie Shore, and then an even more awkward scene that reveals the cracks in their relationship.
Raleigh also seems to be being set up for conflict with Spong, and Spong doesn't do herself any favours with her catty comments about a scene in which Raleigh leaves a racetrack to avoid an argument with her.
The fifth WAG, Jana Peterson, girlfriend of rugby league player John Williams, doesn't get much time on the screen. Perhaps she should have taken the chance to slip out of the studio and not come back.