I could count on the fingers of a half-a-hand the number of times our household has gathered in the entertainment room to watch a real-time TV show—but the exception happened this week. As I forewarned you recently, we were to be featured in the final episode of Judith Lucy is All Woman. So last Wednesday evening there we all hovered, waiting for the show to air at 9:00 pm.
None of us were nearly as buoyant as usual. I spent the waiting time working at a hangnail that was deeply troubling me. We were all well aware of the (admittedly slight) chance that the day of filming we’d undertaken with Judith and her crew about a year ago could result in an ego massacre. But there seemed like a very good chance that our exposure could be downright embarrassing.
To our immense relief, neither of those possibilities eventuated. Judith, who wrote and featured in the show, was as enthusiastic and kindly as the day she visited us. We were there to help her make the point that there are alternatives to traditional living arrangements, and that when you and your friends say, in an affectionate moment, “Gosh, we should all live together,” you can actually make it happen. She wanted the message out that there are unconventional ways of approaching retirement and old age, and ours was one such story.
So in the end I was happy with our little segment, and, to tell the truth, proud to be part of the episode and of the whole series.
Here’s the official line from the ABC site:
“One of Australia’s favourite comedians, Judith Lucy, is out to discover where women are at in modern Australia and what it means to men – talking to people from all walks of life from all over the country.”
Well, that happened in the series—but underneath this mere voyage of discovery, Judith was clearly out to make point: that feminism is not dead; that women should, and do, rock. The final segment of the program, a collage of powerful Australian chanteuses singing Helen Reddy’s “I am Woman”, fired an emotional canon at her audience. Go for it, she’s telling Australian women. Roar.
However, in my view the real contribution of the series lies another level deeper. Judith becomes a strong voice for both women and men making big choices, taking risks, having adventures, living sometimes on the edge. Throughout the series, she role-models courage, good humour and a willingness to shine—or flounder. As a girl, she says, “…it didn’t occur to me that there was anything I couldn’t do”. She acknowledges that during the filming of the show, she’s “…met so many people who are going against expectations”. She adds, “Doing this show has really stopped me wanting to judge other women’s choices.”
Get in the game, she’s saying. It doesn’t even matter what game, but get in and play hard. You’ve got to be in it to win it. I’m told by the show’s producer and director, Anna Bateman, that some 600,000 Australians watched the show on Wednesday. That’s a lot of people who might be out there taking a few more chances today as a result.
In the segment featuring the Shedders, Judith sits at our table and speculates on moving in with us. In the somewhat unlikely event that that should happen, life will get a lot more colourful here on Mitchells Island. You can’t be around Judith Lucy without taking big bites of the apple.
If you’d like to view the whole episode (I recommend it), or the entire series, you can see it on ABC’s iView. (For those of you off-shore who’d like to see the whole show, let me know and I’ll set you up with a link.)
To view just the Shedders segment of the final episode, click here.