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Go Girls


Writer's blog: season 3, episode 3

Go Girls on TV2

by Kate McDermott

Before season 1 of Go Girls hit the screens, when asked what it was, I'd say something like "a show set on the North Shore, about a bunch of friends". 

People would nod knowingly, "ah, Shore Girls" and could imagine what the show and the characters were going to be like.  Spray tans and white jeans, probably.

The Shore Girl.  Here's a definition from

From Auckland's North Shore in New Zealand, the Shore Girl is a very real phenomenon.  Typically white, wealthy and arrogant, the best thing that can be said about them is Shore Girl, Sure Thing.  A typical day is spent eating, shopping, causing trouble, getting drunk and then f***ing random strangers.

That's some of the definition anyway, I won't quote the whole thing; it's too rude. 

But of course, this is a huge generalisation, and while there sure are Shore Girls of this kind to be found North of the bridge, there are also many other kinds of girls over that way. 

Calling every Shore Girl a Sure Thing is like calling every Westie a bogan.  (Okay, we do have a few bogans out West, but non-bogans can also be born and bred there, like my mum, and Jay Ryan).

Anyway, Go Girls was never going to be about stereotypes.  It could be argued that Amy came close, with the wealth and white jeans thing, a North Shore Princess in pastels. 

But then there was Cody, the working class Glenfield chick, and Britta with her unique family and view of the world. 

Actually, Britta's mother Fran McMann, former druggy-slapper-turned-real estate agent is probably closest - a Shore Girl all grown up, maybe.

(Incidentally, keep an eye out for some fantastic McMann-related 1980s flashbacks in a future episode).

Anyway, over two seasons we hadn't really touched on the stereotype, so in episode three of this series, we thought it would be fun to meet some real Shore Girls, and embrace that generalisation! 

Enter Chloe, Zoe and Mel, or The Ladettes as we called them in the story room.  Pretty party girls with wealthy parents, healthy egos and a passion for booze and boys. 

Cody, fooled by their confident air and assurance that they're real home-bodies (cough, splutter, yeah right), had the misfortune to choose these three as tenants for Eli's house. 

We had a lot of fun with the Ladettes, with their woefully lacking housekeeping skills, their fridge-magnet rooting-tallies, their sense of entitlement, their confidence that mummy and daddy will bail them out of anything, and their complete crassness. 

It was all good fun and gave us a chance to see some of the old Cody, the one who likes a bit of biffo.  But it also related back to our major theme for this series - Growing Up. 

God, young people today, tsk tsk. 

Kevin finds it hilarious that Cody and Britta are shocked by the behaviour of these girls who are in their early 20s.  Their claims of "we were never like that" has him in fits.  Cue montage of Go Girls drinking, dancing, pashing, sexing.  Uh, yeah, they were like that.

But the Ladette characters served as reminders to our Go Girls that they're not spring chickens any more, that they don't have as much time or energy for the drinking-dancing-pashing-sexing any more, that - shock, horror! - they are getting old.

But, everyone gets old eventually.  Unless you're Olivia, in which case, it's not quite so certain that you'll have that privilege.
Which brings me to the B Story, in which Olivia's parents Jeffrey and Carol try to put aside their differences to decide about what's right for her regarding her illness. 

And just to show that juvenile behaviour isn't just limited to the young, they bicker unashamedly. 

The McMann family are also always good for that sort of thing, and one of my favourite scenes is at Jeffrey's place, when Carol, Fran, Jan and Nan are all crowded into the kitchen, Nan searching for gin, prompting Fran to scold her - "how would you feel if Jeffrey went through your drawers?"  Nan thinks on this for a beat or two, then replies "a little bit sick in the mouth, actually."   Ahh, an oldie but a goodie.  Actually, script editor Gavin Stawhan added that line of Nan's to my script.  I had written the Fran line, but somehow missed that blinding opportunity for a gag.  (I don't know why, must be getting old.)

So, that was some stuff about episode 3 of series 3.  On to episode 4 next week, in which something rather major happens for Brad and Britta - and also Kevin.  It's crunchy and surprising and could change everything, so don't miss it&

If you missed this episode, catch up here.