At first glance, Netflix’s hyped new show Byron Baes appears to follow a tried-and-true reality TV recipe.
There’s a dash of concocted new friendships, a spoonful of love triangles, a sprinkling of wannabe heartthrobs giving carefully worded confessionals, and, most importantly, a large dollop of potential villains meeting up at a chic party in towering heels to have it out over a contrived drama. Just in time for the credits to roll.
Of course, it's also following the age-old reality TV script of having its cast of influencers attempt to thinly veil the real reason behind their participation on the show (money and social media clout, naturally), and instead have them all clock it up to 'following dreams' or other such sayings you'll likely find etched onto cheap stationery.
Set against the Instagrammable world of Byron Bay, Netflix's first Australian reality TV series chronicles the lives of the famous town's influencers, who all happen to think 'influencer' a bit of a dirty word and instead refer themselves as primarily fashion designers, models, social media managers, musicians and the ultimate slashie moniker - a spiritualistic therapist/fire twirler.
The two newbies who roll into town and attempt to break into the white-robed Byron gang take up a generous portion of the premiere episode, with their biggest hurdle being the fact that the locals all visibly recoil from them once they let slip where they've moved from.
(It's just the Gold Coast, which is basically a straight shot down the highway, but from the way the cast reacts you'd think they'd just confessed to hailing from that town in Chittty Chitty Bang Bang where a Child Catcher patrols the streets and rips innocent babies from their parent's arms.)