In 2003, Barbra Streisand tried to have an aerial photo of coastal erosion in California removed from the public record because it included images of her mansion. It had only been downloaded 6 times from the photographer’s website at the time.
But later his lawsuit resulted in 420,000 visits to the site in one month, giving rise to the term “Streisand effect” where attempted suppression leads to even more publicity.
log into Byron Baesa new docu-soap which has been the subject of local outcry from Byron Bay residents who didn’t want their town portrayed as the perfect backdrop and a magnet for social media influencers (perhaps the A-lists of Hollywood?).
It attracted international headlines and in doing so generated all the commercial dream Netflix could have hoped for.
Based on the first episode, they needn’t have worried. The show probably would have gone on without a fuss.
Only one episode has been submitted for review and while it works hard with the genre, there are some fundamental storytelling issues that should have sent it back to the editing suite.
Like most docu-soaps (Real Housewives, Jersey Shore, The Hills), much of what you see is built. While this isn’t scripted dialogue, you just know that when person A says he really wants to invite person B to her party, it’s usually at the behest of person C, the producer. Which is fine if you don’t take everything too seriously…. after all this is a kind of guilty pleasure.
The cast of Byron Baes (some of whom are residents who grew up in Byron), are cemented in their Instagram accounts and Byron is considered a mecca for perfect snapshots of sunrises, greenery, sexy people, meditation, branding and merchandising.
Ready to make an impact is singer Sarah, who drives from the GC to meet talent manager Alex, who agrees to take her to a party thrown by a “bohemian” brand manager Hannah, whom we meet taking pictures with her mother Kathy.
Hannah is also friends with Nathan, a former digital marketing professional, who is friends with model and surfer Elias (he describes himself as a “deep thinker”), and it’s clear that all roads lead to that party.
But Hannah is apparently having a history with local stylist Jess Belle, who has a booming online business with sister Lauren, after a Kardashian wears her clothes. Many of the conversations we’re aware of center around some sort of falling out between Hannah and Jess, but hopefully the party will smooth things over. Yeah, for sure.
There’s also feisty newcomer Jade, claiming to be Australia’s most popular male influencer, driving from the GC to the extravagant scenery of Byron, plus eco-entrepreneur Elle who produces ceremonial cocoas and an assortment of beauties. people I must admit I forgot.
To be clear, I don’t consider myself the target audience of this show. The backdrop is truly enticing, but between the namaste yoga on the beach, flowing white robes, soundhealing (apparently it’s a thing), crystals, and holistic health coaches, I felt pretty cheated.
Too much time has been spent on Hannah and Jess’ breakup, which takes place before filming. I’m not even sure what their fight was (there’s a vague reference to a street discussion about “a situation”). It’s a classic case of show me, don’t tell me.
So, after so many fake setups, we haven’t seen the expected falling out. Surely both problems could have been solved with a real fallout at the party, on camera, in the story itself?
No doubt the conflict will flare up in later episodes, so I expect this to become a hit for the target audience.
To its credit, the show walks a delicate tightrope between earnest namaste and wanky skepticism.
So far, I’ve been left wondering what all the fuss was about?
Byron Baes airs Wednesdays on Netflix.