HERE at Topics we love a spot of trashy television. Some of our favourite car crash viewing in recent years has been Married At First Sight, featuring Newcastle's Nic Jovanovic and watching Warners Bay-raised celebrity psychic Jackie Gillies tear into explosive verbal stoushes with the other ladies on The Real Housewives of Melbourne.
Sure, it ain't no Four Corners, but it's a guilty pleasure.
That's why we're excited that Merewether couple Matt and Flame McFarlane have finally released online the first episode of their spoof comedy The Unreal Housewives of Newcastle.
Expect to see outrageous characters, and even more outrageous antics.
"The first show is a catch up for the ladies and they're having a few drinks before it all goes to shit," director Matt McFarlane said.
The eight-minute episode was shot by Kailin Pasin from One Stop Productions at the McFarlanes' house.
For talent, Flame rang her friends and encouraged them to be "the bitchiest versions of themselves they could be."
The result was Flame the "help-self" columnist, urban wizard Jenny, inspiring Instagram model Sparkletine, urban recycler and part-time sex-cam model Mundee, viagra sales rep Tzatz, the highly-professional "back-stabbing bitch" Birdo and finally Natto, who explores past-life regression and she believes she was once a 14-year-old African virgin.
Flame originally hatched the idea to run as mock advertising during the variety show, Over Newcastle Tonight, which was hosted by Matt and screened at the Crack Theatre and This Is Not Art Festivals in October.
But the Unreal Housewives of Newcastle demanded a greater presentation.
"We'd love to make more of it and let it grow from here," Matt said. "It's a seed product at this stage and we'd like to see where it can grow."
Check out Unreal Housewives of Newcastle on Facebook for links to the first episode. It's recommended for mature audiences.
COUNCILLOR DIVES DEEP FOR AUSTRALIA DAY
THE more cynical among us might describe joining City of Newcastle council as akin to swimming with sharks.
Anybody that's witnessed a council meeting knows it can descend into a political feeding frenzy.
Ward four councillor Matt Byrne will be hoping to avoid swimming with sharks of the finned variety when he takes the plunge for his maiden Australia Day Newcastle Harbour Swim on Sunday.
For almost two months Byrne has been chasing the black line on the bottom at Wallsend Pool, Merewether Baths and The Forum at Callaghan in preparation.
"I've not done a harbour swim or an ocean swim before, so I thought I'd better give it a crack before I die," Cr Byrne said.
Byrne will attempt the 700-metre Stockton to Newcastle leg and has one goal in mind - survival. Following the race, Byrne will also present the trophy to the winner.