It all began with an innocent Facebook post. Well, if I am to be entirely honest, it wasn’t an innocent post. It was in large part designed to convey my jubilation and relief at the series finale of Offspring and in even larger part designed to poke my Offspring-loving friends for a reaction.
It started with this.
And descended to this; posted in reply by one of my friends.
Like Pandora charms, mani/pedis, Thermomixes, false eyelashes and designer handbags, Offspring is yet another one of those chick-things I simply fail to understand. I don’t get it. I don’t get the obsession with Nina’s quirky style. I don’t get the emotional masochism of investing so heavily in a show that it reduces you to a blubbering mess every. single. week.
Seriously, it was getting to the point of ridiculous. Every Thursday without fail, my newsfeed looked like this.
And I just looked like this.
(that’s not my text on the image, for the record)
Now is probably a good time to confess that I have never actually seen a single episode of Offspring, but that I thoroughly enjoy trolling Offspring fans in the inevitable de-briefing threads that pop up on Thursdays after every new episode. It’s kind of like a hobby of mine.
Whilst ducking and weaving multiple virtual punches from my friends (aka the Nina Proudman Fan Club), I came up with the genius idea to write “The Idiots Guide to Offspring”, and I wasn’t going to let the fact that I’ve never actually seen the show stop me from doing it. I’ve watched the ads, I’ve eavesdropped on conversations in online forums and I’ve boorishly gate-crashed every single Facebook thread my friends have ever posted about this show.
I like to think that makes me an expert.
I gave myself one rule for crafting this article: I was prohibited the use of Google or any other online resources to supplement my meagre knowledge of this program with actual fact. Instead, I’m going to scour every last cell of grey matter in every last corner of my skull for everything I know about this show. And I am going to share it with you.
Number one thing I know about Offspring: Fans of the show are intensely devoted to it and insanely protective of it. Criticise Offspring, you damn well better be wearing your Teflon undies, because shit is gonna get real. I’ve got mine on fresh out of the dryer.
Number two thing I know about Offspring: It turns hordes of otherwise sane women into crazy weeping creatures every week; a quivering mass of oestrogen who forever seem poised to explode into hysterical tears at every new outlandish plot twist.
Number three thing I know about Offspring: The main character is called Nina Proudman. She allegedly works in a hospital as an OB/GYN, but I have never seen her wearing scrubs or consulting with patients or delivering babies. She wanders around the hospital in thigh-high suede boots and jewel-toned cardigans, looking like she just stepped out of a Witchery catalogue. Always on the hunt for the next man to break her heart. And, scarves. Always scarves.
Number four thing I know about Offspring: She had a baby with a man called Patrick, but he died. I don’t know how he died, I don’t know why he died, but I do know there has not been a bigger and more visceral outpouring of public grief since Princess Diana’s funeral. It was all I could do to hold myself back from shaking people and screaming “He’s a FICTIONAL CHARACTER! He’s NOT REAL!!”, but it felt kind of insensitive, so I just shut up about it.
Number five thing I know about Offspring: Her sister is called Billie and is married to someone called Mick. A very fuzzy part of my brain seems to recall that they split up because of infidelity; possibly because Billie was having an affair with Carl Williams, the infamous drug-dealer from Underbelly.
Number six thing I know about Offspring: Patrick’s ghost. The ghost of dead Patrick seems to be a recurring character in the series, presumably coinciding with times when the actor who plays him in real life is out of work over in LA, where he went to get his “big American break”. Patrick’s ghost seems to pop up in every other bloody episode, so I’m hazarding a guess that might not have been a good career move for him.
Number seven thing I know about Offspring: Nina’s best friend Mel died in a car crash while she was texting on her phone. I’m going to be honest here, I’m not entirely sure if this happened in Offspring or Packed to the Rafters (I’ve never seen an episode of either show), BUT it did lead to a lot of women falling about the place in over-wrought tears for a very long time, so that would place it firmly in Offspring territory for me. It’s killing me not to google it.
Number eight thing I know about Offspring: Bouncing back from the traumatic end to her relationship with Patrick – and despite the fact that he still stalks her in metaphysical form – Nina falls in love with a man called Leo, a single parent with no kids. Or a widow. Or something. Turns out, the greasy little ass-monkey was married to a woman in the late stages of pregnancy, who no doubt hassled him for one foot rub too many. His wife was taken to Nina’s hospital for an emergency delivery, he turned up to catch the baby and got busted, leaving Nina with a broken heart again.
Number nine thing I know about Offspring: I’m seeing a lot of Leo and Thomas discussions around. I’m placing bets on some kind of love triangle that, you know, breaks Nina’s heart.
Number ten thing I know about Offspring: Shit. I couldn’t think of a tenth thing and I couldn’t help myself so I googled. I was wrong about the car accident. Great. Now I look like a complete idiot who has no idea what she is talking about. Sigh.
So, Offspring fans, how did I go? Was I close with any of this?