May 22, 2015


By Brad Oswald

TV

Financial disciplinarian Gail Vaz-Oxlade doesn't pull any punches in new half-hour of humiliation

"You're a moron."

As conversational ice-breakers go, you wouldn't expect this one to result in anything resembling an prolonged, productive exchange of ideas. A few traded head-slaps, maybe, or at least a flurry of escalating insults, but probably not a constructive dialogue in which the alleged "moron" is a fully invested party.

Financial expert Gail Vaz-Oxlade has a new show, 'Money Moron.'

Financial expert Gail Vaz-Oxlade has a new show, 'Money Moron.'

Tough-love-dispensing financial guru Gail Vaz-Oxlade thinks otherwise, however, and in her latest cash-crisis-confronting series, Money Moron, she's out to prove that the best first step in helping budgetary boneheads is telling them, in no uncertain terms, that they're idiots.

Money Moron, which gets a sneak-preview airing on Thursday, April 18, at 10 p.m. on Slice before settling into its regular time slot on Friday, April 19 at 8 p.m., finds Vaz-Oxlade returning to familiar ground. In her first series, Til Debt Do Us Part (which was produced by Winnipeg-based Frantic Films), she offered advice and incentives to couples whose financial stresses were threatening their relationships.

More recently, the Jamaican-born writer and TV personality hosted Princess (also produced by Frantic Films), which shifted her focus to young women whose free-spending ways were making the lives of their families miserable.

In Money Moron, which is produced by Toronto's Peacock Alley Entertainment, Vaz-Oxlade comes to the rescue after one half of a couple blows the whistle on his/her partner's fiscal irresponsibility. There's an on-camera ambush in which the host makes the titular declaration -- "You're a money moron" -- and the dispirited whistleblower explains, in anguished detail, how stressful life has become as a result of the partner's accumulated debt and generally oblivious outlook toward financial matters.

In the series opener, Vaz-Oxlade drops in on the fiscal disaster being shared by Deanna and Jamie, an engaged couple of underemployed aspiring actors who are living far beyond their means. Deanna, who dreams of a great big Italian wedding within the year, is afraid her fiancé's moronic money management might be their undoing.

"It's wearing me down," she says of his habit of squandering his minuscule spending cash by buying rounds for his pals. "I'm at the breaking point.... If things don't change, I'm going to walk out the door."

Once confronted by the "moron" label and Deanna's tearful ultimatum, a humbled Jamie agrees to let Vaz-Oxlade show him what he's doing wrong (everything, pretty much) and agrees to complete some challenges that will show him how to turn his financial fortunes around. If he succeeds, Vaz-Oxlade will contribute up to $10,000 toward the couple's debt reduction.

In the process of exposing Jamie's money woes, however, the series host also forces Deanna to reconsider her role in their shared bank-balance bottom-out -- it turns out that she's even further in debt than he is, and her unrealistic matrimonial expectations could prove to be the final crushing blow to their fragile finances.

Money Morons is instructive, but much like Vaz-Oxlade's earlier efforts, there's something a bit uncomfortable about peeking in on the deeply personal problems of these cash-strapped couples. And like before, the appeal of this project depends almost wholly on whether you find Vaz-Oxlade's in-your-face style enlightening or merely annoying.

The betting here is that folks who've been engaged and inspired by her previous shows will be similarly rewarded by this one; those who find her abrupt style unpalatable will dismiss this newcomer as a show only a moron would watch.

brad.oswald@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @BradOswald

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 18, 2013 c3

History

Updated on Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 9:53 AM CDT: adds missing text, adds fact box, changes headline

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective January 2015.

Winnipeg Free Press | @WinnipegNews

May 22 2:26 pm

Harper not interested in TV consortium debate wfp.to/RTr

Winnipeg Free Press | @WinnipegNews

May 22 2:20 pm

Report published on dentistry scandal wfp.to/RTw

Winnipeg Free Press | @WinnipegNews

May 22 2:18 pm

Gimli's iconic Viking statue gets a fresh appearance wfp.to/RTB

Winnipeg Free Press | @WinnipegNews

May 22 2:02 pm

Suspect sought after teen assaulted in Wolseley wfp.to/RT4

Winnipeg Free Press | @WinnipegNews

May 22 1:34 pm

More alleged victims come forward in sex-abuse case involving local dentist wfp.to/RTu

Scroll down to load more

Top