Channel Seven’s Olivia Newton-John biopic has been roasted by viewers on social media complaining about its terrible casting, bad accents and focus on the Australian star’s failed relationships.
The first episode of Hopelessly Devoted to You, which stars Delta Goodrem as Newton-John, premiered on Sunday night and angered Newton-John’s fans by disregarding her career success in favour of her love life.
“Imagine if they had have focused on Olivia’s incredible career instead of her lacklustre carousel of bad relationships,” Twitter user Brodi Lucas wrote – a sentiment shared by many.
“Part 1 was ruined by being ‘Olivia’s boyfriends’ show,” another Twitter user concurred.
The two-part show, which attracted a peak audience of 1.5 million viewers across regional and metro markets, was also accused of making Newton-John’s early life look “boring” and like a “massive ad break”.
— Mark (@markp_) May 13, 2018
— John Matrix (@JohnMatrix86) May 13, 2018
While many lauded Goodrem’s renditions of Newton-John’s classic songs, others felt the role should have been given to the actress who played teenage Newton-John, Morgan Griffin.
“Delta is playing Delta, not Olivia. The actress who played young Olivia completely embodied her. She should have played her the whole way through,” Twitter user Glenn Millanta wrote.
“Ok Delta can sing … but Morgan Griffin is so easily much more believable as Olivia Newton-John,” another viewer added.
For some, the problem was as simple as the cast’s dodgy American accents.
“No one has decided on an accent on this show,” viewer Kelly Fastuca said, with others suggesting a dialect coach could have helped matters.
There are 2 things wrong with #HopelesslyDevotedToYou… accents (hiring a dialect coach wouldn't have gone astray) and location (trying to pass off Australian locations as England, LA and the French Riviera!). Delta though is amazing 😋
— Damien Haffenden (@DamienHaffenden) May 13, 2018
The show was made without the support of Newton-John, 69, who told The Australian Women’s Weekly in April this year she wouldn’t be watching.
“I probably won’t watch it,” Newton-John said.
“When they told me they were doing it, I was horrified, because despite the fact that I’m well known I’m kind of private and my private life, even though it gets into the papers, is not something I want to talk about.”
“I worry about the people in my life. It’s not their fault they were married to me or were my boyfriend, so I didn’t want it to happen. But then I realised it was going to happen whether I wanted it to or not.”
Goodrem, however, told TV Week she sought Newton-John’s blessing before accepting the role.
“I spoke in depth with her about it for weeks, and we decided together,” Goodrem said.
“I wouldn’t have done it without Olivia really supporting me.”
This isn’t the first time Channel Seven has been criticised for its handling of a biopic about a beloved Australian who is still alive. Last year’s Paul Hogan biopic was criticised for appearing more like a parody of the Crocodile Dundee star with its bad wigs and cringe-worthy dialogue.