Lauren Dunn is not new to Jamaican television, having worked in the industry for seven years, as an on air host, and producer. But this year, local audiences have the chance to see her in a whole new light as she breaks boundaries with her new show Lauren O’ Lauren. The controversial show, airing on FlowTV, is a mixture of Dunn’s raw unfiltered humour, and the most current and tantalizing gossip.
Lauren O’ Lauren, which has been compared to a Jamaican version of U.S. produced The Wendy Williams Show, pushes the envelope by introducing edgy humour and biting commentary as never seen before in local programming. Host and executive producer Lauren Dunn explains her no holds barred approach saying, “I’m an awful person I genuinely am, I’m really not afraid to say whatever I want because I don’t really have any loyalties to anybody.”
The show’s journey to air was about as unconventional as the host herself. In its first stages, as a written blog, Dunn used the internet as a means of distributing her often harsh criticisms and opinions on current events, public figures, and social memes. After gaining a large following Dunn took to video, as she explains “The Lauren O’ Lauren show was a blog first and then it became a YouTube video blog where I would discuss the blog and the responses. I thought it would stay there because I didn’t think Jamaican TV stations would air something that edgy.”
Dunn summed up her scathing comedic commentary, saying, ‘The Lauren O’ Lauren Show’ is just anything that is going create controversy, anything that is going to raise your eyebrow that’s what my show does. I take everything that people whisper in cliques and put it on my show.”
Lauren O’ Lauren promises eye popping entertainment which will challenge more conservative approaches to entertainment and media, as Dunn expands, “I am going to touch on everything because the show is like my diary. It’s like my journal. There will be a lot of talk about sex, the youth, dancehall, even my own relationships.”
As far as the “suss” on the streets, Lauren O’Lauren has got that covered as well. “Any gossip that’s going on in the dancehall industry I won’t be afraid to bring it on my show,” Dunn said.
There is no doubt that Dunn has devised her own style, and has a unique perspective and attitude to her chosen topics. She gives kudos to the FlowTV team for accepting the reality of her unique style. “I’ve worked in the Jamaican TV industry for seven years and we are always kind of holding back on stuff, and Flow employs a team who weren’t afraid to take risks,” Dunn said.
“Jamaican TV just moved a hundred steps higher. A lot of other stations are going to have to worry right now because FlowTV is willing to take risks that they are not ready to take,” she added.
According to Michael Look Tong, Director of media services for Flow, programmes including The Lauren O Lauren Show, on the newly revamped FlowTV, exemplify Flow’s commitment to continuous innovation. Look Tong explained that the organisation has no intention of becoming a full time broadcaster and therefore has partnered with the local producers to offer more new and innovative programming.
“By being involved with this local production industry we have really had the opportunity to work with and develop relationships with some of the most talented people in the sector. Categorically the kind of work that we are seeing here is on par with and in fact in many cases surpasses what we are seeing internationally,” Look Tong said.
In addition to Lauren O Lauren, FlowTV also offers its audiences a variety of new programming that has never really been seen before on Jamaican television like the comedic Passport 246, the puppet driven dramedy I am Santana and some proven properties like Pree Dis, Glamour Zone by Dwight Peters and Vibes Cuisine with Michelle Jones.