Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: We invented everything

107 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 Newer→ Last

  • Hadyn Green,

    We went to a party at the Flatmates house. We were students at the time and knew one of the tenant and if I recall the invite went along the lines of: "...somethingsomethingsomething free beer from the TV people!"

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2081 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    we were rather winningly crap at it

    In our household we have theorised that everyone on NZ reality shows is too pleasant and well-adjusted to really give us the goods, nutbar-wise. All the judges on New Zealand's Next Top Model, for example, were so *logical* and *supportive* of the models - none of that crazed self-obsessed inconsistency that's so prevalent on America's Next Top Model (and we don't have the Pure Unadulterated Evil that is Tyra, of course). I think this was really brought home to me a few weeks ago when watching Masterchef, and four members of a team were each asked which member of their team should go home - a prime under-the-bus-throwing opportunity! - and *every single one* of the cheftestants said 'oh, I should. I was the weakest performer'. I mean, it was *nice*, and I felt very tender towards them all for being so self-deprecating, and I would love it in real life, but it doesn't make for much televisual drama, does it?

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3628 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    We didn't have Non-Celebrity Treasure Island first; we jumped straight to the variant.

    Umm ... yes we did and no we didn't. There was definitely a non-celebrity Treasure Island first. Two seasons of it, I think (prize in the first one was $5000, the second, I think $25,000).

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2996 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    Don't dish NZs Hottest Home Baker - it was so Hot it was cool, ice cold even.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1186 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    WTF? Dude, no. Flatmates was an obvious local attempt at MTV's 1992 groundbreaking The Real World reality series - a bunch of attractive young people living in a house (not a studio), followed by cameras and with the freedom to leave the house.

    Big Brother was definitely inspired by The Real World but it was conceived before Flatmates went to air.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1851 posts Report Reply

  • peter mclennan,

    Agree w Robyn - I recall writing a story for Pavement on the first MTV Real World series prior to it screening here, prob 93 or 94. Flatmates was totally a derivative of Real World.

    AK Central • Since Nov 2006 • 152 posts Report Reply

  • David Ritchie,

    I'm mystified by the perceived Popstars-Idol relationship. Can comebody please explain how "Popstars" -- a reality show about the trevails of a pop group -- was the earlier form of "Pop Idol" -- a talent show, in which contestants get knocked out on a weekly basis (a format which has been around for some time)?

    From what I can tell, the "Popstars" format was sold overseas (see: Hear'say) and was a direct rival to "Pop Idol" in the UK, and a contractual arrangement between the two resulted in no other "Idol" version having the name "Pop" in the title (cite: Wikipedia).

    Edit: happy to concede I may be mis-remembering the "Popstars" format.

    Wellingtron • Since Nov 2006 • 163 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Treasure Island first. Two seasons of it, I think

    Yeah, two seasons of Treasure Island. The second one included Clark Gayford before he was famous.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1851 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    Can comebody please explain how "Popstars" -- a reality show about the trevails of a pop group -- was the earlier form of "Pop Idol" -- a talent show, in which contestants get knocked out on a weekly basis (a format which has been around for some time)?

    There was an audition process not unlike the one in idol. I think. I never actually watched it.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2996 posts Report Reply

  • aaron hawkins,

    'Treasure Island' was hosted by Nick Tansley (pretty sure just 1990, one season), and may well have been the precursor to The Amazing Race, as I tried to implicate here:

    http://professionalaesthete.blogspot.com/2010/04/not-sharpest-tool.html

    Dunedin • Since Apr 2010 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Can comebody please explain how "Popstars" ... was the earlier form of "Pop Idol"

    Popstars introduced and popularized the idea of a reality series following the shaping of pop performers. There have always been talent shows on the telly, but Popstars was the first to mix the talent quest with the idea of manufactured pop.

    Pop Idol mixed the traditional TV talent show with the new world of reality TV and the flexibility that digital video editing and text voting allows.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1851 posts Report Reply

  • David Ritchie,

    'Treasure Island' was hosted by Nick Tansley

    I think that was "Treasure Hunt", and it was based on a UK version of "La Chasse au Trésor" (again, thx Wikipedia)

    Wellingtron • Since Nov 2006 • 163 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    They all look the same to me, and all the contestants seem like people I'd try and avoid down the pub.

    They're worse -- the the kind of bores who make the Christmas party season so damn unpleasant.

    but it doesn't make for much televisual drama, does it?

    Yeah, but I'm finding my weekend AMTM/Project Runway binge rather unsatisfying. I think you've got to have a very specific (and rare) chemical imbalance to be a top drawer reality TV drama queen, and they're all scraping the bottom of that barrel into splinters.

    Another thing about Project Rungay is that I'm the kind of freak who actually watches the show for the clothes. They're even more boring than the craptastic alleged "talent" on American Idol, which is truly saying something.

    Oh well, we'll always have Brett Michaels' on-going quest to be an even bigger scumbag than Flava Flav -- cheerfully enabled by the kind of skanks who enbarrass other skanks.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11867 posts Report Reply

  • Robbie Siataga,

    Dunno which is sadder, the shows or the people that watch and remember them.

    However i do like Project Runway. Now that is some genuine skill, talent and flair on display there.

    A brief, 100 dollars and one day to sew something amazing...WOW. The only thing is, one cant get a deeper appreciation for the colours, textures and finish from TV.

    In working for World of Wearable Art i enhanced my healthy respect for fashion/textile artists by seeing the garments up close and personal minus the distraction of models, lights and movement.

    Since Feb 2010 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    There was also the short-lived UK documentary 'The Living Soap', broadcast in 1993.

    Has anyone tried to watch 'Jersey Shore'? Was on in the breakroom yesterday lunchtime (it was like that when I found it, officer...).

    If anyone can even start to explain the appeal, I'd be most grateful.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2357 posts Report Reply

  • Whoops,

    Scientists are stupid.


    Yes. I said it.


    Hunter's quote you opened with is a perfect example of the problem faced. Watch closely;

    A direct quote from the RSNZ;

    "...Science has not proved [that] human activities are changing the climate..."

    QED, it's all bullshit and we should carry on burning dinosaurs.

    Awesome, eh?.


    One of the most furious blogger on the topic (Romm) notes that it's a street fight... and in my opinion the scientists' mouthpieces (generally) are still using the Queensbury rules.

    Get some media training, and if you feel your science is correct, and the ramifications are serious enough - kick ass. Gluckman's dead right - scientists' aren't equipped... but this is a PR war, not a 'public elucidation' effort. Shouldn't be that way, but it is.

    This is needed, even in NZ, to combat the woeful 'fair and balanced approach of (most of) the media - still. e.g. the continuing Garth George / Rodney Hide school of 'making shit up because you know you won't be called on it - or if you are you can move on faster and make more shit up before the too-polite scientists find a way to meekly contradict you in some obscure publication or corner of the msm''


    Good program. Thanks Russell.

    here • Since Apr 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • JD Shackleton,

    But who remembers Flatmates? I briefly wondered whether I'd imagined it myself, or at least got the name wrong.

    I do remember a disastrous show called Kiwi Flatmates and even recall their website was kiwiflatmates.com (no longer exists).

    Nelson • Since Apr 2010 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Has anyone tried to watch 'Jersey Shore'? Was on in the breakroom yesterday lunchtime (it was like that when I found it, officer...).

    I haven't, but I suspect the appeal is much like those ghastly (and IMO psychologically abusive) Wife Swap things. No matter how sad your life is, at least you've got it all over these losers. Never under-estimate the power of scadenfreud-y moral superiority.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11867 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    If anyone can even start to explain the appeal, I'd be most grateful.

    Oh my god, I fucking LOVE it. It is *endlessly* quotable and totally fascinating. Here's the thing: a long time ago, The Real World became this series of manipulated trope characters (the gay one! the small town girl! the anti-gay one! the 'angry' black dude!), while Jersey Shore is like this glorious, untouched anthropological experiment, where you get to see a subculture in its (sort of) natural environment. (I imagine that, like The Osbournes, the magic will only last for one season, because once the subjects become self-conscious celebrities, the whole joy of it is gone.)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3628 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Don't dish NZs Hottest Home Baker

    Oh. the tension! Oh, the drama! Oh, the cupcakes!

    re Popstars

    It certainly influenced the development of Pop Idol (as well as the nasty rash of boy/girl bands through the 1990s). By all accounts, the format was sold (to Freemantle?) for diddley-squat, partly because the NZ producers didn't really realise the financial potential.

    Where is Fiona doing her panel (so to speak)? I am doing something similar (as the 'academic/political' contributor) for a Screen Directors Guild forum in Ponsonby on Monday afternoon.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2288 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    Another thing about Project Rungay is that I'm the kind of freak who actually watches the show for the clothes.

    I do the same. Then again, I have an excuse: my girlfriend's mother is a professional dressmaker, so just sitting in the room with them is an education on the fine art of clothes stitching. Even so, recent seasons have been dull as dishwater (and don't get me started on the Australian version...)

    As for Flatmates, wasn't it at least partially scripted? I seem to remember that there was a "lead" flatmate (who's name I forget-sandy haired late twentysomething fellow) who spent a lot of time fretting about things.

    Anyway, I have a theory about why we had reality television shows start popping up locally during that period and later, before it was really clear that they were ratings winners. About that time South Seas Film School was cranking up its admissions numbers, and there were an awful lot of well trained television people with no industry experience being released into the wilds. To capitalise on that (low paid) talent, some of the production companies started to put together cheap TV with these freshies on board, and the rest, as they say, is history.

    A friend of mine was directing one of the Matthew and Marc travesties a couple of years out of film school.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 859 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    Amnesty International... have anyone been following the controversy over Gita Saghal's resignation? Briefly, Saghal headed up AI's gender unit, but she raised questions about AI getting close to Cageprisoners, because she felt that in the process, AI was sacrificing women's rights.

    Gita Sahgal, who criticised Amnesty’s ‘pro-jihadi’ links, leaves job

    There's a heap of stuff around about it - Butterflies and Wheels has a series of articles in its "Latest news" column. This selection of letters to The Nation Magazine sets out some of the arguments.

    It has shaken my conception of AI as a "good" organisation. For me, it raises some critical questions about whose rights are prioritised, and to what extent some rights may need to be traded. I guess it shows that AI is a utilitarian organisation rather than a Kantian one (i.e. balance of good over bad, rather than sticking to unbreakable principles), and your mileage may vary as to whether that's an issue for you.

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1303 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Oh, speaking of crappy local reality shows, does anyone remember one from about 1998 that was an online attempt at a Real World type show?

    I watched the opening "episode" online, which I remember taking ages to download. Louise Wallace was the host, and she showed the contestants around the house.

    They rented a posh house in St Mary's Bay, kitted it out with CCTV cameras in every room and filled it with attractive young people who'd never lived in such a fancy house before.

    All the footage was available to view online... for a price.

    I remember two things about it:

    1. The guy running it was annoyed that the girls in the house were showering with bikinis on and not being hot naked laydeez.

    2. The URLs for the webcams weren't protected. A guy worked out what they were and posted the URLs so anyone could watch the cams for free. The guy running it got angry and claimed the site had been "hacked".

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1851 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    That sounds disturbing similar to that "Bachelor Pad" show that Charlotte Dawson got herself mixed up with, but that was around 2003, I believe.

    There's a list of a whole bunch of forgettable shows on the Eyeworks Touchdown Wiki page (formerly Touchdown Productions.) Also this blog post about being a contestant on Home on Their Own is jaw dropping.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 859 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I mean, it was *nice*, and I felt very tender towards them all for being so self-deprecating, and I would love it in real life, but it doesn't make for much televisual drama, does it?

    Bizarre, isn't it?

    The exact same thing has happened several times in The Apprentice NZ version. One guy actually asked to be fired. Others have presented little or no defense.

    I actually think this happened several times because the contestants just had too much self-respect to continue with the show. Having some toss-pot carrying on at you in a board room for having made such a poor effort that he wants to "Fire the whole bloody lot of you", after being set up to fail in some tedious chore with a team full of people who are basically planning to back-stab each other, probably sounds exactly like the kind of workplace that the people (many of whom are genuinely talented businesspeople) would hate. I'm surprised no one has yet said that - I guess they're intimidated by their 'celebrity' rich guy's cold stares, and his humorous Matrix-esque flunkies.

    Or maybe they just prefer to leave with some style and grace. "Thank you for the opportunity", instead of "Fuck you for profiting by wasting months of my time, I'm now going to get a real job that doesn't involve selling hot-dogs in a street stall, being tailed by goons, betrayed by friends, and talked down to by arrogant wankers".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8318 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.