Radiation by Fiona Rae


Not funny

Comedy Central New Zealand no longer has broadcasting licences for The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, in case you were wondering where they went. A shame, considering the Rally to Restore Sanity is coming up and also this is happening. And let’s not forget Colbert’s March to Keep Fear Alive. There is video on The Daily Show and Colbert Nation websites, of course, or your favourite aunt in America may have to send you the VHS.

Thanks for all your comments about the changing Listener website. Early days and all that. I’m afraid I had my fingers in my ears going la-la-la when you were talking about other parts of the Listener.

In upcoming TV news, don’t forget Making Tracks this Tuesday, and the new season of Glee is on its way. Squee!

What do we think of TV3 going up against TV1?


This Is Not My Dan Carter

You can say a lot of things about TVNZ – and people do – but you can’t say they’ve been mean to local drama lately. Go Girls always gets a big push, and they are promoting the crap out of This Is Not My Life, especially the Charles Mesure in his undies angle. Dude is all over town in his undies. Anyone would think he was Dan Carter. The story I did about TINML is here, and the interview I did with Charles is online here. The cast of V, including Charles, has been at Comic-Con and are interviewed by EW here. I’ve seen the first two episodes of TINML, and it is good. Among other things, it creepily captures a New Zealand version of the picture perfect picket-fence town. Also, Smart cars are funny.

Right, that’s probably enough being nice to TV1. A big tick on the drama promotion, sure, but how shit is the news these days? If it bleeds it leads, with crosses to young reporters who are “across the story”. That just means some poor kid standing pointlessly outside a hospital/empty building/police station at night. I usually manage to watch about three items before stomping out, enraged, on the look-out for better things to do, like clean the loo. Also, Shortland Street really needs to change its opening montage; I count at least three characters who have either gone to Samoa or are dead.

Entertainment Weekly has some great Comic-Con coverage, especially this, for which the technical term is geekgasm.

Here’s my list of shows that we’re really behind on: Friday Night Lights, Burn Notice, Supernatural, Being Human (which hasn’t even started), Chuck. Any thoughts?


Better than Twilight

Sexy old True Blood has started in the US, but don’t worry, if your favourite aunt in America hasn’t sent you a VHS already, Prime is rolling out the naked Viking vampire pretty soon after the American transmission. Two weeks after, in fact, starting on June 30. Grant Bowler has made his first, albeit brief, appearance; there’s a little chat between Stephen Moyer and Grant here. Don’t worry, no spoilers, unless you didn’t know that GB is a werewolf (oops). On the other hand, there will be spoilers in EW’s coverage, which is ginormous.

I’m not sure I’m comfortable with the D-O-double-G’s song about our little Anna Paquin, actually.

The American Outrageous Fortune, Scoundrels has just started too – I just hope it’s better than the UK version, which was called Honest. Scoundrels looks a little bit closer to the original intent, but I hope it’s not too glossy. American TV seems to only be able to do working-class on cable. Wonder what Munter will be called in the US version?

I said it after The Devil Dared Me To, and I’m calling it again: Heath and Stapp are a class act. Bogan Family Films shows that all those years doing stupid stunts and pissing off gorillas in cages has come to something. Last week’s episode, which featured a film within a film, was kinda awesome. Watch here.

The Heroes with asbos is coming: C4 is promo-ing Misfits. It’s really awesome. Really.


Geek, annoyed

That was disappointing. Perhaps I expected too much. It’s been consistently cryptic for five seasons, why stop now? Cynically, you could suggest that the series finale of Lost left so many questions unanswered in order to squeeze a few more dollars out of the fans in DVD sales.

Honestly, there were logic holes big enough to, er, fly a plane through. If the island and everything that happened on it were real, what was the point of the flash sideways? Was it just some sort of giant MacGuffin? And if flash sideways was just a staging post for heaven, why were there characters in the church who were still alive on the island? Ben, Hurley, Rose, Bernard, Sawyer, Claire, Kate? Was Desmond just some sort of crossing guard, there to point everyone in the right direction? What about Miles and Lapidus? Am I experiencing geek outrage right now? Maybe. Geek annoyance, at least.

Sure, it was about the characters, as Doc Jensen keeps telling us. Yes, I had a wee tear when Sawyer and Juliet recognised each other in Sidewaysland. But in the end, it all began to look like a thinly-veiled religious metaphor (Freud would have had a field day with that stone knob being pulled out of the hole in the island and letting all the bad stuff out, btw).

By contrast, the series final of Ashes to Ashes in the UK was at least clear. And it was plotted from the beginning of Life on Mars, as this interview with series co-creator Matthew Graham makes clear. Warning: only read this if you have seen the final or you just don’t care.

Glee returns this Friday (June 4); the episode directed by Joss Whedon and starring Neil Patrick Harris is six eps in and contains a fabulous flash mob sequence. Oh, who am I kidding? You’ve probably downloaded it already. Also Miranda starts on TV1 on Friday – but at 11.00pm.


Lost on Internet Island

Next week, the internet will not be safe. Not unless your favourite auntie who lives in America has taped the final of Lost on a compatible format and posted it to you after it screens in the US on May 23 and before it screens here on May 29. If you don’t want to know that the island is really a spaceship, or that it was all an illusion manufactured by machines so they can harvest human bodies for energy, don’t go near the internets, because that shit is going to be totally up in our grills.

Lost is looking like a balance of good and evil, don’t you think? Jack Shepherd – well, his name is Shepherd – is going to take over from Jacob, the balance will be restored and we can all go home. They set up the Jack versus Locke thing a while ago, with that whole “Man of Science, Man of Faith” episode, except that Locke was the man of faith. Now Jack seems to have found Island religion and doesn’t want to leave.

In other news, if you were wondering what happened to Damages on TV1 on a Sunday night, it was taken off due to low ratings. However, TV1 says it will return on June 27 at 10.30pm. I must say, this second season is a bit of a hard watch – Rose Byrne looks alarmingly thin for a start – and it’s going back and forth in time with gay abandon. However, it does feature Timothy Olyphant, my new favourite screen god. He was awesome in Deadwood and he is really awesome in Justified.

Who’s loving The Good Wife? I feel quite grown up when I watch it. Possibly it's the novelty of no gimmicks. No blokes who can read minds, who pretend to read minds, or know when you're lying. Nobody with a scalpel, latex gloves or DNA swabs. Hardly any murdered women.

I like that Alicia Florrick is a mother of two who uses her acquired wisdom; I like that Julianna Margulies plays her with quiet dignity, but not without emotion; I like that I really want to see where it is going. Also, Archie Panjabi is cool.

Lastly, True Blood minisodes! Squee!