Bringing together the TV moments on the week, including Bieber on Story, Trevor Noah’s Daily Show debut and farewelling two local gems. Contributions by Alex Casey and Calum Henderson.
Good Mourning for Two Kiwi Classics
It was with great sadness this week that we learned of the impending demise of TVNZ’s long-running lifestyle show Good Morning. The show’s zenith was arguably in the late-90s/early-2000s, when it ran for three hours a day and host Mary Lambie would bring her ragdoll cat Louis onto the set. In retrospect that was quite a weird thing for her to do, but it was entirely in keeping with the show’s gentle, companionable and slightly strange vibe.
We also waved farewell to another uniquely Kiwi TV phenomenon on Thursday night: TV2’s Neighbours at War. Duncan Greive went to meet Bill Kerton, the show’s distinctive narrator, and see the last ever episode being put together:
“Our advertisers and politicians might tell us otherwise, but to me this is the real New Zealand, and these the real New Zealanders. They’re prim and proper, lewd and crude, shocked and shocking. Most of all, they’re extremely steamed up about their bloody neighbours.” (Click here to read the full feature on Neighbours at War) / CH
Heather Slaps Bieber With His Own DVD
Justin Bieber did his first big television interview in New Zealand on Story last night with Heather du Plessis Allan. “Hey man,” said Heather coolly, shaking the Biebs’ hand. Hey man. It’s just casual, just two bros hanging out and talking about tattoos. Justin promptly lifted his shirt and whispered “and I’ve got these abs here.” Heather lost it, for just a moment.
“I have the soul of a feminine,” Bieber revealed softly. “That doesn’t mean I won’t punch you in the face, but I’ll cry about it after.” The feminine soul then weighed in on the flag after HDPA presented him with a primary school science fair display of our options. He didn’t think we should change the flag. Bloody Paul Henry can’t help himself, gleefully bellowing “you’re exactly right Justin” off-camera. They high five, it’s chaos. At the end of the interview, Heather slapped Justin on the back overzealously with a copy of his own DVD from Video Ezy. It was a perfectly awkward, perfectly Kiwi hazing of one of the most famous people in the world. /AC
Daily Show Gets a New Dad
The most heavily-scrutinised person in the United States this week wasn’t a politician, a sportsperson or even a Kardashian, but new Daily Show host Trevor Noah. The South African-born comedian took the reins from the wildly popular and heavily revered Jon Stewart, who hosted the show for the past 200 years – cutting his teeth by mercilessly satirising political events like the Gettysburg Address and issuing withering takedowns of bad ideas like witch trials and slavery. Noah paid tribute to Stewart’s legacy in his first episode and joked that it felt like the Daily Show had lost it’s dad. As the show’s new stepdad, it may take a while for him to step out of his predecessor’s shadow. Luckily he has much of the show’s existing infrastructure (writers, correspondents, segments) to build upon. / CH
TV3 Goes All Block, Sky Goes All Black
New Zealand’s fourth series of the competitive home renovation juggernaut The Block began this week, with four disintegrating old villas jammed within a blade of grass of each other onto a double section in Sandringham. This series, dubbed ‘Villa Wars’, will screen on TV3 four nights a week as of next week. If the first two episodes are anything to go by the four couples – ‘the competitive psychos’, ‘the jokers’, ‘the South Islanders’ and ‘the girls’ – will be at each other’s throats and living up to the ‘war’ part of the title before too long. But this week probably the most exciting thing that happened was when the screen went completely black for Sky viewers for the final ten minutes of Tuesday night’s show, allowing everyone some time to sit and contemplate the meaning of eternity. (Click here to listen to the first episode of The Spinoff’s The Block NZ Podcast) / CH
7 Days Goes Down To The Park
After we all came to terms with our own mortality during Tuesday night’s Great TV Blackout of 2015, it was time for some light relief in the form of 7 Days of Sport. TV3’s new panel comedy show is exactly what it sounds like – the same tried and true 7 Days format, but with sport. Kiwi sporting larrikins Jimmy Neesham and Joe Wheeler joined the usual comedy suspects behind the desks, and the show was hosted by Silver Fern Casey Kopua, who made reading jokes off an autocue look really, really hard (which it no doubt is). There were a couple of laugh-out-loud moments (Ben Hurley’s punchline to Dai Henwood’s skate park anecdote), the occasional cringe-worthy gag, with the added bonus of some bawdy sports banter (re: Chris Gayle’s stripper pole). Some of it was definitely better left in the clubrooms. / CH
Watch: Grand Designs NZ, TV3, 8:30pm Sunday – Will the Kiwi Grand Designs be everything we always longed for, or will our hopes and dreams be shattered like a bespoke clay roof tile dropped by a careless contractor?
Binge: Show Me Shorts on Lightbox (click here to watch) – Over 30 local short films from the past three years of the Show Me Shorts film festival have just been added to Lightbox. (Click here to see Alex’s picks)
Movie: Drive, Maori TV 8.30pm Sunday – Ryan Gosling’s most silent performance yet as a toothpick-wielding getaway driver for crims. Great soundtrack, great elevator scene, another great pick from the movie legends at Maori TV.
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The Spinoff Weekly compiles the best stories of the week – an essential guide to modern life in New Zealand, emailed out on Monday evenings.