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Television: The Spinoff’s TV Week – Soap Milestones, Brave Women and Spit Rituals

Bringing together the best, worst and weirdest television moments of the week, including Rachel Hunter’s spit-take in Mexico and Story’s excellent coverage after the Parliamentary walk-out. Contributions by Alex Casey and Calum Henderson. 

The Women Speak on Story

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The one thing that became patently clear after Parliament seemingly burned to the ground this week is that we urgently need to listen to women. Following the MP walk-out (click here for the full video and transcript), the Story cameras were outside the doors to give each brave woman the attention and space they needed to share their experience with sexual violence. It was the most powerful four minutes of television I’ve seen this year. “We’re standing up against something that never should have happened to us,” Catherine Delahunty said, straight down the barrel of the camera. “When I was assaulted, I didn’t think anyone would believe me” said Metiria Turei, their words hanging in the air as we cut back to the Story studio. “Brave?” asked Garner. Brave doesn’t even come close. / AC

Rachel Hunter Gets Spat On

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In the latest leg of what is shaping up to be the world’s longest televised tour, Rachel Hunter found herself in Mexico. Hoping to unlock the secrets to outer, inner, holistic, eternal, priceless beauty, I was devastated to find out that eating tacos everyday will not lead to a long and happy life. Instead, Rachel engaged in a mystical Mexican ritual that involved floating an egg in some water and then having that water ritualistically spat onto her chest and back. Just great television. / AC

The MKRNZ Scandal That Wasn’t

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For once, the biggest My Kitchen Rules NZ “scandal” was not about venison seasoning, nor did it even take place in the kitchen. On Sunday the papers exploded, outing the “hidden porn history” of Katrina Dunlop, one half of the Remuera sister team that were sadly booted from the competition on Wednesday. The outrage was unfair, and showed that slut-shaming is thriving even in the unsuspecting world of competitive cooking shows (click here for the full story):

“Did you know – a woman can be a sophisticated snob AND naked in a picture?! Calling Neighbourhood Watch in all plush Auckland suburbs – there are plush rogue boobs on the loose!! (and when I say on the loose, I mean quietly tucked away in a corner of the internet during the mid-2000s). It’s 2015 and the naked female body is still being treated as dirty, lower class, certainly not something you’d ever find in plush Remuera.” / AC

Masterful Comedy in Master of None

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Maybe it’s just a case of Twitter being a big ol’ echo chamber, but it felt like everyone in the world was watching Aziz Ansari’s new show Master of None this week. While this isn’t unusual in itself, what was weird was that everybody seemed to unreservedly adoring and universally in awe of it. There wasn’t a contrarian “actually…” to be heard. Very unsettling.

The series hangs together a little like one of Aziz’s standup sets. While a loose narrative runs throughout, each episode is a fairly single-minded exploration of a different theme or experience. It’s thoughtful and observant, and at times – the episodes involving his (real life) parents, for example – quite moving. But above all it’s the humour and warmth of the show which is what made it so easy to fervently binge watch all ten episodes in one or two sittings. / CH

The Hourglass Keeps on Turning

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This week marked the 50th anniversary of Days of Our Lives, the television soap that has been with us for sick days the world over. If you aren’t familiar with the series, imagine a handful of rich dynastic families, and endless supply of absurd plot lines, and drown it all in 100 year-old scotch. Just in the last week there have been necktie murders, weddings and a character ageing from 8 to 18 overnight. That’s all relatively normal by comparison to the experimental storylines we’ve seen in the last half century (click here to read the stars of Days of Our Lives sharing their favourite crazy storylines). / AC

Watch: Life Story, 7:30pm Sunday on One – The best voice in television, David Attenborough talks us through an hour of weird and wonderful animals going about their lives.

Binge: Flesh and Bone on Lightbox (click here to watch) – Created by a key Breaking Bad writer, this pulpy new drama looks into the cutthroat world of ballet

Movie: Cool Dog, 3:05am Sunday on TV2 – Common Sense Media describes it as a “ludicrous movie about an unbelievably gifted dog.” Definitely worth staying up til 3am for.


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