Alex Casey looks at DUKE, TVNZ’s new male-skewed channel, and asks who in history could be responsible for something so old-fashioned.
Today TVNZ’s brand new male-skewed channel launched its dramatic branding, stepping into the regal winklepickers of the name DUKE. Good name, sounds like an XXL condom brand or an old-timey cologne. “Why we’ve done this? To give you that DUKE feeling,” the voiceover rings out, further strengthening the underlying conspiracy that this is definitely, definitely promo for something that goes on a penis.
DUKE. It’s strong, powerful, harking back to an era where men were rulers and women weren’t allowed to vote because they were far too busy churning the butter. Whoever or whatever DUKE is, I absolutely love him. He’s not even afraid to confront his own backlash, proudly using this header:
DUKE is proud to be called sexist, DUKE laughs in the face of sexism, DUKE is definitely not too scared to give the fictional offended person a woman’s name in case shit gets too real. Can we just IMAGINE for a second if we we replaced gender with ethnicity here? “‘SO RACIST,’ TVNZ’s brand new white-skewed channel debuts to mixed reviews.” And then there’s the tweets…
Good plan. Keep the words short, powerful, all key phrases you could etch out of wrought iron and hang on the walls of the man cave. Who is responsible for these monosyllabic outbursts? What are they trying to say? What does it all mean? The only explanation is that DUKE is being run by an actual historic Duke, sent here through the time travel machine in Mike Hosking’s dressing room, to set this mixed up, PC-gone-mad world straight again.
So which Duke could it be?
We all know the Duke of Urbino is absolutely crazy about the show Diggers…
… but he’s far too serious to announce himself as “the Duke of good times”. Could it be Daisy Duke?
Don’t be ridiculous, she’s a woman and therefore breaks out in a deadly rash at the mention of the word “sports”. Her beardy Uncle is a fine contender though, the perfect macho blend of male legends Santa Claus and Mario. Masculine AF.
Talking of facial hair, could the Archduke Franz Ferdinand be the puppetmaster roping together such comedy hits as Family Guy and Two and a Half Men, with little room for any other comedies that don’t have a male-adjective in the title?
Or could it be Duke Ellington, big band jazz legend and seemingly happiest guy in history? No way, he’s not twisted enough for this.
How about our own Duke of Cambridge? We know that he loves the movie Bridesmaids, so maybe he could be keen for a big feature length blow out or two? Ah wait, shit, that’s got heaps of chicks in it. Never mind. Look at all those flowery badges, he’s never seen a minute of Beowulf in his life.
What if we skipped a generation or two back – could the Duke of Edinburgh be responsible? He’ll have to kick the Queen out of the quarters when Gotham rolls along mind you. I would not want to piss that woman off, she has SO. MANY. CORGIS.
I don’t think any of these Dukes, all with varying moral compasses and roles throughout history, would have prioritised making a male-skewed channel in 2016. There’s only one contender left, the most likely of all, the only Duke deranged, confused and misguided enough to think this was a great idea…
All my money is on Marmaduke, the Great Dane voiced by Owen Wilson who sometimes wears sunglasses. He sat on a keyboard, and somehow all of this happened.
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