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Television: The Spinoff’s TV Week – Natural Woes, Wild Gaming Fantasies and Creepy Live Burials

Bringing together the TV moments of the week, including the final of New Zealand’s greatest karaoke show and Suzanne Paul’s last advertorial. Contributions by Calum Henderson and Alex Casey.

The Last Light of Suzanne’s Natural Advertorial Glow

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New Zealand’s most beloved peddler of health, fashion and beauty products has filmed her final advertorial for Good Morning. With the long-running lifestyle show being packed up at the end of the year, so too comes the end of Suzanne Paul’s cheerful and slightly madcap demonstrations. Paul has hawked countless products on the show over the years, perhaps none more famous than Natural Glow. Her patter about the versatile facial concealer was always strangely captivating, everything hanging on that crucial, perfect phrase: “thousands of tiny luminous spheres.” Earlier this week she tweeted a photo from her last ever shoot, showing advertorial host Melanie Kerr holding a glass of an unidentified brown substance fancifully garnished with a whole strawberry. Is this how Good Morning ends – with Suzanne Paul killing everyone in an intense Shakespearean suicide pact? Or is she just trying to sell some kind of weight loss formula. Hard to say. (Click here to read Calum’s week-long Good Morning diary) / CH

Homai Te Pakipaki to Crown a Winner

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Tonight will see the big finale of Homai te Pakipaki, the singing competition that has been quietly and comfortably blowing X Factor out of the water for nine years now. If you haven’t already, now is the time to take a seat and let the lo-fi karaoke goodness of wash over you. Selecting passionate (and exceptionally talented) contestants at random from a ballot in their teeny Newmarket studios, the lineup is a welcome change from the glitz and glamour that Cowell has built his empire upon. Tonight’s prize for the grand winner is $20,000, and the rest of us will just come away with warm community fuzzies which, really, is the greatest prize of all. / AC

Away From the Keyboard and Onto Our Screens

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On Wednesday night, Sky’s The Zone premiered a new local webseries AFK, wherein characters are transported inside their favourite videogames, freed from the trappings of the flesh to partake in a series of misadventures. The first ever joint venture between Sky’s sci-fi channel and a local production, episodes will be premiered on TV before being available free online. The lines between new and old media continue to blur, just as our characters slip in and out of their real and virtual lives.

Don Rowe spoke to director Peter Haynes (click here to read the full interview):

“It got into my head, you know, a ‘what would you do?’ situation. I played World of Warcraft reasonably intensively a few years back, and you spend so much time in it that it kind of gets into your head, and you sort of imagine what you’re doing in that environment and you kind of remember it as if it was real.” / AC

America’s Standards Plummet Six-Feet Under

We’ve been a little light on absurd live stunt television this year, paling in comparison to last year’s tightroping, snake-baiting and deep-diving (click here for the full, ridiculous round-up). Luckily, the land of the free stepped up to the plate this week with their terrible special Fear: Buried Alive on A&E. I was lucky enough to be able to witness this mess of a social experiment, wherein three battlers were chucked into coffins and thrown six feet under. But there was so much more – snakes, rats and, the big climax, a fake coffin breach. Nobody died, but they all thought they were going to.

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“This is too far man!” Evan screamed as his restraints were tightened and he was covered in 994,000 bugs (his estimate, not mine). Yes Evan – this is too far. A shame that you, nor anyone else, failed to have that realisation as you were signing the release form. / AC

My Kitchen Rules Loses Legends

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This week saw the first elimination on My Kitchen Rules, and we sadly had to farewell Paul and Laurence from Taranaki. Sure, they made terrible eel and freaky terrine, but they had the damn nation eating out of the palms of their giant hands. Paul’s endless slogan t-shirts and extreme impersonations of both a horse and a camp character called ‘Stace’ demanded a reality show of their own. Laurence’s gentle giant rugby-player-gone-cookbook-collector was a dream journey and a non-traditional trajectory in the face of current macho rugby rhetoric. They will be missed, but their sensual cow art will not. (click here to read the latest My Kitchen Rules power rankings) / AC

Watch: Ash vs Evil Dead, The Zone 10pm Saturday – Filmed in Godzone and starring our national warrior princess Lucy Lawless, get some splatter in ya this Halloween

Binge: Masters of Horror on Lightbox (click here to watch) – Read Aaron Yap’s picks from this iconic horror anthology (here), and scare yourself silly with the best of the best.

Movie: What We Do in the Shadows, TV2 Saturday – Full of some of New Zealand’s funniest people, this vampire mockumentary is essential local viewing. Just bring some garlic.

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