Group ThinkOctober 23, 2015

Television: The Spinoff’s TV Week – HDPA Buys a Gun, Peter Williams Rides a Glideboard


HDPA gets fired up over firearm rules

It started with a hidden camera sting exposing a dodgy real estate practice, a fearsome Heather Du Plessis-Allan doorknock and Duncan Garner cutting off a home detention bracelet. TV3’s Story returned to its early roots on Wednesday with its boldest bit of proactive stunt journalism yet, when Heather Du Plessis Allan bought a gun. She bought it online despite not having a gun licence, using a fake name and quoting a made-up licence number. “It was way too easy,” said Garner. “We think that the rules [around buying firearms online] need to be tightened up and tightened up quick smart.”


We were ushered inside Du-Plessis-Allan’s strangely normal home – mismatched cushions, exercycle, Sky decoder next to an open sewing box – where the courier delivered her new three-hundred dollar .22 caliber rifle. “It’s arrived. I can’t actually believe that this has actually arrived,” she beamed. Christmas had come early in the form of a slam dunk story. We went to David Tipple, millionaire owner of Gun City, who had sold the gun. He put his head in his hands and groaned, “this is so bad.” Then he came out swinging, saying Du Plessis-Allan had broken the law and promising to bring her down with a private prosecution. Meanwhile, police announced they would immediately enforce new rules to tighten up online firearms purchases.

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It was a battle won for HDPA, and for what looks to be becoming Story’s signature style of journalism – sharp, righteous and instantly gratifying stings in contrast to Campbell Live’s deep, patient campaigns. But should Gun City’s David Tipple go ahead with his prosecution promise, who will win the war?

Peter Williams goes Back to the Future

On the same day that Marty McFly travelled to in Back to the Future, Peter Williams – who started working at TVNZ six years before the movie was released – rode a hoverboard. Well, it was a ‘Glideboard,’ but close enough. Weirdly the two events were not linked – the Glideboard was brought into Breakfast for a segment by ‘Gadget Guy’, who, along with fellow chaperone Sam Wallace, led Williams on a strange and uneasy dance around the studio floor.

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“Do you feel like you’re mastering it?” asked host Nadine Chalmers-Ross. “No, not at all,” was Williams’ tight-lipped answer. “I feel completely and utterly out of control.” This was almost certainly the closest the distinguished broadcaster has ever come to being on drugs. “It’s pretty freaky though… seriously freaky.” Let him off!

This was not a good advertorial for the Glideboard. Earlier, a barefoot Chalmers-Ross fared even worse than Williams. She glided helplessly over Gadget Guy’s toes, veered violently to her right as soon as she finally set two feet on the board, and only narrowly avoided a Healthy & Safety disaster with her dismount.

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John Oliver shows NZ’s dick pic to the world

If there’s one thing New Zealanders love it’s when our funny little country gets a mention on an overseas TV show. Luckily(?) John Oliver seems to be developing a mild obsession with our Prime Minister, resulting in what must be an unprecedented level of New Zealand mentions of late – first the ponytail debacle, then the flag debacle, and now his interview on the Hauraki breakfast show, where he weighed in on topics as diverse as whether the Virgin Mary was really a virgin (“no”), if he wees in the shower (“yes”), and whether he had ever sent a dick pic (“no,” but note the word ‘sent’ – this doesn’t completely rule out the possibility he may have taken one).


“I actually think the only time he might have lied is during the dick pic question,” speculated Oliver, “because of course he has sent one, and I’ll tell you why…” Oooh this is gonna be good. “When you are Prime Minister John Key, every pic is a dick pick.” (Click here to watch the collected works of John Key on the John Oliver Show)

Cryogenically frozen TV show from 1983 returns

Saturday night saw the rebooted University Challenge return for another season on Prime, this year promoted to a plum 7:00pm slot. Defending champions the University of Canterbury had no trouble whatsoever in seeing off the challenge from the University of Waikato team. The show remains remarkably unchanged from its 80s origins, and therein lies its charms, writes Duncan Greive:

University Challenge is not The Block, My Kitchen Rules or The Bachelor. It is not even the deeply 70s Dancing with the Stars. It’s simply a quiz show, with a new cast of oddball brainiacs each week, thrust under hot lights with their most mildewy general knowledge challenged in a sporting setting.


Despite its age, it is not broken, and does not need fixing. Host Tom Conroy might be the most old-fashioned thing about the setup – he betrays little humour or affection for the participants. No joking, no allowing slipups to slide. If he’d been in charge of Scotland versus Australia Cheika’s mob would be on a plane. His rigour is commanding, his authority absolute.” (Click here to read the full review).

Watch: Funny Girls on TV3 at 10:00pm Friday – The final piece of TV3’s Friday night comedy Death Star is finally about to be put in place. (Click here to read Duncan Greive’s feature about watching the show being made).

Binge: Lipstick Jungle on Lightbox – the lesser-known Candace Bushnell TV adaptation, following Sex and the City, is a “ridiculously watchable” guilty pleasure of Sam Brooks. (Click here to read his overview of the show).

Movie: Austin Powers 2: The Spy Who Shagged Me on TV2 at 8:55pm on Saturday – Enjoy the long weekend with a truly shagadelic masterpiece.

This content, like all of our television coverage at The Spinoff, is brought you thanks to the truly wonderful people at Lightbox. Do us and yourself a favour by clicking here to start a FREE 30 day trial of this amazing service.

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Mad Chapman, Editor
Aotearoa continues to adapt to a new reality and The Spinoff is right there, sorting fact from fiction to bring you the latest updates and biggest stories. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

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