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The Spinoff’s TV Week: Sister Wives, Struggle Street and My Big Fat Ferndale Wedding

Bringing together the TV moments of the week, including the launch of an essential reality channel, Masterchef’s big mistake and Ferndale’s mid-week marriage.

The Launch of a Sky’s Big Fat Reality Channel

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TLC launched this Tuesday on Sky channel 16, bringing with it a slew of truly unbelievable “lifestyle” programming. We’re talking big leagues now. This is the home of Toddlers and Tiaras and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, this is the channel that will turn anyone, and anything, into a reality franchise. And by gum am I excited about it. There are the frenzied yet functional lives of those cheap skate Gatorade-rich folk in Extreme Couponing, balanced out with chilled out life on the farm in Little People, Big World. Yip. I’m not making that name up. Think you can separate truth from fiction? (Click here to play our TLC fake-or-real titles game). / AC

It’s a Nice Day For a, Ferndale Wedding

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Things have really turned around in Ferndale after the past few morose weeks (click here for our Shortland Street power rankings) On Wednesday night, Nicole and Vinnie finally tied the knot after far too many secrets, and more than enough comas. Keeping it in the family, they were married by Robbie Magasiva in a brief but exciting cameo. The bride wore a shimmering gold gown, the groom had his hair gelled to gleaming perfection. The one thing I liked more than the wedding actually happened after the show, when the Shortland Street team opened the guestbook to die-hard fans. Below are some of the my favourite entries. / AC

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A Tough Trip Down Struggle Street

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Episode two of Struggle Street aired last night, and was comfortably the most devastating television of the year. The three part documentary series aired on Australian television in May, and was criticised from some quarters as ‘poverty porn’ or the ‘scum zoo’. To me it was instead that rarest of beasts – an unflinching look at the way drugs, despair and extreme disadvantage have created intergenerational harm in Australia. But the most impressive element was how apolitical it was. It simply presented lives as they are lead, rather than scouting around for someone to blame. Which is not to say that there isn’t fault on many sides and in many sectors. But the arresting images were so much more powerful for their lack of commentary and mediation. That stuff is far better when it happens around, rather than within, a show. (Click here to read Finlay McDonald’s Struggle Street essay for The Spinoff) / DG

Masterchef Spoils the Broth

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Masterchef NZ has been having a hard time recently, with Al Brown’s whacky hat fashion show unable to attract large audience numbers. Wake up New Zealand! Did you not see the time he had a cauliflower on his hat?! Punters were left steaming mad on Monday night after an on screen error revealed which contestant was going home at the end of the episode. I haven’t felt this deceived by graphics since I found out King Kong was just Andy Serkis in a onesie. Just tll us who wins now. Click here for our full rundown of Masterchef NZ week six. / AC

Rachel Hunter Puts Her Arse on the Line

The second leg of Rachel Hunter’s Tour of Beauty took us to South Korea last week, where the plastic surgery rate is the highest in the world. After spending some time with snail secretion cremes, she had her own consult with a plastic surgeon who told her she needed her face filled, lasered, and lifted. As if that wasn’t rough enough, she then found herself poked and prodded by a traditional healer with an incredibly invasive stick technique.

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It’s been a rough week for Rachel on her odyssey of beauty, no butts about it. (Click here to read a full recap of the episode) / AC

Watch: Bullseye, Friday TV3 at 7.30pm – The strong vampire from Twilight hosts this new physical game show, where humans do whatever it takes to hit the bullseye.

Movie: The Great Gatsby, Saturday TV2 at 8.40pm – If this is Baz Luhrmann’s dream realised, I’m terrified to know what his nightmares look like. A weird, CGI-soaked take on an old classic.

Binge: Dead Like Me on Lightbox (click here to watch) – Killed by a piece of flying space station? Just become a Grim Reaper, no worries.


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