This coming Monday The Spinoff launches ‘Street Week’, dedicated to honouring New Zealand’s greatest ever TV show, Shortland Street. We’ve been scheming on this for a couple of months, and pulled together the most ambitious set of heroic nonsense in the site’s short life.
The motivation was a sense that many New Zealanders, particularly those who generally consider themselves ‘cultured’, are just wandering along, mostly oblivious to just how great Shortland Street has been all these years. It’s consistently funny, challenging and well-constructed, a quiet marvel which remains a ratings monster into its third decade.
It’s also got a great sense of what it is, and is not – the self-referential fake bands (Lazy Gardens), fake streets (Q rd), fake products (MyLife, GameStation) are just one tiny piece of consistently good-humoured Ferndale-verse. It even had a major Christmas cliffhanger which featured a character literally hanging on a cliff. The christmas cliffhangers are consistently amazing – and the latest instalment comes next Thursday.
So to celebrate, we’re going all in, trying to figure out why this weird idea (a PGR soap set in a private medical clinic – really?) became such an epic, endless smash. To this end we’ll have essays, interviews, data journalism (!) and some incredible videos.
It’s been a major undertaking for us, and we’ve leaned heavily on a bunch of our contributors* who love the show (or at least understand its immense appeal). It’s also been the best fun we’ve had, and the most rewarding.
The first post comes at 10am on Monday December 8th 2014. We’re pumped.
* If you have an idea for a post and want to get involved, it’s not too late – pitch me via our contact page.
The Spinoff Weekly compiles the best stories of the week – an essential guide to modern life in New Zealand, emailed out on Monday evenings.