MediaWorks and TVNZ have both launched their television schedules for next year, and there is one undeniable trend for 2015: local. Local productions, local stories and local singles in your area looking for love. The parallels between programming are impossible to ignore, so why not encourage some healthy competition? //
The Block NZ vs Our First Home
With The Block NZ going into a fourth season next year, its apparently had a long enough run to draw upon past contestant “favourites” to compete again. Our First Home, essentially the same core premise as The Block NZ, is drawing upon an even better gimmick – parents. The contestant couples will be living and renovating their homes with their parents 24/7. Double the opportunity for fights and incredibly tense moments. Plus, the host of Our First Home Goran Paladin (of RadioSport) seems like a living breathing Damo which I think will make for good television. PS We can proudly say our country is probably the only one to have so much RadioSport/renovation reality show host crossover. God defend our free land.
The Spinoff predicts: If the parents provide enough pandemonium, Our First Home will steamroll The Block NZ for sure.
Masterchef NZ vs My Kitchen Rules NZ
Although Masterchef NZ is a powerhouse institution led by the earth, wind, fire trifecta (Gault, McVinnie and Emmett), My Kitchen Rules NZ has a clear advantage here. The borderline insane instant restaurant rounds allow for ten-fold personality clashes and many more opportunities to see the weird stuff people have in their kitchens. But the producers will have to exploit this format to the max. The 2014 season had a few strong personalities, but we could have done with a lot lot more. In 2015, My Kitchen Rules NZ will have to go full drama-fest. I want to see a Ponsonby Mum team. I want to see a divorced team. I want to see a seperated-at-birth twin team. Bring it on.
The Spinoff predicts: If My Kitchen Rules NZ can pull out drama such as a fist fight and/or a bout of salmonella, the nation will be hooked.
The Bachelor NZ vs Nigel Latta Blows Stuff Up
At the TVNZ launch last night, I was hanging out for something that would come even remotely close to mirroring the glorious train wreck that will be The Bachelor NZ. Turns out, the only one that came remotely close hinged on a title alone. In Nigel Latta Blows Stuff Up, our favourite glass-writing murder-solving sugar-hater does exactly that – blows stuff up. It’s a far cry from visiting inmates or telling teenagers how annoying they are, but I’m sure the nation will enjoy seeing our moral guardian burn a house down and electrocute a person with 100,000 volts of electricity. Still won’t be anywhere near as explosive as The Bachelor NZ.
The Spinoff predicts: The Bachelor NZ will go down as one of New Zealand’s defining television shows. Nigel Latta will accidentally blow himself up.
Gallipoli vs When We Go to War
It will be a war of the wars in 2015. TV1’s WW2 vs TV3’s WW1. TV3 will be showing their co-produced Australian eight-part mini series Gallipoli, starring Outrageous Fortune‘s Grant Bowler as Kiwi war hero William Malone. Back in the TV1 trench, When We Go to War is a six-part NZ made series starring a plethora of television talent. Fun trivia: the preview clips feature Ido Drent and Jarred Blakiston – also known as the two faces of Shortland Street‘s Daniel. Which seems fittingly patriotic.
The Spinoff predicts: The stronger local connection production-wise and actor-wise in When We Go to War might be its saviour. But then, everyone loves Grant Bowler. It seems blasphemous to choose between wars. I wish them both good luck. Make TV, not war.
Westside Story vs 800 words
The Outrageous Fortune prequel Westside Story is guaranteed to be a giant slam dunk. If for nothing but the costumes and moustaches alone. Set in the 70s, it takes a look at the origin story of our own superhero crim Ted West. Chocka-block with familiar faces and characters as we’ve never seen them before, it’s going to be the locally-made drama to beat in 2015. 800 words is another South Pacific Pictures co-production, airing on TV1. The story bucks the trend of the Aussie exodus, as main character George moves with his family from the bustling midst of Sydney to the (fictional?) New Zealand town of Weld. And then presumably writes 800 words, or something.
The Spinoff predicts: Westside Story will clean up. 801 Words will be announced at the 2016 TVNZ launch.
The GC vs Bogans
It will be a showdown between the bronzed Surfers Paradise overlords and the pasty Hamilton-ites sinking major piss in the back of a van. And I can’t wait to watch both. The GC will air on FOUR, and promises the return of many of our favourite characters. Over on TV1, Bogans is a 10-part documentary exploring the personalities, culture and communities in the Bogan universe. Presenting the findings is David Snell, a man who has a casual PhD in Boganism. New Zealand, this is your life. Your glorious glorious life.
The Spinoff predicts: Bogans will do burnouts around and around The GC.
There are a few more huge standalone shows to get very excited about. Obviously X Factor NZ has almost no competition, and will hopefully unite a nation once again in a scheduled weekly Twitter party. The Weta reboot Thunderbirds Are Go! is another exciting addition to the TVNZ line-up, and will be sure to earn Sir Richard Taylor another Sir-ship. Oh, and did I mention Rachel Hunter has her own show? One’s Tour of Beauty will see her explore different perceptions of beauty across the world, and inevitably have a breakdown when a Thai surgeon tells her she could do with a brow lift.