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Design: Tina Tiller
Design: Tina Tiller

Pop CultureFebruary 15, 2022

Holy sheet: Fair Go returns for 2022 with a fitted sheet shock

Design: Tina Tiller
Design: Tina Tiller

Fair Go is back for another year of sticking up for consumers. Tara Ward watched the first episode for 2022 and discovered it’s the little things that make a difference. 

Last night, Fair Go kicked off its 45th year of listening to New Zealanders complain. For nearly half a century, TVNZ 1’s top rating and much loved consumer affairs programme has been in our corner, fighting battles big and small to improve the lives of ordinary New Zealanders. They’re even on TikTok. After all that time and all those grumbles, you’d think we’d have run out of problems for Fair Go to solve. What could we possibly have left to complain about in 2022?

The answer, New Zealand, is fitted sheets.

We will fight them on the beaches, we will fight them in the bedroom (Screengrab: TVNZ)

Fair Go returned for 2022 with a cracker of a story about Kath from Christchurch, who contacted the show after experiencing absolute scenes every time she changed her bed linen. Kath has a king single bed, but struggles to get her king single sheets to fit the mattress. Either the sheets are too small or the mattress is too big, but either way, life is one long journey of inanimate objects fucking us over in a variety of ways, and Kath has had enough.

Luckily, a fitted sheet shitfest is the stuff Fair Go thrives on. Last night’s episode saw the show cover serious issues like the accuracy of skin cancer checks and pesticides in imported flowers, but the sheet scandal hit hardest. Big Sheet is corrupting us one mattress at a time, and Fair Go unleashed some investigative journalism that made a difference. Forget Sunday, turn off Q&A. This is the news that matters.

Save yourself (Screengrab: TVNZ)

Fair Go dived deep inside the fitted sheet – or the “scrunchy buggers”, as Pippa Wetzel called them – and the results were shocking.

Reporter Kaitlin Ruddock discovered sheet sizes don’t have universal measurements, that the depth of a fitted sheet can vary by 10 centimetres, and that the sheet often has the exact same measurements as the mattress, hence the difficulty in making it fit. That’s why fitted sheets are such dickheads. It’s like trying to do up your jeans after Christmas, the time-space continuum just doesn’t allow it.

The solution? Fair Go spoke to a staff at a fancy linen store, who suggested we double-check our mattress measurements before we go sheet shopping.

Kath from Christchurch wasn’t putting up with that bullshit. “That’s not something you would normally do,” she told Fair Go, speaking for all normal, non-mattress-measuring New Zealanders. Kath is us. All we want is to smell our flowers and get our moles checked and change our sheets without having to ask the country’s favourite consumer affairs show to battle on our behalf. That’s not too much to ask, is it?

Fair Go’s Haydn Jones, Pippa Wetzel and Scrunchy Bugger (Screengrab: TVNZ)

As customers, we put our trust in business, but Fair Go is here to remind us that’s the last thing we should do. Kath eventually got her bed made, the nation voiced its mutual distrust of fitted sheets, and Fair Go was over for another week. Back in the studio, Pippa held one of those scrunchy buggers in her arms. It lay limp in defeat, shamed by the light that Fair Go had cast on its fraudulent existence.

As always, Fair Go wanted to help us until the very end. “There’s usually a tag on the bottom right hand corner,” Pippa said, revealing the sheet’s seedy underbelly, moments before the credits rolled. “Start there and work your way around.” It was simple advice, but in my head a choir of angels began to sing.

Fair Go’s return was 22 minutes of learning and self discovery. All I did was put on the television, and now I felt more empowered than I had all year. “Better living, everyone,” Haydn Jones said. I couldn’t agree more.

Catch Fair Go on Monday nights on TVNZ1 and on TVNZ OnDemand. And TikTok.

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