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Pop CultureJuly 24, 2015

The Spinoff’s TV Week: Pania’s Poison, Transcendental Tractors and Cait’s Debut

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Bringing together the TV moments on the week, including peak Shortland Street crazy, dancing tractor routines and strong women making waves. 

1) Peak Panic for Pania on Shortland Street

The start of the week on Shortland Street had a heavy prescription of drama, and was hardly going to put anyone to sleep. Unless you’re Caleb, in which case Pania has slipped you a cool dose of propofol to send you straight to the land of eternal nod. Her murderous Monday on the Street solidified her position as villain of the year, following up her first act with trying to run Kylie over, and then switching name tags in the morgue to destroy the evidence.

With Pania become Shortland Street’s biggest stone cold baddie since Shane Cortese, director Simon Bennett has spoken out against the torrent of hate towards actress Bree Peters:

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Otherwise there were car crashes, roaring explosions and Chris Warner doing yoga in his lounge. A great week on Shortland Street for sure:

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2) Invasion of the Pros

Come Dine With Me this week not only suffered from its first all-white-contender brigade, but from an influx of fancy professionals to this achingly amateur show. First of all in the pro invasion there was Laurel: onomateopeia expert, owner of a very successful cupcake business in Newmarket (despite loathing the things) and seasoned Good Morning guest:


And Grayson Coutts, notable beautiful person and star of NZ’s Hottest Home Baker a few years back.

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This does not bode well for the future. I didn’t come here to see professional fancies doing their job well. I want ruined jus, burnt garlic bread and whipped cream in a can. I want everyone to be more like Damon (just maybe not with the questionable wig choice)

3) The Chorus for Chrystal


Much like our TV spirit mother Kim Kardashian, we broke the internet this week with a response piece to the Chrystal Chenery/Dom Harvey debate. Our website closed, the server crashed and many people exploded in the comments section and were never reassembled again. Basically, we need to have a rethink of how we react to these “EDGE-y” incidents:

“So Chrystal needs a permission slip to use feminism, but Dom doesn’t need one to degradingly screengrab her in a vulnerable position? Is the ‘campy exhibitionism’ of Dancing With the Stars an excuse to access women’s bodies however one so desires, with no repercussions? Where does the buck stop then? Does that mean any dancer is vulnerable? Any woman in a short skirt? Any woman?”

Click here to read the full piece

4) This Town is a Low-Key Beauty


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Do you like Southern Cowboys? Tiny horses? Extreme Victoriana? Watching old men in drag drive do synchronised tractors? This Town is the show for you. It’s also the show for all New Zealanders, really – in a year dominated by homegrown reality shows of often dire quality, This Town finds an earthy poetry in the lives of regular New Zealanders and their idiosyncratic fixations. Taking in burgs like Tapanui, Temuka and Timaru, This Town has no outside narration, giving it a sweet intimacy, so lets the characters tell their own stories. It’s triumph both of production – they have sought out and found a fantastic cast – and cinematography, with scenes which might have been chased for cheap laughs given a necessary respect. Mandatory viewing on Wednesdays at 9.30pm on TV One

5) I Am Cait Heralds New Reality Era

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Today I was lucky enough to review the first episode of I Am Cait, the new docuseries following Caitlyn Jenner’s journey through her new life as a woman. It’s coming to E! on Sky next Monday at 9.30pm, so use the weekend to get very excited for this groundbreaking TV event:

From intimate vlog-style footage of Caitlyn grappling with her deepest 4.30am musings to being a fly on the wall as her closest family members react to her introduction – it feels like absolutely nothing has been left out of the story. Just as Caitlyn has been on a journey to find her authentic self, the series aims for an honest and pure representation of that voyage. The interactions are all raw, capturing the most pivotal moments as she meets her mother, sisters, Kylie Jenner, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West for the very first time.”

Watch: Jane the Virgin, Friday 9.30pm on Prime – An effervescent new telenovela-inspired comedy about how one immaculate conception changes everything.

Binge: House on Lightbox – Taking time out to beat the flu? Feeling a little off but not sure why? Try Hugh Laurie as House for a healthy dose of medical drama that won’t make you cringe.

Movie: Pacific Rim, Sunday 8.30pm TV2 – The Earth is under attack by giant monsters, thank goodness we’ve got these aggressively ginormous robot suits lying around.

Keep going!