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The Spinoff’s TV Week: Breakfast Blunders, Background Burps and Budding Broadcasters

1) John Campbell Live in Samoa

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Say what you want about John Fellett, but he’s as adept at the counter-punch and exploiting an opportunity as anyone in television. So when TV3 dramatically dumped John Campbell a few weeks back, you can bet one of the first calls the broadcaster took was from a Sky exec, offering him the chance to watch the most public display of his former show’s power in the flesh. Campbell wasn’t a perfect fit with Sky’s mostly ex-jock rugby team. As our recap showed, Campbell’s a legit sports fan, but guys like Jeff Wilson and Justin Marshall are most adept at game analysis – “how will the All Blacks handle the heat?” – versus Campbell, who wanted to tell you what it all meant. Still, he elevated the broadcast, and delivered a beautiful pre-game package which captured the majesty of the moment brilliantly. / DG

2) One Burp to Rule Them All, One Burp to Bind Them

The relentless jive of Dancing With the Stars has slowed to a treacle-paced Viennese Waltz of late, particularly after the elimination of Pam Corkery and Mountain Warrior-gone-Twinkle-Toes Shane Cameron. Where are all the slip ups? The Rodney drops? The Jay Jay snake moves? It’s a tedious viewing experience to watch a bunch of beautiful people succeeding at a new skill, so my mind has started wandering towards everything but the dancing. Until, on Sunday night, when something amazing happened.

It was a burp that rocked the nation. A burp that awoke the imagination of millions. A call to arms type of burp. Could I be overstating the importance of this burp based on my growing apathy towards Dancing With the Stars? Almost certainly yes, but I’ll grab onto anything I can get. Whatever it means, it was a palpable, pungent moment that cut through the spray tans and the wigs to deliver us an uncut moment of pure humanity. Oh captain, my captain. / AC

3) Jack Tame replaces Mike Hosking  

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Both ZB and TVNZ have been promoting Jack Tame reasonably heavily these past few years, gradually moving him into prominent slots, as if he’s Mike’s heir apparent – just as Mike once was to the dear, departed Paul Holmes. These past couple of weeks it’s gotten a little too cold for the Hosk – he’s off somewhere holidaying. So the very fresh-faced Jack’s got the wheel of dad’s car for a couple of weeks. What’s he doing with the opportunity? Praising the NZRU for heading to Samoa, despite it being unjustifiable commercially. Talking about New Zealand needing to take the lead on climate change! These are not very Hosking positions. A friend suggested to me that Tame’s become Hosking’s understudy not because he’s considered the man most likely to replace him, but because he makes like his surname and represents no plausible threat to the king or his castle. I like the theory – through that lens, this otherwise mystifying substitution makes a whole lot more sense. / DG

4) Rawdon Christie and Paul Henry Trade Flubs

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Look, breakfast television isn’t easy. You not only have to be awake well before dawn – you have to be on. Worse, you have to fill hours and hours every damn day. Anyone would have a hard time filling that gaping void without uttering some piece of casual vacancy or misogyny from time to time. All that said – Paul Henry and Rawdon Christie provide such a steady diet of it that this has to be more than a structural problem, and instead something they just get a kick out of. In recent times, Rawdon’s watched a beautiful, touching HIV awareness video, and come away with a single, nonsensical question in response: “Is he blind?” (click to watch the clip). Paul Henry, meanwhile, targeted the wrong journalist for a an angry rant, then did some more of his trademark sleazing on Maria Tutaia (click here to watch the clip). Again, it’s a tough job. But if Hilary Barry and Ali Pugh can make it through without being actively horrible, surely their male counterparts can too? / DG

5) Rhys Darby Over the X-Files Moon

This week has been full of X-Files revelations for me. First of all, I realised I don’t actually need to watch all 202 episodes to ‘get a vibe’ for the show. Secondly, David Duchovny has released an album and nobody seems to care. And thirdly, Rhys Darby has scored himself a role in the 2016 reboot. The six-part series will make first contact with the US in January next year, with ‘90s superstars Mulder and Scully returning as ageless as ever. Also joining Darby in the supporting cast will be Community’s Joel McHale, but little is known about his role yet:

Could “over the moon” be a clue? Will Darby be playing an alien moon man? I sure want to believe. / AC

Watch: Kiwi Living, Friday TV1 at 7.30pm – A new lifestyle show fronted by Miriama Kamo and Michael van de Elzen, covering everything from mushrooms to bike riding.

Binge: The X-Files on Lightbox – Rewatch the ‘90s classic and figure out where Rhys Darby will step in. We’d put money on the stretchy guy in the chimney.

Movie: Napoleon Dynamite, Saturday FOUR at 8.10pm – Are we ready to stop groaning at this movie and start laughing again? Nope? Still groaning? No tater tots for you.

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