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Judging from this promo video, The Project is set within a dystopian La La Land nightmare

Tara Ward watches the new promo video for TV3’s new 7pm show The Project, and is overwhelmed with pumpkins, backflips and Jesse Mulligan’s cha-cha. 

Some might say that a song and dance routine has no place in the serious world of current affairs. To them, I kick-ball-change and pirouette in their face, for the promo for The Project NZ sashayed into our lives this week and the world will never be the same again.

The first peek at TV3’s new 7pm show revealed a feverish world of universal happiness and joy. The Project NZ is a land of eternal sunshine, a place where balloons never pop and pergolas remain upright in strong winds. Everything is dazzingly clean and bright, like we’ve been sucked into a terrifying Candy Land dystopia. Help, we’re stuck on the Rainbow Trail, we need Mike Hosking to drive past in his Ferrari and save us all.

Pink flamingos! Fruit and vegetables! Men wearing bicycle helmets! There’s more brilliant colour than a truckload of Skittles dumped into the ball pit of a kid’s indoor playground. Is this what living in Auckland is really like? No wonder everyone bangs on about it.

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The Project NZ want us to know they’re not the same old song and dance. Mostly because they sang “we’re not the same old song and daaaaaaance” over and over, but also because they seem to exist in parallel universe where construction workers cartwheel to work and hairdressers spontaneously burst into catchy little musical numbers.

I watched this promo 23 times in the name of research and any song and dance I previously associated with the news (mainly this horrific Breakfast tribute to Adele) is thankfully erased from my memory. Now every time I close my eyes I see Jesse Mulligan’s cha-cha-cha burnt onto my retinas, and it is a glorious thing.

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I love a newsreader hornpipe as much as the next clown, but I’m still not 100% sure what The Project NZ is. Amidst the high kicks and tumbling cyclists, host Kanoa Lloyd warbled something about headlines and entertainment. Sorry, what was that? News? Who cares, because 5, 6, 7, 8, cheesy wink, jazz hands.

“It’s a show, in the know,” sang Kanoa. “About how things go,” Jesse crooned from behind a park bench. There were some lyrics I didn’t understand, probably because Josh Thomson was doing backflips while he sang them. It sounded like “faffing and gassing and choreographing”, and if that’s all it takes to be a journalist then count me in.

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It’s not the…it’s not the…it’s not the same old song and daaaaaance! The Project NZ understands what we really want from the news: interpretive bloody dance. After all, who cares about Trump or climate change or the upcoming general election, when we can have 30 minutes of jazz hands every night?

(You hear me, Kanoa? I want jazz hands, EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.)

These were the most bewildering 59 seconds of my life. Grab a bunch of balloons tied to a bicycle and bask in these probably-harmful-for-your-eyes promo highlights.

1) This guy

Butcher? Baker? Candlestick maker? I need answers.

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2) The hosts’ harmonising is better than The Wiggles

It’s like aural nectar from the gods. Drink it all in.

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3) 100% committed facials

Bloody outstanding effort. Also, shout out to whoever’s responsible for those spectacular perennials in the background. You’ve done yourself proud.

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4) Giant vegetables

This makes me cry yellow pulpy tears of vegetable envy. Just what is The Project NZ’s secret to growing such enormous produce? If only there was a nightly news and entertainment show that could delve into this pressing issue on my behalf.

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5) Whatever the hell is happening here 

No idea, but I blame Trump.

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6) So many jazz hands

If I don’t get spirit fingers at the start of every episode there will be hell to pay.

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7) This leaping chef

He found his joy in nightly current affairs and entertainment. All the feels.

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8) I’m sorry, what?

Josh Thomson is all of us after watching this promo.

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The Project begins on Monday February 20, 7pm on TV3

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