Paul Casserly 's Opinion

Paul Casserly watched too much TV as a child.

Paul Casserly: A late Friday night TV crawl

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Hulk Hogan is on tonight's episode of Wanna-Ben.
Hulk Hogan is on tonight's episode of Wanna-Ben.

So you go out for drinks, maybe play some pool, eat some Thai food or a kebab if time gets away on you. Then it's home for some TV before bed.

Assuming 9.30pm as the time you return, via a taxi. Or maybe you've mastered the art of two wines and a couple of Amstel Lights, which keeps you well under the youth fail benchmark on the breath testing machine.

You may be completely sober of course, or in some other state. Regardless, there's comfort to be had in getting home and collapsing onto the sofa, like some barely human dumpling with eyes.

Tonight I have constructed a TV crawl for you. Like a pub crawl, but drinks are optional.

Common sense would dictate that you start with 7 Days (TV3, 9.30pm). It's perfect post-pub entertainment, and being slightly sozzled is no hindrance to enjoyment, but have the clicker ready, because TV2 has, at the same time, something called Dating In the Dark, in which Australian blokes and chicks get to know each other in total darkness.

It sounds like a great concept for radio. The idea came from the Netherlands, where the show has a much better title Daten in Het Donker.

It's the sort thing that would have Paul Henry sniggering to himself. Though given reports of his ratings perhaps the sniggering is now mostly behind his back. (As you may have guessed I'm a big fan of the Great Kiwi Clobbering Machine. Bring back the clobber I say.)

Not that the reality is quite as interesting as the premise. It's your basic dating show shtick but with infra-red cameras. The prospective daters don't get to see their prey, but they do get to talk to them and touch and kiss.

My extensive research brought me to this clip in which an American contestant says, "Am I a 10? No. But am I a Hobbit? No."

Of course he looks quite a lot like a Hobbit, but they do tend to be confident, these dating show contestants. So, good post-pub stuff for sure. The kind of show that's only half as much fun on your own - after all it's no fun bitching people out solo is it?

"What a dork, look at the mono-brow on that 'tard ... Oh I'm talking to myself again, Jesus."

No it's for group viewing. That's a given.

If you have come home alone or you're in recovery, then TV One is the answer tonight. Whitechapel (TV1 9.30) is one of those classy crime productions that used to pop up on Sunday nights, and not unlike the very watch-able, Benedict Cumberpatch version of Sherlock Holmes, (a new series of that screened at Christmas in the UK so should hit our screens this year).

One of the main attractions for me is the presence of actor Philip Davis. You may not remember his name but his face has graced everything from Quadrophenia, to The Bounty to Bleak House.

His portrayal as the character Smallweed on the latter is pure magic, which can be relived here, but start at about 50 seconds in.

If you're too wasted to follow the plot I suggest you stagger back to TV3 where someone will no doubt be saying something inappropriate on 7 Days. If you stick around, your attention span will not be challenged by Wanna-Ben, (10pm) one of the fastest-paced shows in the history of New Zealand TV.

When he's not being arrested for trying to breach airport security, Ben (ex of Bill and Ben fame) rounds up celebrities for some jolly japes. Much of it is puerile, which makes it perfect for this timeslot.

Hulk Hogan and George Forman are tonight's guests. Hogan has recently been embroiled in a sex tape controversy. That's the kind of mind picture that is likely to bring up those wines and beers, and even, (gulp, gurgle, ahhh, ooo,) that kebab.

Of course it's also likely to be a topic of interest on 7 Days. I hope they don't make the kids paint it.

Or you could just set the recorder and stay out till dawn.

When you wake up on Saturday night just remember there's another chance to see the excellent and now multi-award winning doco I Am The River (8.30pm, Maori TV).

It begins with a chance discovery of some rather amazing and previously unknown photographs of 19th century Maori and ends in a bitter dispute in an auction house.

Paul Casserly

Paul Casserly watched too much TV as a child.

It began with Dr Who, in black and white, when it was actually scary. The addiction took hold with Chips, in colour. He made his mum knit a Starsky and Hutch cardigan. Later, Twin Peaks would blow what was left of his mind. He’s been working in radio and TV since the 1990s and has an award in his pool room for Eating Media Lunch.

Read more by Paul Casserly

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