Bitchin' Channels

A blog about television and radio with Paul Casserly

Paul Casserly: Shame on you New Zealand

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Television blogger Paul Casserly casts his net of shame far and wide.

Quade Cooper during Australia's loss to the All Blacks on Saturday night. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Quade Cooper during Australia's loss to the All Blacks on Saturday night. Photo / Sarah Ivey

Shame on you for being mean to Quade Cooper.

For booing every time he touched the ball at Eden Park. For loving the pained expression on his face, in close-up and in slow-mo.

That's not sporting is it? Just small minded, sad. What a bunch of New Zealanders we are. Oh come on, it's just a bit of fun.

Personally I enjoy pretend-hating Quade, and commend the Sky Sport team for playing it up with their increasingly theatrical broadcasts. And thanks to the crowd too for their boos. Keep it up, unless you actually mean it.

Whether it was intentional or not (and I'm sure it was) the shot the other night that had Quade and SBW giggling like girls in the background while Ritchie waffled on about the game in the foreground was a beauty. It spoke volumes.

The booing, the pretend-hating, it's all just part of the game. I know there are idiots out there who actually hate Quade, and that's just sad. They are welcome to call radio sport and leave online droppings.

Meanwhile the rest of us can enjoy the theatre.

Shame on you TVNZ.

One of my favourite things when I worked at TVNZ many years ago was seeing the daily phone logs. These were sheets of complaints and suggestions phoned in by viewers.

Many were about important issues, like newsreader's hair ("Judy looks ghastly tonight") or their clothes ("Mr Holmes looks like a clown"). There were also many complaints about the weather ("It was 20 degrees in Dunedin today - not 19") and of course there were complaints about smut ("please describe a situation when 'feltching' would be in good taste?").

But nothing set the viewers off more than a rescheduling of Coronation Street.

Back in the 1990s when the late Mike Lattin was in charge of TVNZ he decided to cut back Coro, but the viewers were having none of it. As someone who worked at the time told me: "The TVNZ phones went into meltdown, the people who did the phone logs just ended up doing 'cross hatches' to count up all of the calls about Coro Street. The audience backlash was so intense Lattin had to reinstate the same number of episodes per week."

With this in mind this week's Herald On Sunday wasted no time in pouring napalm onto the fames following news that TVNZ will drop the Saturday night episode of the show, replacing it with the cringe worthy Come Dine With Me.

"Coro St Cut" screamed the front page - no doubt it caused a few emergencies in rest homes around the nation.

It was cleverly illustrated with a photo of the horrified cast witnessing the horror of the tram crash that marked 50 years of the show. It looked like the end of the world. To some people the 'axing' of Coro would be the end of the world.

Reading the headline "Viewer fury at Coro axing" had me wondering why newspapers love to bash TV so much. I guess part of the reason is that they're competing for the same ad dollars of course and it's good copy to boot.

More people watch prime time TV than read newspapers which means that stories about TV can drag in readers who may not normally pick up a paper. It's a strange relationship between papers and TV. The front page may shit on you but the entertainment sections promote the shit out of you.

I'm reminded of those birds that live on the back of hippos. Regardless, fans can be forgiven for feeling a little unloved as Coro ping pongs about the schedule. Does 50 years of loyalty mean nothing?

As they say up north: "Does it 'eck as like."

Shame on you Fareed Zakaria.

My favourite newsman has been on the naughty step in recent weeks because of the dreaded 'P' word. After a three-day binge he knocked over a dairy and blew 5K on hookers and more drugs.

Just jokes. The 'P' stands for plagiarism. It seems that Zakaria, or one of his minions, lifted some passages from a New Yorker article and passed them off as his own.

You can read more it about here, but I'm glad that he's done his penance and has returned to our screens because he's in class of his own (CNN, midnight Sundays and 7am Monday).

Shame on you Brooke Howard-Smith.

For herding all of those cats and raising $1.3 million on Friday's Red Nose Day spectacular. All that hard work and enthusiasm makes some of us feel like mean spirited, useless underachievers. I hope you're happy.

Follow Paul Casserly on Twitter.

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