Colin Hogg on television

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Colin Hogg: In hot pursuit of trivial TV

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Sexy, sweet, warm, slightly over-egged Kiwi comedy-drama can't just leave us hanging.

Nothing Trivial features five friends on a pub quiz team, bonded by their love lives. It's Friends with more questions. Photo / Supplied
Nothing Trivial features five friends on a pub quiz team, bonded by their love lives. It's Friends with more questions. Photo / Supplied

A viewer's heart flutters, as it should, when a warning of "sexual content" comes up ahead of a television drama, though the heart could flutter with fear if the show is a local one.

Seeing over-familiar Kiwi actors getting their gear off can be a challenging experience when you've seen them not that long ago playing someone else altogether - perhaps a character who would never dream of getting naked and horizontal with someone else.

Or else you saw them at the Grey Lynn supermarket.

So my heart fluttered doubly on Sunday night ahead of the final episode of the second series of TV One's local romantic comedy, Nothing Trivial, when that warning came up.

Nothing Trivial seemed the sort of show that didn't need much sex. It's the sort of low-risk soft option we get in local TV drama, thanks probably to the combination of high cost - around half a million an episode - and the broadcaster's fear of failure.

So Nothing Trivial, despite its protestation, is in fact, pretty trivial stuff, but in a sweet, warm, slightly over-egged sort of way. The set-up: five friends on a pub quiz team, bonded by trouble in love. It's Friends with more questions.

I suppose, it being drama and the time being apres 8.30, shagging has to be part of the mix, but perhaps it might have been better if it hadn't involved Tandi Wright, an actress I'd seen as the prim, older-sisterly type.

In the midst of getting it on with Shane Cortese, she actually used the word "tumescent", and in a way I will now recall whenever I see her again.

Still, Nothing Trivial does its business well - its business being old-fashioned, not-too-shocking entertainment.

It's nicely made, full of urban Auckland scenery and good ensemble acting. Cortese is a natural nice guy and Blair Strang just as natural as Brian, a booze-loving skirt chaser trying to stay straight.

Wright's nervy, marathon-running nerd doctor character is slightly harder work - especially when she's dirty dancing in Shane's kitchen. Much more fun is the resident drama queen, Michelle, played with gleeful punch and passion by Nicole Whippy.

The final on Sunday played out with a very strong throw to the start of a new storyline, with mousy, put-upon pregnant Emma (Debbie Newby-Ward) walking out on Brian.

They can't leave us hanging like that, and they're unlikely to. A decision on a third series will be made next month.

Meanwhile, in its place next Sunday we'll get an extended episode of something truly trivial, New Zealand's Got Talent.

* What do you think of Nothing Trivial? Post your comments below.

- NZ Herald

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