Paul Casserly 's Opinion

Paul Casserly watched too much TV as a child.

Paul Casserly: Colin Craig and JFK

Colin Craig and 'Killing Kennedy'. Photo / NZH, Supplied
Colin Craig and 'Killing Kennedy'. Photo / NZH, Supplied

If you were hoping for the conspiracy theory theatrics that made Oliver Stone's movie JFK so much fun, you would have been disappointed by Killing Kennedy, which is currently playing on the National Geographic Channel.

I was once stuck on plane next to man who professed a belief that the Twin Towers were blown up by George Bush - a popular delusion at the time. I tried my best to beat some sense into his nonsense but you may as well fly to the moon. Naturally he had serious doubts about the moon landing too. "What about JFK?" I asked, just to make sure he had the holy trinity locked down. "We'll it's pretty clear cut." Wow, I thought. He's not completely crazy after all. But I was wrong. "There were at least three gunmen" he continued undaunted, "and Oswald wasn't one of them."

The 'truth', to me at least, has always seemed pretty clear cut. Oswald did it. Like the existence of UFOs there's been no actual evidence to the contrary, also, I once saw a doco in which Oswald's brother said so. He said "it didn't surprise me at all that me did it, he was always a bit of a dick" - or words to that effect.

The one gunman theory is also the one favoured by Killing Kennedy, which by and large plays it straight - sitting somewhere between a better than average crime show recreation and the more animated moments of The Family Heath Diary. It's dull, but it gets the job done and it makes you think of Voltaren. Rob Lowe as JFK? Well he gets into the groove with a detached grimness and sticks with it for the entire film. Not so much range then, but even playing at one note Lowe somehow manages to make some music. The accent will always sound like a caricature, thanks in no small part to Mayor Quimby on The Simpsons.

Recent JFK impersonator Greg Kinnear was way better on the mini series The Kennedys, but Lowe probably added some pure star power to get the bums on seats. This bum got a bit numb though, which is not the fault of the actors so much as the leaden direction of a leaden script.

That's not to say it's not enjoyable. Just as I was about to give up watching I realised I was stuck, largely because of the compelling nature of the Oswald story, which gets a good airing here. Will Rothhaar's depiction of him as an impossible and irritating oddball is possibly the best part of the affair. There's also some rather good archive I hadn't seen before.

I guess politics and murder are always compelling, but what about politics and grocery shopping?

Colin Craig shops at Pak 'N Save and he's a bit of a tight arse.

That's what I learnt from Campbell Live's party political broadcast on behalf of the Conservative Party which also aired this week. Craig must be rubbing his tight fists with glee as the media go gaga over the Gomer Pyle of politics. "Surprise, surprise, surprise" he didn't say, but may as well have, as Rebecca Wright escorted him through the maze-like alleyways of the budget supermarket. Craig is a likeable enough Muppet and he's rather good at playing to his crowd. Not everyone loves gay marriage or believes in climate change or buys ethical eggs. "An egg's an egg", he points out while grabbing a tray of 24. And who doesn't secretly want to smack their kids? In other words he's going after the sort of people who usually vote for Winston - which also means he may need to modify his ideas about doubling the tax on booze.

If his supermarket shopping is anything to go by he is indeed a populist and a pragmatist. He goes for the cheapest brand unless it's the same price as a premium one.

But he's not sticking to a list as far as I could see. Also he appears to be easily taken in by special offers and two-for-one deals. He may be a man without a plan but he certainly has an eye for a bargain.

As JFK might have said; "Ask not, what can your county do for you. Ask, how much is the Pam's version?"

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.

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