Bitchin' Channels

A blog about television and radio with Paul Casserly

Paul Casserly: Get ready to shout at your TV

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Paul Casserly looks over upcoming TV events that, like it or not, are bound to get everyone talking.
TV blogger Paul Casserly is awaiting the impending re-emergence of Paul Henry; the Winston Peters of TV.
TV blogger Paul Casserly is awaiting the impending re-emergence of Paul Henry; the Winston Peters of TV.

I once heard Marcus Lush use the term "talkback sky" in the way people use "red sky at night, sailor's delight".

You can imagine the delight of talkback hosts when a scandal, like the one provided by Len Brown, breaks. The collective rubbing of hands at Newstalk ZB and Radio Live would at those times equal the output of a fullsize wind turbine.

Thinking of what lies ahead in 2014 in the world of TV, I have a similar feeling which I'm sure would be shared by other purveyors of TV dribble.

Firstly, it's election year. Think of that brilliant cast of characters lead by the Paul Henry of politics, Winston Peters.

Then there's the likes of Colin Craig and his gruesome handmaiden Christine Rankin and of course the jamboree of madness that is election night itself.

There's also the ongoing golden goose known as Seven Sharp, whose rejig, complete with Mike Hosking, will be closely watched and dissected like a frog in biology class.

Moaning about the line-up of the show has become a sort of national pastime, which sadly means we care. Talk about drama. It was almost like watching Boardwalk Empire when they killed off Alison Mau late last year.

Some might say a bullet to the head would be better than being strapped to a chair next to Willie Jackson, but that prospect will also provide much entertainment in the radio realm.

There's also the impending re-emergence of Paul Henry, the Winston Peters of TV. Like herpes, he should never be underestimated.

As a blogger I'm amping to lay eyes on his new show, as a human, not quite so much.

This is largely because of the affection held for the late, lamented Nightline. I fear we will reach for that show in the way that an amputee reaches for a missing limb, grasping at the remote only to find a smug millionaire laughing about fat ladies and immigrants.

The saving grace of Henry is the simple fact that he is simply less boring than most of the other w****** on TV. He's also snaffled Campbell Live's attack blond Rebecca Wright, so we know we'll be in for a spectacle.

Nightline however will be sorely missed. The late news on TV One has never been much of a substitute. I'll particularly miss the brilliantly askew entertainment coverage provided by the likes of David Farrier and Ali Ikram, and the calming news presentation of Sacha McNeil, one of the few who can manage to read a news story without trying to act it out with her facial muscles.

Still, if more of us tune in to watch the redneck japery of Henry, then we only have ourselves to blame.

I prefer, naturally, to blame others. Firstly I blame My Kitchen Rules for making MasterChef seem so boring. The last series got so lame that the Herald's most obsessive MasterChef obsessive, Hugh Sundae, abandoned his series blog before the final episode.

He wasn't alone, the producers have re-jigged the show to mirror MKR with its teams-based line-up. Reality shows have all now learnt the lesson provided by The Amazing Race. So long as Ray McVinnie continues to say things like, "A good vet could get that up and walking around," I'll keep watching. Kiwis love a good meat gag.

Great drama will also keep me happy. TVNZ has the much-anticipated thriller Broadchurch, which I've seen and can report to be utterly brilliant. But I'll bang on about the delights on offer in that department next week.

I will also be back for more Coronation Street, which I watch in the same way that Peter Barlow drinks. I abstain for periods but I will always fall off the wagon, no matter how much TVNZ mucks around with the scheduling. I do however feel solidarity with the oldies (ie, older than me) that I come across who are royally pissed off about the way the show has been sent from pillar to post.

I've recorded it for years, so I don't really care, but not everyone does that yet. If you don't have a PVR, getting one should be your New Year's resolution, even if you're on Freeview GET A RECORDER! It's as essential as a good tide chart. If you have an older relative who has yet to make the change it's your duty to sort it out for them.

Cleverly TVNZ moved Coronation Street to its current ghetto - if you can call Friday prime time a ghetto - in dead of night, ie, at Christmas. Still the complaints filtered through the hazy holiday airwaves and made for an afternoon of grizzling talkback on Radio Live with Emma Lang.

Strangely one caller called in not to castigate TVNZ, as the others did, she called to bag the show for its presentation of "highly immoral behaviour" which she saw in the same way as others look at The Wolf Of Wall Street.

"It's appalling, not real life at all" she moaned. I think she also said something along the lines of, "all lesbians and what-not".

As they say on the street, there's nought as queer as folk.

This week I'm watching:

Monday
Mike Tyson: The Undisputed Truth (Soho 8.30pm). A Spike Lee film based on the one-man stage show performed by the polarising pugilist.

Wednesday
Cricket. ODI. NZ vs West Windies (Sky Sport 2 1.30pm). BTW the second innings is live free to air on Prime from 6pm.

Thursday
Auckland Daze (10pm, TV One). Millen plumbs the depths again, this time with an appalling advertising campaign.

Friday
Beauty and The Geek Australia. (TV3, 8.30pm) I was forced to watch the last series and enjoyed the crap out of it. Also there's still no Graham Norton.

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