Paul Casserly 's Opinion

Paul Casserly watched too much TV as a child.

Paul Casserly: Games of Thrones

Prime Minister John Key.
Prime Minister John Key.

So Monday arvo is now a no go for Twitter because, despite the fast turn around, Game of Thrones screens a few hours earlier in America and they sure love to tweet about it. There's no such danger with Campbell Live - who this week began another of the traditional election year 'at home with the leaders' capers.

It was a bit like Lowie's BBQ, but thankfully with Campbell in attendance rather than the great league philosopher. King Joffrey Key and his bride Bronagh were the first up. Next week it's pretender to throne, Lord Cunliffe of Herne Bay Rock.

Like Game of Thrones, the visit to the Key's beachfront bach in Omaha was a mixture of comedy and horror. Thankfully there was no sex. And, as in the swords and whores extravaganza, there was a marketplace dappled in golden light. A visit to the Matakana Market showed Key embracing organic food as if he was Russel Norman, although at the fry-up BBQ that followed - eggs, sausages, bacon - Campbell noted that "somehow not many of the healthy organics made it to the table." Joffrey would have had his head for that kind of ungrateful insolence, but Key would no doubt be relaxed about the slight.

He was super-relaxed at the market, and smiled as he endured the endless stream of the affluent well-wishers that filled the place. One frightening woman told him she lives in Vegas for half the year. He joked with a 9-year-old, "you'll vote national when you can vote won't you?" He sniffed herbs and bought organic juice. If it weren't for an old bugger who lurched in and harassed him about fixing a road, it would have been clean run.

Back at the beach house Campbell hung around like a real estate agent at an open home, as our glorious leader cooked the artery-clogging feast. It was relaxed, convivial. It was Key as we've come to expect him. Smiling, goofy. He was literally at home and so, felt at-home enough to call Bronagh her pet name, "Bing, Bing" in the presence of the cameras. "What did you call her?" Campbell asked. "None of your business," said Bing Bing. John joked about the panda at the London Zoo and then admitted to being a Chinese spy by way of diversion.

As relaxed and confident as Key seemed, he'd be aware of something that Jaime Lannister said to his father, just a few hours later. Even if you think the war is won, "the king is never safe".

Sky dishes glowed, broadband cables groaned and home theatres rumbled across the country last night as that other power struggle continued. On Game of Thrones, organic meat was also cooked in the Seven Kingdoms: pigeon pie, sheep carcasses, human limbs and pre-battery chickens all featured. The familiar delights were on offer: sex, violence and comedy. Bad men gurgled blood. The Hound said the 'c' word twice.

And you just knew that it wouldn't end well for the smartarse who said "bring him a shaved goat and a bottle of olive oil" to a visiting prince. Only a regular cast member can get away with that sort of line without being stabbed. There was also the tantalizing prospect that the dragons might do a Grizzly Man on Daenerys, as it slowly becomes obvious that "they can't be tamed".

Who knows what horrors await us next week, in Westeros, and in Herne Bay.

* Campbell Live. TV3, weeknights 7pm
* Game of Thrones. SoHo, Mondays 8.30pm

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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