Roger Moroney: Kiwi staples still in good form on TV

By Roger Moroney

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I have had a bit of a ruffle through the weekend evening offerings on the little flat screen, or large flat screen depending on the size of your room, and have come to the conclusion that it's a fine time for summer to approach.

For the daylight hours are extending, in fact the process has really engaged a high gear now.

For when the birdies (and we appear to have a tui up in the silver birch now) keep sitting on the lower branches awaiting their landlord (me) to deliver a late tea at 7.15 then you just know the sunlight thing is catching.

There are about two extra minutes of daylight being added every day now, and the sun is finally slipping under the western horizon four or five minutes after 8pm at this stage of things.

Another month and it'll be closing in on 9pm.

So that's a lot of additional outdoor time, which means when television hits the big dull flat patch which it tends to do on weekend nights, and especially (and oddly enough) around summer, there are alternatives.

Winter is dark and cold of an evening, but summer offers a clement landscape out in the yard, where until well after 8.30pm at the peak of it, one doesn't need artificial lighting to stroll through the pages of a book.

So, as it has tended to become, there just seem to be films, reality shows, talent quests, cooking shows and the occasional repeat.

Although the reappearance of The Simpsons and a couple of bright moments, both courtesy of our domestic television-making industry, does buck the trend, which is a good thing.

Both emerge in the top five of most-watched shows on television, according to the media research folks.

Country Calendar (which seems to have been around for as long as the average farm) on Saturday evening at 7 on TV1 and Our Big Blue Backyard, also on TV1 at 7.30 on Sunday, which has delivered some stunning images in the past couple of episodes.

Both are true reality programmes.

Apart from that, if the weather is playing ball, it's a fine time to inhale the aromas of the imminent summer, and maybe read a book.

Maybe it's a strange part of the television psychology ... get people outdoors by putting very little on and whatever gets put on gets shredded by ads anyway.

How very summery of them.

Exiting the weekend there is another ratings top fiver with Made in New Zealand stamped on it.

Fair Go airs on Monday at 7.30pm on TV1, and to say it is a true trooper of the Kiwi TV scene would be an understatement.

It first emerged on the screens (which were contained in big plastic and Formica boxes, back in 1977 and a chap by the name of Brian Edwards hosted it, which was understandable as he and producer Peter Morritt created it.

It created an immediate, popular stir, and since those early issues we've had a string of familiar names and faces aboard.

Kevin Milne, Kerre Woodham (now McIvor), Carol Hirschfeld and Leigh Hart among them.

They had some serious times and some light times, like when they poked some verbal borax at so-called fortune tellers who believed they could predict Lotto numbers.

As a result, the New Zealand Sceptics Association presented them with a Bravo Award.

The hosts for 2016, in this its 39th year, are Pippa Wetzel and Haydn Jones. They continue to push the original message of "if you've been ripped off, short-changed or given the turnaround and nobody wants to know, we do!"

Also on Monday, and in the wake of recent "get them out" pleas from the families of those who died, is Pike River a docu-drama about the terrible mine disaster.

It screens at 8.30pm on Prime.

ON THE BOX

Qi, Prime at 9.30 tonight: There is a downunder touch to tonight's always excellent outing where "quite interesting" things are discussed and argued over.

Comedian Cal Wilson is part of the line-up. While she lives in Melbourne these days she is a Kiwi, so is that a first for the Stephen Fry-led line-ups?

Whatever, it will be highly entertaining. Jimmy Carr is also aboard so let's hope Cal gives him a bit of a barrel if he gets out of hand, because comically she is fast enough on the reaction draw.

Next Megaquake, National Geographic at 2.30pm Saturday: In the wake of the latest destructive seismic forces to strike our fair land this will likely get some attention.

But then shows like this often do, yet for all their theories and "scientific research" I doubt there will ever be a firm, or even loose for that matter, timetable of where the next earthquake, especially a severe one, will strike.

I think the earth simply moves in a mysterious way, and simply moves when it wants to. I just wish our planet could have cooled down a few billion years ago.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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