Lydia Jenkin 's Opinion

Lydia Jenkin is an entertainment feature writer for the New Zealand Herald.

Lydia Jenkin: More games to fill the void

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Debbie Newby-Ward, Nicole Whippy and Tandy Wright will be back for a second season of Nothing Trivial. Photo / Doug Sherring
Debbie Newby-Ward, Nicole Whippy and Tandy Wright will be back for a second season of Nothing Trivial. Photo / Doug Sherring

I've been enjoying the emotional roller-coaster that both the Olympics and the Film Festival have presented over past weeks. Watching Mahe Drysdale win gold may have been the best (and most nail-biting) seven minutes of television I've seen this year - quickly followed by seeing Nathan Cohen and Joseph Sullivan go from fifth to first in a matter of 500m. I don't know whether it's the elegance combined with incredible strength and endurance, or the multiple medal chances, but the rowing has been very absorbing.

Enough to divert me from the many delights of this year's film festival which included watching music doco Searching for Sugarman twice, so taken was I with it.

Now it's all but over, and apart from feeling like I should get off the couch/cinema seat and sign myself up for an intense exercise regime so that I too can look like an Olympic heptathlete (wishful thinking), I've been feeling a little forlorn and wondering what there is to look forward to.

Turning my attention to the free-to-air TV listings was not intially inspiring - another series of Grey's Anatomy (yawn), another reality series for Gordon Ramsay, Charlie Sheen playing yet another version of himself in Anger Management, etc ...

But fortunately there is some homegrown content being made that is helping to distract me from the state of the American sitcom.

Even though Nothing Trivial is not exactly "cool" telly, I'm looking forward to what happens with this quiz team in their second series. They don't swear, there are no murders, or mysteries, or medical procedures, but somehow it's still got me hooked.

And TV3 have got a Red Nose: Comedy for Cure Kids special coming up, which is going to involve a bunch of comedians and stars, plus Flight of the Conchords have even written a new song just for the occasion. Brilliant. Hopefully it might be a classic piece of Kiwi television.

Those options aren't going to occupy too many nights though, so thankfully there's a few films coming to keep anticipation running high. There are a few blockbuster remakes and sequels like The Bourne Legacy, Total Recall, and the latest James Bond, Skyfall - all of which look like diverting fun, watching human bodies do things that human bodies shouldn't be able to do, much like the Olympics.

But there's also the hilarious-sounding local film Two Little Boys - a long-awaited chance to see Bret McKenzie actually starring in a film instead of duetting with Kermit. And Tim Burton's new stop-motion animation Frankenweenie has all the hallmarks of a classic, as does Woody Allen's new addition to his European city collection, To Rome With Love.

But our entertainment needn't all be absorbed through a screen. In fact if you head along to Dame Edna's final farewell show Eat, Pray, Laugh, which opens this weekend, then you'll get to enjoy the world of telly and stage colliding. Same with Bill Bailey, who's coming here in October, and if you really want to confuse your kids about the difference between fiction and reality, Potted Potter (in which two very keen British actors tackle all seven Harry Potter books in 70 minutes on stage) will likely be a head-spinner.

Meanwhile, there is an invasion of international musical talent heading our way - bank accounts should be on guard for impulsive "music fan" spending. Rufus Wainwright will quickly be followed by Gomez, Mumford & Sons, Ben Harper, Black Keys, Radiohead, Coldplay, and Grizzly Bear.

Before you know it, we'll have leapfrogged through various events all the way to Christmas. But just in case I find myself in need of seven minutes of pure inspiration, I'll be making sure a video of Drysdale's rowing triumph is never far from hand.

-TimeOut

- NZ Herald

Lydia Jenkin

Lydia Jenkin is an entertainment feature writer for the New Zealand Herald.

Childhood music lessons eventually led to degrees in music and media studies for Lydia Jenkin, launching her career as an entertainment writer. A love of late nights watching local musos - whether in dingy bars or at summer music festivals – saw her become assistant editor at NZ Musician magazine for nearly five years before she jumped at the chance to join the TimeOut team. She's at her happiest when ranting about her latest music discovery, but is equally keen on excellent film and television (The Dark Horse and True Detective are her picks so far for 2014).

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