The worst thing about most of the regular offerings on local television isn't the endless feed of cooking shows, the hammering repetition of DIY and house series or even the fruitless searching of the TV talent shows. No, there's something much worse.

So awful, in fact, it has taken me as long as possible to even get round to watching any of these shows. The one I chose - and it's one of many variations on the theme - is a local one called Road Cops which started its third series on TV3 on Monday at 7.30pm.

As the title slightly suggests, it's a reality show about cops in cars " chasing other cars, stopping hoons and loons, dealing with the occasional armed offender and "assuming the worst case scenario", as members of the NZ Police like to say.

Along with most of the countless other police, customs, fisheries and dog patrol shows, this one simply follows the cops - this time in their cars, as I said, mainly following other people in cars.


Everyone, except some of the hoons, is on his or her best behaviour for the cameras and nothing, on Monday's opening show at least, was so exciting it's even worth mentioning, though there was a guy caught driving a motorised barstool.

And there was an oddly down-home moment when a policeman called Sean, on his way to the armed incident, was asked by his HQ, "Are you armed? Do you have a Taser?"

And the cop came back, "Neither, but I could go and get something I suppose".

In the end, everything was resolved, the cops all seemed like exceptionally nice and reasonable people, as they would want to seem, having given a TV production company permission to film their every carefully-chosen moment.

The show didn't quite make me want to join the police, but I could certainly feel the push.

Moving right along, I found something rather funny going on last Friday night at 9.30 over on Maori TV.

Just a one-off pilot show in the meantime, Radio Kuka deserves a series as soon as funding can be arranged. It's a kooky, campy mockumentary set in the mad mini-world of an imaginary Maori language radio station unfortunately called Triple K AM.

The drama whirls around the elongated row between deposed station owner, a seedy clueless and pakeha Orlando Stewart, and the station's new boss, the unstoppable, yet crazy and self-obsessed Marire Kuka, who has two funny sidekicks, a girl Friday and a campy sarcastic intern.

They are all startlingly good in their roles at the doomed Government-funded station, which broadcasts its hopeless signal out of a mouldering caravan in an overgrown Avondale backyard.

Marire announces the station "needs a new look, not that you can see radio".

Somehow, in the pilot story, the trio lured an increasingly-worried Pio Terei on-air as a guest, all the while plotting Orlando's final humiliating downfall by revealing his membership of the Avondale Ladyman's Club.

Radio Kuka was a wilder ride than you might expect from Maori TV, managing to weave a meaningful strand of te reo through the show and still be hilarious in a cross-over sort of way.

More please and quite soon, if you don't mind. Local laughs remain thin.