The year is nearly over and all across the country people are giving up, checking out, throwing in the towel on 2016.
Television is no different. There has hardly been a new show on the box in weeks, and fair enough. December is no time for starting new projects. It's a time to look back on the year that was and emit a low, tortured moan.
When it comes to television, the most notable trend this year was not watching television - in bars and offices and all over the internet a record number of New Zealanders could be found boasting about not watching telly. It was smug and insufferable, but maybe these bores were onto something.
Would life without television really be that bad? Consider these, the worst shows of 2016:
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[Various Things] Make You Laugh Out Loud (TVNZ 2)
They're cheap and they rate inexplicably well, but there's something deeply depressing about seeing these compilations of recycled YouTube clips occupying primetime slots on a major broadcaster. It started with the classic Dogs Make You Laugh Out Loud and throughout the year we've also seen episodes featuring Animals, Pets, Budgies and... Dumb Delinquents. This is the future of television and it is very, very bleak.
The Bachelor NZ (TV3)
It's unfair to lay all the blame for the disappointing second season of The Bachelor on Jordan Mauger - in reality he was only about 90 per cent of the problem. The new bachelor seemingly realised he'd made a huge mistake about 20 minutes into the first episode and spent the rest of the torturous ten weeks reluctantly dialling it in. His antipathy for the show was infectious; the whole thing plodded along painfully, even Naz couldn't save it. The only person who came out of the show looking any good was last year's inaugural bachelor Art Green, who suddenly seemed about 50 times more charming in retrospect.
Filthy Rich (TVNZ 2)
Some deeply contrarian part of me really wanted to like Filthy Rich, but no matter how you sliced it TVNZ's marquee drama just wasn't good. It didn't work as a fancy big-budget series or as a trashy soapy melodrama; it felt about 25 years out of date, run off the park in almost every respect by Shortland Street. Oh well, never mind, you can't win 'em all. At least they haven't gone and commissioned an almost-as-expensive second series or anything... Oh wait. What. Oh no. No. No no no no no no no.
Real Housewives of Auckland (Bravo)
The best and worst New Zealand television of 2016. One of a dwindling number of shows people bothered to tune in for and watch as it went to air, RHoA brought us an unlikely new cult hero in the form of Gilda Kirkpatrick and unbounded joy in the form of Anne Batley-Burton aka The Champagne Lady. But it will be mostly remembered for an ugly racist shitstorm on a boat in Tropical North Queensland, and in retrospect the overriding vibe of the show was completely hellish.
2016 US Presidential Debates (Everywhere)
For all your Westworlds and your Games of Thrones, the three US Presidential Debates were the biggest television events of 2016, and they were pure torture. While the other shows on this list might have had you thinking about chucking your telly in the inorganic collection, watching Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton shouting at each other for two hours made you think maybe it wouldn't be so bad if the earth just slipped from its axis and hurtled us all into the sun.