Item 1:

Like many fans of


, I scoffed at



TV reviewer Greg Dixon's

last week. He called it "implausible" and "irritating", among many other scandalous things.

I had a chance to vent in person, since he sits a paper dart throw away from my desk, and I tell ya, there were words had between us.

But a week is a long time in entertainment and, as I write this, I am preparing to bow down beside my colleague's desk and admit that he was right. This week's episode of Homeland was ludicrous, simply because of the obvious obstacles the key characters faced.

Carrie's attempted overdose after being shown the door - again - at the CIA was uninspired. She would have better off going rogue and digging the dirt on Abu Nassir herself.

Worse still was Brody's storyline. He was meant to be speaking at his wife's fundraising dinner but got word that the tailor who made his suicide vest was about to be seized by the CIA. So he went and picked him up. On the drive back to Washington he got a puncture but there was no tyre jack in the car. Then the tailor escaped, Brody chased him through the woods, he caught him but in doing so impaled him on a stick.

Meanwhile, wifey rang him to see where he was and Brody got so annoyed with the injured man's mutterings that he knocked him off. Absolutely ridiculous.

Not that I'll be giving up on the show that easily because, as usual, it's Saul Berenson to the rescue after he smuggled a key piece of intelligence about Brody out of Lebanon.

Item 2: Many will have already thanked the Norse gods that The Almighty Johnsons will be back for a third season next year despite rumours it had been canned. It scored a hefty $6.9 million from NZ On Air in the latest funding round, which is good news because after 57 episodes of The Block Australia, which starts on Monday, we will be needing all the unique and kooky Kiwi TV fodder that Government funding can muster.

Item 3: One of my favourite ads on TV is the one where that annoying All Blacks fan gives Richie McCaw a big hug. You see, I wanted to give Richie a bloody great big cuddle too, when I went gliding with him a few years back and he landed us safely back in the paddock. I didn't give him a squeeze though, I just shook his hand.

But anyway, I'm showing off and totally off the subject. The thing is, the Mastercard ad is one of the finalists in the annual Fair Go Ad Awards (Wednesday, 7.30pm, TV One) - and a good indication that it worked is that it's up for both best and worst ad.

A good ad should be a little like a work of art, and something that provokes a reaction. Especially these days, when many people don't watch ads in traditional ways, what with newfangled recording technology.

Then again, following that big-budget commercial this week where the guy jumped to Earth from outer space, it seems the sky is the limit when it comes to what constitutes an ad these days.