1. True Detective's Premiere Falls Flat as a Circular Pancake
Okay, I overstated that a bit - but it was definitely more pancake than three tier wedding cake, right? As I wrote in my review on Tuesday, this is the difficult second album for those at True Detective HQ - made even harder when the name is the same, but band members are different. Monday night's premiere was dense, beautiful and brooding, but it's going to take a little bit longer to shake the spooky McConaughey swamp lands of season one. The sophomore effort takes us to the fictional Vinci on the outskirts of LA, where career criminals rule the roost and murky ties to the authorities run deep (or do they? I'll admit I watched it twice and I'm still drawing Venn diagrams on my bedroom wall). If you think the plot alone is confusing, check out the inexplicable regal skeleton below.
Colin Farrell, clearly trying to claw his way back from the career-shredding abomination that was Winter's Tale, plays an explosively violent LAPD detective called Ray Velcoro. He has links to flash mobster-cum-town-planner Frank Semyon, played by Vince Vaughn who is similarly trying to claw back a career ever since he was captured eating this ice-cream. Rom com queen Rachel McAdams delivers an aggressively dark performance as Ani, the bitter sheriff detective whose Daddy issues seemingly spill into every facet of her life. Oh, and there's Taylor Kitsch, a suspended road cop who loves to have sex and drive fast. After what felt like way too long of an introduction, the four characters coalesced at the end of the episode over the unsolved case that will somehow bind them together. Although the episode didn't meet the dizzying heights of season one, seeing these motley, angry Avengers unite gave me brief excited shivers.
2. Pulling the Cork on Pam
This week's winter wonderland special quickly became a flaming hellscape as resident legend Pam Corkery was sent home from Dancing With the Stars NZ.
After voting (accidentally missing the deadline every time) for Pam for weeks now, and consistently giving her the number one slot on my influential power rankings, I can't believe this has happened. Could we classify this as a national tragedy? I'm ready to. Pam's bat out of hell retorts to the host's inanities were a highlight of the live shows, as were her shrieking pre-roll videos where she would laugh hysterically at the very thought of dancing. She was easily the best talent on Dancing With the Stars, it's just a shame about the dancing part. The only thing that will cheer me up now is if Shane Cameron pulls a Teuila and attempts some terrible hip hop fusion. Nothing else.
3. Seven Sharp's Skinny Jeans Ratings Smash
On Tuesday night, Seven Sharp had their highest ratings in history, with 675,000 people tuning in. So, what did those 675,000 watch? There was your usual inspirational fare: a Kiwi legend who became a hero in post-quake Nepal, a charming Koha opshop doing good things in Wanganui, and a second Kiwi legend trying to make his old Subaru float on water using only Selley's and a few life jackets. Good luck to TV3's new promised-to-be-crazy-fun current affairs Story in trying to top this:
As if he knew ratings were at all-time high, Hosking pulled out his A-game. And when I say A-game, I mean an extreme close-up shot of his legs in skinny jeans.
Throughout the episode, they had a bizarre narrative thread oscillating between fashion trends and famous movie characters. Hosking outlined a few of his favourite characters - James Bond and Hannibal Lector to the surprise of 0/675,000. "Han Solo is number three," Pippa warns. "I told you I'd never seen the Star Trek" Hosking boasts back in her face. I didn't catch the end of the slam dunk episode, unfortunately I fell into a coma as Hosking gently uttered into my soul "you will never see me with a bum bag."
4. The GC Ain't Golden
"The following programme contains content that may disturb those that don't like sun, sand, hot bodies and Maori living their dreams", the opening to The GC advises. I tuned in this week to see how the third season is puttering along and, much like True Detective, things seemed to have worsened the second time around. The constant dubstep backing is insufferable, but comparably soothing next to the atrociously-delivered stagey dialogue. The injection of some part-Maori English cast members gives the show some global Geordie-style gravitas, but then you hear neologisms like BOMAD and you remember the calibre of television we are working with:
What else happened? Zane is stressed about his new shop opening, because the stock is delayed to arrived. Tylah takes his cousins to attempt some sort of jetpack fail routine, and Alby and Matai negotiate life living together. It's not all bad news though - I added some cool Maori words to my vernacular, and some fake words that I could do without humpty dumpties and BOMAD, for example.
5. A Sexy Series First on The Bachelorette
If you aren't watching The Bachelorette on TVNZ Ondemand, you need to get your head in the game. The franchise is at an incredible apex - combining a range of unbelievable suitors, deep self awareness, meta-narratives, fourth wall breaking and format changes to create some of the best reality TV I have ever seen. Intrigued? Go watch it and don't read on, because I'm about to drop some major spoilers. This season we have had the honour of having Kaitlyn Bristowe from last season's Bachelor return for a second shot at love. She rocks really, really hard - a feminist hero tearing apart the traditionally horrible and sexist format from the inside.
The only thing Kaitlyn loves more than making the men do ridiculously embarrassing things on dates? Making out passionately with each and every one of the men. In this week's episode, she sent shockwaves through PLANET EARTH when she decided to sleep with Normcore Nick this early in the game. Because as we all know, no woman has ever had sex with someone she isn't married to. This game-changer of a move has set a bomb under the Bachelor mansion, and I can't wait to see the fallout when her sexy secret explodes.
Binge: The Office UK on Lightbox - It was Ricky Gervais' birthday this week, so why not forget all his relentless Atheist god-bashing and several terrible movies, and revisit his mockumentary masterpiece.
Movie: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2, TV2 6.35pm - a hilarious, deliciously drool-worthy kids film that can be enjoyed by all (even shrimpanzees and tacodiles)
Watch: The Great Australian Bake Off, Prime 7.30pm Saturday - all your Junk Free June freaks can get your fill as this cream-puff-filled competition comes down under.