Yes it was the month that winter finally came. John Campbell refused to "bend the knee" as they say in Game of Thrones, and took to the pyre rather than fight on in the new, non-crusading, advertiser friendly, current affairs bun that is being baked at TV3. They went out swinging, with stellar ratings, heads held high.
You'd be hard pressed to find anyone without an opinion on the show's passing and fewer who applaud it. To some extent you'd have to back TV3's news boss Mark Jennings in so much as his track record is pretty solid, but I reckon the much repeated mantra of two headed presentation being some kind of an 'answer' represents the failure to be asking the right questions. You only have to look at the beginning of 3D, which had a stunning debut recently with the final chapter in Paula Penfold's tremendous Teina Pora coverage.
Duncan Garner and Sam Hayes are both fine practitioners but they seem to be loitering rather than adding anything of value. The bigger issue for Campbell Live seems to have emerged via internal documents which talk of "viewer fatigue" from stories like Pike River. I wouldn't have thought that the purveyors of the X Factor and The Block would give two hoots about "viewer fatigue", but the mysteries of television and its management are nothing if not mysterious.
May also saw the end of Madmen, without a doubt one of the great shows of our generation. Sure, the finale was not quite as brilliant as the end of The Sopranos, but it was masterful, even if some of the characters had their stories tied up a little too neatly for my liking, although, I concede, I was kind of happy for Peggy, even if she is a Scientologist. I will miss the wonderful world that master craftsman Matthew Weiner created and maintained till the very end. It's already feeling like a missing limb. Madmen was a visual and narrative triumph, and like the best shows, I felt as if I was bathing in it as much as watching it.
Winter has come and with it sadness. Thank god then for the comforts of Super Rugby, of Lightbox's superb Wolf Hall, and Netflix's brooding Bloodline. As always, TV people continue to say the darndest things.
Here's my collection of quotes and quips with explanations below.
1. "No one ever wants to rape Gareth Morgan."
2. "Do I have half-wit written on my forehead?"
3. "He needs to stop being Angry Andrew."
4. "The dwarf lives until we find a cock merchant."
5. "It's like The Bachelor, no one cares till the end."
6. "Drunk women are the worst to deal with."
7. "Too often the news is about who's not happy, who got ripped off, who feels hard done by, what's not fair, what's not right."
8. "I'm gonna give a big sloppy kiss from everyone out there who wants to give you one right now."
9. "I can't be a Maori, I hate seafood. I cut the fat off my steak."
10. "Your logo looks like a sideways vagina.
1. "No one ever wants to rape Gareth Morgan." Manawatu Standard rural columnist, and former dairy farmer, Rachel Stewart on ONE News talking about a number of shocking threats, including rape and death, that she received by way of thanks for writing about water quality, irrigation, animal welfare and climate change.
2. "Do I have half-wit written on my forehead? Yet I built a castle on winks and smiles." One of Ross Poldark's many poetic tantrums on the lush, soapy and surprisingly gritty re-boot of my favourite free-to-air costume drama, Poldark, (PRIME).
3. "He needs to stop being Angry Andrew." Angry Andrew being the National Party's latest branding of the Labour leader Andrew Little, who came out swinging in the aftermath of the budget when the government failed to deliver the promised surplus. Angry called it the "the biggest political deception in a lifetime", which caused a question mark to form on the face of TV3 political reporter Tova O'Brien. "I cannot think of a bigger one", continued Little unwisely. "Watergate?" suggested Tova. "Let's not be silly", said Angry.
4. "The dwarf lives until we find a cock merchant." Say what you will about Game of Thrones, but the show delivers some of the best lines of all, even if some are a little bit Mad Butcher in tone. "Cut his throat and then cut of his cock", said the slaver when he captured Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) as apparently there is a black market for little people's penises. In the same episode another character observed that, "All leaders are either butchers or meat."
5. "It's like The Bachelor, no one cares till the end." Artist Dick Frizzell on Campbell Live, talking about the evolution of the new flag design debate, as he and son Otis displayed their fetching contributions.
6. "Drunk women are the worst to deal with", observed constable Anne Napara, a 25 year old working in Mangere, on TV1's cop recruitment show Women In Blue.
7. "Too often the news is about who's not happy, who got ripped off, who feels hard done by, what's not fair, what's not right." Not surprisingly, Mike Hosking embraced the latest 'Happiness Index' from the Statistics Department, which says that most of us consider ourselves 'happy'. Or was he just saying goodbye to Campbell Live?
8. "I'm gonna give a big sloppy kiss from everyone out there who wants to give you one right now." Hilary Barry, to John Campbell at the final handover from 3 News to Campbell Live, Hilary kissed JC on the cheek as Mike McRoberts joined in with his "In breaking news, I'm am too." The final show was a bittersweet sendoff where tears were never far from eyes and which ended with the words, "Ka Kite Ano, and a very good evening indeed."
9. "I can't be a Maori, I hate seafood. I cut the fat off my steak." George Alpert (Matariki Whatarau) having one of many identity issues on the best local comedy at the moment, Maori Television's Find Me A Maori Bride. (Friday's 8pm)
10. "Your logo looks like a sideways vagina. I find that racist. Don't you?" Silicon Valley's poet laureate Erlich Bachman (T.J Miller) insulting a prospective investor in the second series of the hit HBO tech comedy (Soho). If you enjoy some puerile with your satire this could be the show for you, just ask Kiko the monkey.