Auckland Daze hits the mark

PATTIE PEGLER
Last updated 05:00 04/09/2012

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''Mum said you could move in any time, any time you want ... so pack your bags, baby." 

Hardly words that will set a girl's heart a flutter when the subject of cohabiting comes up. But male model Millen was surprised in last week's opening episode of Auckland Daze (Thursdays, 10.05pm, TV One) when his girlfriend turned down this suggestion. 

It was a good, comic opening that told us a lot about Millen and kept me watching.

This local comedy series was originally shown online last year and has now made the crossover on to mainstream television. 

It follows the fortunes of four male friends making their way in the entertainment industry in Auckland. 

Lead character and writer of the series, Millen Baird, plays an egotistical mummy's boy with some great lines. 

His mother, Wanda (played by Jennifer Ward-Leland), is superb as a celebrity real estate agent with a liking for leopard print and a weirdly close relationship with her son. 

The rest of the gang include: dwarf entertainer Jimmy James, who last week appeared in life-saving gear because "I've got to go and double a fat kid for a water safety commercial"; unfunny comedian Fasitua Amosa and stuntman Glen Levy. Like Millen, they're all horribly self-absorbed, which makes good comedy.

Admittedly, there's a low budget, slightly amateurish feel to the production and occasionally it descends into farce. 

But generally this looks like quite strong, comic writing with good characters.

It won't appeal to everyone but it certainly deserves its slot on mainstream television and a wider audience than it was perhaps getting on the web. 

Our Man In (starting tonight, 9.30, Living Channel) also has its unintentional comic moments. 

The reality show focuses on the work of British consulates in Spain's holiday spots. 

The first episode takes us to Mallorca and Ibiza where millions of Brits holiday each year.  Most of them seem to spend their time losing their passports and getting things stolen. 

But luckily the maternally reassuring women of the consulate are there to sort it. Tonight one of the consulate ladies, Judith, has to deal with a young man who's taken the wrong illegal drugs and ended up with amnesia, wondering the streets of Ibiza scavenging for food. 

That doesn't sound like a great holiday. 

"Did you enjoy yourself while you were here?" asks Judith when the situation is resolved. "Yeh, it was good thank you" he replies before flying off home on his emergency passport. 

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Each to their own I guess.Many of the disasters seem self-inflicted and if you dealt with this kind of thing on a daily basis I'd imagine it would be easy to become a cynic. 

But the consulate staff are non-judgmental  with people while the documentary makers have largely resisted the sensationalist shots of drunken Brits vomiting in the streets. 

The result is a thoughtful look at the consulates and the work they do.  It's reality television done well.

- Stuff

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