Shortland St defines my day

01:28, Dec 15 2009

When I was nine years old, Shihad had just won "most promising band" at the Music Awards, Rob Muldoon went to the big beehive in the sky and coloured clothing was introduced to the cricket World Cup.

It was 1992, and it was a helluva year.

My sticky, K-Bar coated fingers were still grappling with the technicalities of the Sega Master System (my folks never splashed out for the Mega Drive, boo hiss) and the wonderful world of Teletext.

As for the internet, well, it was still getting figured out in a geeky lab somewhere in the United States.

But back home, an almost greater thing was being born: Shortland Street.

When I was nine years old, Shihad had just won "most promising band" at the Music Awards, Rob Muldoon went to the big beehive in the sky and coloured clothing was introduced to the cricket World Cup.

It was 1992, and it was a helluva year.

My sticky, K-Bar coated fingers were still grappling with the technicalities of the Sega Master System (my folks never splashed out for the Mega Drive, boo hiss) and the wonderful world of Teletext.

As for the internet, well, it was still getting figured out in a geeky lab somewhere in the United States.

But back home, an almost greater thing was being born: Shortland Street.

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Scoff all you want, it's as Koi-wee as beetroot, buzzy bees, moggy cats and cabbage trees (jandals, sandals, ketchup, Coromandels...)

I was hooked from day one - the crappy sets, below D-grade acting and Chris Warner shagging Suzy Aiken in the locker room of the gym in the very first episode.

It was bliss, albeit maybe slightly inappropriate for my age, but like I've said before - I'm an old soul.

The show has lasted the test of time, dominating the 7pm slot on our screens for so many years - so much so, it's actually kinda defined my day.

My parents and friends get the swift "ahem, don't you know what time it is?" response when they call me during my "sacred half hour".

As Jim wraps up the weather, my hand instinctively whips out and grabs the remote and hits the channel changer, without my eyes leaving the screen.

It' s like my inner clock - the one that wakes me up at 6.58am each morning, two minutes before my alarm - is also tuned to know that it's SS time.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think Shorties is an amazing piece of acting brilliance or anything - but there is something strangely hypnotic about it.

It's a habit and one that I'm not entirely sure I want to break.

Needless to say I was over the moon when TVNZ launched On Demand, and even more so when they made it free to view catch up sessions of my favourite brain-cell killer.

My boss must have known it would make me happy too - he forwarded me the press release about the launch and added "This looks like a bit of you."

Knowing the program was essentially being recorded for me to view at a time that was more suitable to me, generally meaning I could stay at the pub longer, was O for awesome.

It also meant that after a week of night shifts, where the tiny TV near my desk doesn't pick up channel 2 (disaster!), I'm able to lie in the comfort of my bed come Saturday morning and create my own little omnibus. No ads, and I can pause for coffee breaks whenever I want.

Perfect.

So the mixing of TV and the internet, quite possibly two of my most favourite things ever, has been long overdue in my eyes - but soon I imagine, it will become the norm.

What do you think about that? And while we're on the topic, here's your chance to praise/hate the cultural creation that is Shortland Street.