Shortland St defines my day

Last updated 10:20 03/09/2008

This is the Beehive in Wellington, not the big Beehive in the skyWhen 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.

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 Suzy Aiken with NZ's answer to McDreamof 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.


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.

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Ben   #1   10:59 am Sep 03 2008

My flatmate txt me lastnight and all it said was: "he's dead!". Panicking I tried to think of people we know that could be in a place or situation of which they could have carked it. Nothing... Then I thought of favourites celebrities that could of shuffled off this mortal coil. Not Dylan! He's getting on... But no, my flatmate finally txt back after not answering three frantic calls and told me Craig from Shortland Street had been killed.

kater   #2   11:37 am Sep 03 2008

Well I haven't gone so far as to watch missed episodes on TV on Demand, but I have been known to catch the omnibus on Sunday mornings. And I may have texted my flatmate last week when Craig declared his love for Sarah (oooohhh!). And when Toni died, well what a shocker that was! I've loved and ignored Shorty over the years, but have to say that I'd be sad if it ever came to an end.

QuinN   #3   03:16 pm Sep 03 2008

What about original episode alumni Karl Burnett, aka Nick Harrison? His 'performance' on reality train wreck Donwsize Me this week was certainly a sight to behold. And he's only one of millions of washed up Shortland St stars. Whatever happened to Johnny Marinovich (Stelios Yiakmis), for example? For a real flashback, go to:

Ange   #4   10:35 pm Sep 03 2008

haha it's so true. i always loved old SS, but the year leading up to me leaving NZ was the crappest year ever in the world of Shorty. THEN just as i was gearing up for my big dramatic leave of KiwiLand, bloody Shorters got good! THEN after i left apparently it got amazing! (so all my mates tell me) what with that stalker dude, then we heard about the Toni thing... well shesh! good thing i'm back in NZ in a couple of months. the UK has nothing on us when it comes to crappy homegrown soap

ps. Outrageous Fortune is still the best thing NZ TV ever produced!

kater   #5   10:14 am Sep 04 2008

Yeah Ange, I dropped out of Shorty for most of last year but got sucked back at the end of the serial killer story line and haven't stopped watching since, you're friends are telling you right, it's really bloody good lately with evil pharmaceautical companies popping off people left and right.

I 'discovered' Outrageous Fortune this year (don't ask me why I never watched before, I haven't got any reasonable excuse) and am so hooked. Just need to get out the earlier seasons on DVD to catch up on all the back-story but it is just brilliant.

Taylor   #6   07:29 pm Sep 09 2008

hey i love shorty, but does anyone know the name of the song sarah sang at craigs funeral??

Greer McDonald   #7   08:16 pm Sep 09 2008

As far as I can tell, it was a song written and arranged for that episode by Eddie Perfect. A copy of the song is going up on the tvnz website.

manz   #8   03:36 pm Sep 10 2008

OMG finallyyyyy Sarah tells TK about her illness.. that was maddening how long it took her to tell him.. I know TV have to drag things out to keep peeps interested but cmonnn

Sam   #9   05:57 pm Sep 10 2008

The song was: Someone Like That by Eddie Perfect Sarah did not sing the whole song however!

sarah   #10   11:28 pm Sep 20 2008

is it possible to download the song sarah sang anywhere i really like it.

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