Couch Potato

When he's supposed to be doing other things, chances are you'll find Mike Kilpatrick watching television instead. He styles himself on comedy hero Jim Royle, loves a laugh, enjoys a cry and if it's on the box he will share his opinion on it too. Whether you want it or not

The X-Files: I really want to believe

11:00am 27 Mar 2015

Judging by my Twitter timeline and the immediate reaction of fans I know, it seems the vast majority of people are happy The X-Files is heading back to television.

Me? I'm not entirely convinced. After all, nostalgia ain't what it used to be, right?

The X-Files, at its peak, was a fantastic show. Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny became the very definition of 'will they/won't they?' when it came to romance between leading characters.

But it's been 13 years since Fox Mulder and Dana Scully graced the small screen and sometimes it's best to leave things as they are. The last movie, released in 2008, might be the best example why.

Perhaps I'm just being protectionist and I should have more faith that Chris Carter (and Anderson and Duchovny) are doing this for the right reasons.

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Bloodline the perfect Netflix boost

12:00pm 25 Mar 2015

And on the eighth day She woke up and decided New Zealand should have Netflix...

It's been a long time coming but finally the standard in television and movies streaming is available here without jumping through VPN or global mode hoops.

And while the content may be a little lacking compared to the US site it really shouldn't deter you from at least signing up for the free 30-day trial and filling your boots.

(Of course, nothing (except perhaps personal morality) stops anyone with a New Zealand-based account using a VPN or a browser plugin like Hola to access the US library if so desired!)

I've already written about the brilliant Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Orange Is The New Black but it's one of Netflix's own new shows - and one you can binge watch now in New Zealand - that got me excited this week.

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No, no, no! The greatest failure in wrestling history

10:00am 20 Mar 2015

Wrestlemania 31 is just around the corner and there is no better time to be a fan. Sting is going to wrestle his first match in the WWE, the superb Seth Rollins is going to face Randy Orton and the phenom, the Undertaker is going to face Bray Wyatt. I'm ridiculously excited, like a kid whose Christmases have come all at once.

It's hard to explain just how much of an impact wrestling had on me in my formative years. Of course the physical acts of giant men throwing each other around the ring doing seemingly impossible moves could be thrilling, but that wasn't it.

It was the storytelling that got me, right from the start. The good guys and the bad guys, the characters, the building up of feuds - it was all a glorious use of the imagination. Often the ending of the storyline in the ring itself that was the worst part.

There were some amazing characters and feuds - Andre the Giant v Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold Steve Austin v Vince McMahon, Mankind v The Undertaker - I could spend the whole day rattling off memorable moments. And the 'Montreal Screwjob' between Shaun Michaels and Bret Hart remains one of the most brilliant, controversial and compelling examples of storyline mixed with real life to create something legendary.

Of course it wasn't all good - Isaac Yankem the demon dentist, Papa Shango and the Red Rooster are prime examples of failure, but even they offered opportunity for those with imagination. 

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Reality television - a problem, not a solution

11:00am 18 Mar 2015

Reality television, huh? For a format that bears as little relation to reality as my hopes of being a supermodel, there sure has been a lot of inches and airtime devoted to it this week.

For regular readers my position on the genre has long been clear. I find the majority of reality shows, particularly those involving members of the public, to be horrible pieces of programming.

Taking advantage of people for entertainment purposes has never sat well with me and the price contestants pay - being portrayed as the bad one, the good one, the boring one etc is a price I consider too high for mere voyeuristic thrills.

Not all reality shows are bad, of course - just like not all scripted comedies are funny. And there's nothing necessarily inherently terrible in the genre itself - it's how the shows are designed, edited, marketed and consumed that causes the issues.

The problem is that, despite public protestations to the contrary, reality television is popular. Fans, generally, flock to watch it and be a part of it so an ever increasing dose is served up. And it's not just the popularity.

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Playstation Network's 'Powers' not up to superhero level

10:00am 16 Mar 2015

MIKE KILPATRICK

The departure from traditional means of consuming television shows continues unabashed and, as I've written before, this is generally a good thing.

More power in the hands of the consumer has the potential to offer greater freedom to watch shows how we want to watch them.

And another stream for those of us with some ability with technology opened up last week with the Playstation Network debuting their first scripted show.

The pilot of Powers, a superhero story adapted from a popular comic book series, is available to stream from the Playstation Store if, as I do, you happen to have a US account (which everyone should have - bargains galore, native apps for Netflix, Hulu and much more) in addition to your NZ account. (Also get a UK account for the BBC iPlayer app too!)

The entire first season is going to be free for all Playstation Plus subscribers to watch - and presumably this will include New Zealand at some point, although that hasn't been confirmed yet.

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