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

CSI: Cyber takes stupidity to a new level

09:30am 06 Mar 2015

Once upon a time - when I had virtually no taste in television shows - I used to watch CSI and CSI: Miami. Always against my better judgement, of course.

As a former scientist I would scoff at laboratory results in seconds that would normally take hours or days to obtain.

And the zooming in on low resolution photos and using the magic 'enhance' function that only television writers seem to think exists in order to get a number plate? Cue bashing of head against the wall.

But despite all that I held out some hope for CSI: Cyber, the latest spinoff of the tired old franchise. An interesting cast, led by recent Oscar-winner Patricia Arquette and Dawson himself, James Van Der Beek could surely make the fascinating world of cybercrime relevant and engaging.

Unfortunately they only succeeded in making the worst pilot since Dads, and a show so bad it will surely kill the franchise stone dead.

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Last Man on Earth - a trope too far?

08:00am 04 Mar 2015

When I was younger I had this recurring dream where I was the last person on earth. Or at least the last person in the tiny village in Scotland where I grew up.

After the shock of finding my family gone wore off there was always a great excitement at the prospect of being the anti-Adam - going wherever the road took me and doing whatever the hell I wanted. No fig leaves would be required to hide my modesty and there was no apple eating on the agenda.

I guess it was my inner misanthrope, always looking for ways to articulate itself, which made it seem so damned appealing.

But I never got past the fun stuff. I woke up as I was eating giant piles of ice-cream. Or driving a fast car. Or not paying for magazines and books. Or not having to go to bed when my mum said.

I’d never considered what was beyond those imaginary hedonistic days. The loneliness that was sure to come, the lack of fresh food, the lack of running water as infrastructure shut down. How was I going to cope without the opposite sex to ignore my feeble advances, or the accomplices to laugh at my appalling jokes?

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Parks and Recreation put out to pasture

11:30am 27 Feb 2015

Benjamin Frankin, renowned scientist and one of the Founding Fathers of the USA, once wrote "...in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."

With apologies to the esteemed Mr Franklin, I'd like to add another: In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death, taxes and public wailing at the ending of a television show.

This week, however, the wailing is definitely warranted as the underated but excellent Parks and Recreation took its final bow.

Parks grew out of the US version of The Office, a show that had many moments of utter brilliance but which definitely lost its spark when Steve Carrell left as his star grew.

I've been re-watching episodes from the third and fourth season of The Office over the last couple of weeks and there's no doubting, at its peak, it was one of the better comedies around, infinitely better than the unfunny populist trash that dominates the airwaves.

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Some Fortitude required after binge-watching

10:00am 25 Feb 2015

After the high of binge-watching a great show - like The Fall - there's always a post-viewing dip as you struggle to find something to watch that's as entertaining or intriguing.

That's why I turned to both Fortitude and Broadchurch this week in the hope they could deliver a rush of adrenaline to my worn-out nervous system.

Let's start with the latter - the finale of season two of Broadchurch airs this Sunday on TV One and if you've been following closely then it's a must watch. Guilty or not guilty, that is the question!

Season two started well but it lost its way as it struggled through a trial which wasn't as interesting as it should have been and new characters just weren't fleshed out as much as I'd hoped.

In the end I found Marianne Jean-Baptiste in particular, as barrister Sharon Bishop, just annoying and one-toned and didn't want to see any more of her.

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Broadcast television losing the plot?

10:00am 20 Feb 2015

A couple of weeks ago I celebrated a decade of living in New Zealand. Where that time has gone, I'm not quite sure.

Back then I was a scientist with a dodgy accent looking to carve out my niche in life. Now I'm... well, a television blogger with a dodgy accent looking to carve out the same niche.

Seriously, though, things have changed significantly in the last 10 years both personally and professionally. Were my old self to walk into the room chances are I'd barely recognise him.

Or if I did I'd probably wonder how my life came to resemble a Terry Gilliam movie shortly before the time-travel paradox caused me to vanish into the ether.

One thing hasn't changed in that time, however, is how utterly confused I get at New Zealand broadcast television.

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