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 most impressive shows of 2014

10:47am 19 Dec 2014

These end of year lists are always fraught with difficulty. Inevitably you forget something that would have been worthy of a mention - or you mention something that someone else thought utter crap and you get lambasted for that.

Regardless, following Wednesday's naughty list here's my thoughts on those actors and shows which impressed me this year and are worthy of praise.

So who's on Santa's 'nice' list this year?

First up is Inside Amy Schumer, a sketch comedy series featuring one of the great talents at the moment. Schemer's ability to play a heightened versions of herself, intermixed with stand-up and impeccable sketches make this a must-watch show.

Her take-off of Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom, set in a burger restaurant kitchen was note perfect, but it was her piss-take of how women's tennis is covered which was the stand out.

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Who's on television's naughty or nice list?

01:17pm 17 Dec 2014

With the jolly fat man just over a week away, I thought I'd take a traditional trip back through the last year and work out just who is on his naughty or nice list.

But before we get into that, Santa already came early for some this week with New Zealand On Air announcing some funding decisions. The best news is that South Pacific Pictures' The Brokenwood Mysteries has been picked up for a second season.

Starring long-time Couch Potato favourite Fern Sutherland and Neill Rea, the announcement is a validation of Prime's decision to fund the show and a boost in the arm for our own television industry which lost both The Almighty Johnsons and Nothing Trivial over the last year.

Let's hope it's just another step towards more New Zealand content on television and less crappy international imports.

While this year may not have been been an absolute classic telly-wise, it's still been a year of tremendous highs. Unfortunately there have been plenty lows in there too.

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And the good fortune keeps coming...

10:07am 12 Dec 2014

I'm not quite sure what I did to deserve the run of good fortune I'm having, but long may it continue.

It started just a few weeks back when I scored two lots of free cinema tickets. And then I won some Jimmy Buffett stuff on Twitter.

And then a lunchtime cruise for two on the Waitemata (including lunch). And then Nick Cave's 20000 Days on Earth on Blu-ray.

That was followed by the confirmation of the final episode of Two And A Half Men. And now I wake up to find Jim Parsons HASN'T been nominated for a Golden Globe. It seems like all my Christmases have come at once!

Long-time readers will understand my joy that the one-note Sheldon Cooper isn't being rewarded, but that's also mixed with some sadness at some frankly weird decisions amongst the nominees.

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Farewell Sons of Anarchy: At least it's not Benny Hill

10:02am 10 Dec 2014

The much-praised Sons of Anarchy ends its seven season run in the United States this very evening - and there will be spoilers galore all over the internet within seconds, so beware!

But I won't be sad to see the back of the show - it falls into that very uncomfortable genre of programmes which are loved but which I can't enjoy.

The violence associated with the gang culture of SAMCRO is horrific to watch and it's not my place to analyse the generally subservient role of the female characters, but it all leaves me feeling unsettled.

Now it's not just Sons that turns me cold - the combination of sex and violence in Game of Thrones meant I dipped out of the show early in the second season and I have no desire to return to it.

Neither is it a particularly new phenomenon - I guess it came for me through age and fatherhood. I noticed towards the end of The Sopranos' run I was finding it more and more difficult to engage fully in the show.

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Farewell Two And A Half Men, hello decent comedy!

08:55am 08 Dec 2014

The whooping sound you hear isn’t so much a celebration as the feeling of relief that a show which has polluted our airways for so long is finally coming to an end.

Yes, Two and a Half Men’s final episode will be shown in the States on February 21st, drawing a line under one of the worst shows ever to air.

I know I don’t have to watch it. I don’t. But it has an impact far beyond those who watch and it and… shudder… actually enjoy it.

In its 12 years it’s scored a massive 47 Emmy Award nominations - and Jon Cryer (who will always be Duckie in Pretty and Pink for me) has more Emmy wins than Steve Carell, Hugh Laurie and Katey Sagal put together.

That’s just wrong!

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