Television should be inspiration, not perspiration

21:40, Mar 11 2014

While the finale of True Detective is setting social media alight unless you're prepared to fork out an additional $56 per month minimum for Sky and Soho you won't have seen it.

True Detective is, hands down, the best thing on television in the last 12 months - both Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson are tremendous and will surely win awards for their work.

Unfortunately our two-tier system of television in New Zealand means that you'll have to wait until Prime eventually shows it, complete with intrusive advertising that drops you out of the storyline, or resort to less moral means.

That's a great shame for the majority of television watchers here who can't afford that extra cost and will have to wait.

Unfortunately the ubiquitousness of social media and the internet means you'll already know everything that happens, which is a crying shame.

Shows like True Detective have the ability to excite and inspire the next generation of New Zealand television and film makers and actors and I fear many of those will miss the chance.


It's not like we don't need it over here.

I know I bang the drum for New Zealand content, but we're being inundated with (presumably) cheap imports while our own great content is sidelined - that's a sad state of affairs.

Perhaps I'm being too optimistic that True Detective could have a positive effect on our local industry - to green light something like that in New Zealand would take some inspiration at the top of the industry - something that appears sadly lacking at the moment.

And I fear things are only going to get worse for television fans here who don't resort to downloading, and very quickly.

The forthcoming Game of Thrones season four will be a huge television event and will have thousands of Kiwis discussing it around the watercoolers and on the internet.

Soho, once again, have the rights to show here and when it - eventually - shows on Prime presumably it will be edited to remove some of the sex and violence as it was last time it showed.

I predict a huge increase in the amount of downloading of illegitimate copies as thousands turn to the internet to make their own unofficial protest at the lack of quality content in New Zealand at affordable prices.

And who can blame them?

With the likes of The Great Food Race and Masterchef taking up prime slots on a Sunday night there's very little choice if you don't like food-based reality shows.

The Great Food Race looked like a good idea on paper - a cross between My Kitchen Rules, Masterchef and The Amazing Race.

Unfortunately the arrogant couple were voted out before the race truly started, leaving a bunch of fairly vanilla couples, who seem nice but just aren't particularly interesting, to battle it out.

I'm so over Zoe Marshall's ability to seemingly appear in multiple locations at the same time - how she managed to get from one checkpoint to another while teams are hours apart either took some serious editing or a Star Trek transporter - that I've stopped watching altogether.

Masterchef, at least, has some spectacular local chefs to keep us inspired. But even it's pushing the boundaries with two shows per week.

Presumably TV One presumes those who watch Masterchef don't have anything better to do on a Sunday and Monday night. If only that were true.

The old format of one night per week is much better and requires much less investment - with kids and other shows to watch I'm having to resort to streaming to catch-up and my kids just don't want to give up that much time.

At least the teams format hasn't proven to be the disaster it looked like it might at the start.

Single chefs are still better, in my opinion, because a person goes home solely on their ability, not the ability of their less talented partner.

I have loved watching Karena and Kasey, two quiet and assuming young ladies from Maketu, stun the judges week in, week out with well thought out and tasty dishes.

Both of those ladies, as well as Nikki and Jordan, could well make a career out of this - and they're welcome around to my house any time to cook.

The only bad thing was this week's elimination of Jenn and Elizabeth.

The former couple always looked a little uneasy with each other, but Elizabeth's treatment of her team-mates in this week's challenge, and of Jenn in particular, will surely drive a permanent wedge between them.

Elizabeth was plain old nasty to Jenn in the final interview and I do wonder what goes through some people's minds when they choose to act like that on television.

It takes quite something to make me sympathise with a reality show contestant, but my heart went out to Jenn this week.

Let's just hope that it's not the last we see of teams cracking under pressure or Masterchef might follow The Great Food Race into the reality bin.

I'll be back on Friday with an update on those shows I swore off ever watching again - who knows, I may have been wrong about Seven Sharp and The GC.

Until then, let me know which shows I should be watching or writing about in this blog.