Best Bits, and Friday's other best bits

20:42, Jul 28 2013

I had my stag do on Friday night. Or, should I say, I suffered through my stag do on Friday night*. My best man conspired with my groomsman to incapacitate me for the foreseeable future by dressing me up like a Mrs Brown's Boys parody and making me consume half my body weight in beer and tequila. It didn't end well.

On the plus side, the ensuing hangover meant that I had a good excuse to nestle into the couch and spend Saturday afternoon catching up on Friday night's telly.

(Warning: spoilers from Friday's Best Bits, True Blood and Super City follow.)

Best Bits (One, Fridays at 9pm), a compilation show that runs through the week on television - hosted by Te Radar, with help from Rose Matafeo and Matt Heath - has got off to a slowish start. Some of the comments on social media have been overly negative, but I think the show has been pretty good, all things considered.

The first two episodes have had highlight moments. The discussion about reality television in the most recent episode had me in stitches, and the interview with Al Brown was better than I was expecting. Matafeo is a star, impressing in every television appearance, and Heath is damn good too; I enjoy his radio show (and, of course, his time on Back of the Y), so am pleased to see him here.

It's not a perfect show. The first two episodes have also had their fair share of awkward moments. Te Radar hasn't quite settled in to the hosting role yet. The laugh track sounds like a terrible laugh track, even though it looks like a live audience (admittedly, the problem was less pronounced in week two). But it is early days - there is enough good in Best Bits to forgive any flaws so far. I have no doubt it will improve, given time.


Speaking of improvement, I'm still limping along with True Blood (Prime, Fridays at 9.35pm). I was pretty down on the vampire show a few weeks ago, but it's getting better as it goes; in fact, the sixth season is doing enough right that I think I might be in for the rest of the season, and a seventh.

I've always thought the show was most interesting when it a) kept every major character tied up in a central story arc, and b) dealt with the cultural and social response to vampires "coming out of the coffin" - it's what made the first season of the show such a big hit. The sixth season is succeeding right now for both of these reasons; with the exception of Sam, Alcide and Lafayette, everybody on the show is wrapped up in the anti-vampire actions being taken by the state of Louisiana, under the direction of governor Burrell (played by the always amazing Arliss Howard).

Last, the new season of Super City started on Friday (TV3, 10pm), with Madeleine Sami introducing us to another group of characters, all of which are played by Sami herself. I wasn't a huge fan of the first season - I just didn't get it - but I've found myself a little more interested in the second season.

Ray, a British panelbeater with a bodybuilding wife and a staff of illegal workers, and Ofa, a Winz employee with an unorthodox approach, are both a miss for me. But I enjoyed the scenes with Levi, an aspirational rugby player caught up in how he looks instead of how he plays, and Mary, an aging pub singer who still thinks she has it; Mary hits a little too close to some of the acts I've come across in my years playing in cover bands.

A mixed bag of characters indeed, but there is enough there to stick around - and Sami's enthusiasm in the roles is infectious. As with last season, she proves an immensely talented actress.

What do you make of Best Bits, True Blood and/or Super City? Are you watching (and enjoying) any of these shows?

(*) I don't know if I've mentioned it here at the blog, but I'm getting married in a couple of weekends - August 10, to be exact - to the girl of my dreams. Yes, there will be Game of Thrones references. No, the Red Wedding will not be one of them. I was shot down when I suggested it. Though I might still sneak in some of those sexy Frey hats.

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