A degree of indifference to mediocre debut
What a strange choice of stories for the first instalment of TV3's new current affairs show 3rd Degree (Wednesday, 8.30pm).
Former rivals Duncan Garner and Guyon Espiner came across like stand-up comedians as they stood the entire show passing comments on the stories and taking blokesy swipes at each other that made them sound like Waldorf and Statler, the old guys from The Muppets.
Heavy-hitting veteran investigative journalist Melanie Reid was dispatched to The Naki to do a story on Daniel "The Clamper" Clout.
A devoted wheel-clamper, he said he had suffered serious harassment from those he had clamped, including the police.
Clout filmed the shenanigans as we saw him hit by a handbag- wielding female senior citizen, and having run-ins with the police, including when he clamped an unmarked police car and refused to release it when asked.
The story ended with Reid and Clout sitting at a picnic table in the sunset with Reid doing a voice- over that Clout was about to "drop a bombshell", which was - dah dah! - Clout announcing "I don't have a future with wheel clamping," and, "my season for clamping is over".
Before the next segment, a story about budding celebrity Anna Guy, wife of convicted crim Ewen Macdonald, Garner sheepishly said the story was a "bit of a departure for us" (when the show had barely even departed), covering his back, confiding in the viewer that he'd had lively discussions about the merits of doing such a story.
The reason for the apology was soon apparent, with the next three segments delivering not one new revelation about Anna Guy as she used 3rd Degree as a CV to further her desired career in radio broadcasting.
Guy might have a pretty face but she has a grating voice as we saw her with the cans on doing a stint at More FM as she listened to her 6-year-old daughter singing tunelessly for her mother over the airwaves.
We also saw Guy in cringing cub reporter mode interview her own parents for their views on her career and plans. Guy also revealed that she was doing "a little story" for a women's magazine about her newfound love as we watched her pose for a photographer, who egged her on with a, "give us a twirl, Shirl".
The show ended with Garner and Espiner standing over a seated Guy as they gave her the third degree, asking if she thought Macdonald had murdered her brother, to which she gave a don't know reply.
The only utterance that was remotely interesting out of this stagey excuse for an interview was when Guy said that even though Macdonald had damaged property and killing calves she could not see that as a link, a next step to the murder of her brother.
Promos advertising the debut of 3rd Degree had Garner and Espiner absorbed in a pseudo passionate rant about getting to the bottom of stories and drilling down deep, so leading with the wheel-clamper and the life and times of Guy did not live up to the hype.