Desperately seeking Chinese meanings

Talk about talking heads. Oscar's Guide to the Chinese Zodiac, TV3's Inside New Zealand documentary which went to air on Wednesday at 9.30pm, had so many Kiwi celebrities and New Zealand notorieties in it, it was distracting viewing and hard to absorb the information.

All interviewed by Oscar Kightley in quick-flit, speed-dating style, the actor sought the opinion of household names and also put faces to some relatively unknown ones as well.

Women's magazine editors who have milked local stars for all their worth would have been eagerly taking down some of the names to promote fresh faces now that their physogs have seen the light of day.

Anti-Asian immigration MP Winston Peters was filmed dining with Kightley in a Chinese restaurant and confessed that he thought there was something in the zodiac, while Vicki Hyde poured her usual sceptic waters on the notion, and Sam Neill pooh-poohed being a pig.

We heard how births in China and Japan spiked in the year of the dragon as mothers engineered their wombs for fertility to create the most preferred animal/human, and how horse women are lucky to be alive as they are seen as ungovernable types.

The documentary was a piece of fun but with 12 signs or animals and their traits to explore, the 45-minute time limit was too short as Kightley rattled through the research, got a tattoo of a rooster on his back, and asked the world and his wife from astronomer to astrologist if they were believers.

With so few documentaries being made it seemed a pity that the Kightley-once-over-lightly one got approval but next week's instalment, Inside New Zealand: Wildman, about a family who have lived in a remote part of New Zealand for the past 30 years, looks much more interesting.

Tuesday night's episode of New Zealand Detectives (TV One, 9.35pm), drugs, high times and low life, was a cut above the usual dreary reality-TV fare, with a walk down memory lane of the country's biggest drug busts, the most large scale operation a massive plantation in Whanganui with a camp fitted out with solar panels, generators and even TV on site as members of Free the Weed watched their garden grow.

One got high just watching the haul.


Chris O'Dowd from Girls and Bridesmaids guests tonight on The Graham Norton Show at 8.30pm on TV3, as do Steve Carell and musician Josh Groban. Crusaders v Chiefs at 7pm on Sky Sport 1 followed by the Storm v Broncos NRL match at 9.30pm.

The Dominion Post