On The Box
Television sank to new depths this week with TV3's The GC (Wednesday, 8pm).
Here's the network's description of the show: "The GC follows the lives of a group of talented and attractive young Maori as they work hard and play even harder in Australia's favourite playground, the glittering Gold Coast.
"Talented and ambitious, the GC cast are chasing the good life. Some live together, some work together but they all play together. This series offers a fascinating insight into the lives of nine young and successful Maori."
Here's my description: "The GC follows a group of young Maori men and their women who play up something chronic for the camera in an attempt to be liked. Most, especially the `main character', Tame, come across as exactly the opposite – vain, shallow and unlikeable. This series offers an insight most of us would rather not have."
Insult is added to indignity at the end of the episode, when the New Zealand On Air logo comes on, telling us it supports local content – even if it is shot entirely on Australia's Gold Coast, featuring some people who used to live here. No doubt that is justified by the statistics which show nearly 130,000 Maori now call Australia home. But let's not quibble. We taxpayers only stumped up a mere $420,000 for this series.
More from the publicists: "Known as Mozzies, for Maori Aussies, they are grabbing the opportunities and living life to the full, we are told. What does it mean to be Maori on the Gold Coast as they chase the dream of a better life? "
Well, Tame has no difficulty in answering that one right at the start.
"The beaches; the girls are easy, what more could you ask for?" He'd been there for five years and was canny enough to put some money away to invest in property, and "the whare" is a 40th floor apartment in an upmarket tower. Whether it is rented or owned, we aren't told. But he doesn't suffer from low self-esteem.
"Girls on the Gold Coast love me. That's just how it is." And on his rapping ability: "I'm not the best, but I'm pretty close to it."
The cameras linger on the bodies, the beaches and the forced exchanges between two or more of the main nine characters.
Mrs B acidly observed "none" would be better than "nine".
There are lots of shots of young, good-looking females. Some are blonde Aussie chicks, some are Maori and they seem to spend most days wearing bikinis on the beach, and evenings going to parties and nightclubs.
There are a lot of shots of muscular young Maori men, most heavily tattooed, who speak a language, punctuated with the word "bro", that is occasionally recognisable as English. Believe it or not, definitions pop onto the screen every now and again.
Aunties = females; dees = hot, and creep on = score. Once you master that, you know what they're talking about, and you wish you didn't. It's rubbish.
TVNZ's announcement that Rawdon Christie will be the new weekday co-host of Breakfast along with the – um, how to put this kindly – irrepressible co-host Petra Bagust, is not going to improve things. He's replacing Corrin Dann, who, amazingly is to be TV One's new political editor. Corrin is likeable in a boyish sort of way, but when he expresses an opinion Petra often challenges him and he caves in. Rawdon is not so wishy-washy and does have a personality, but you can already sense Petra is girding her loins and is set to become the senior presenter who will no doubt be in charge. If Rawdon can actually achieve some sort of verbal parity, he will have done well. As for Mrs B and I, we will continue to watch Firstline and when that gets a bit repetitive, watch TV One for a while before switching to Australia's Sky News.
Nadine Chalmers-Ross, who is the business presenter on the Breakfast Show was recently voted The Rising Star in the People's Choice Awards. Sadly much of her time is taken up with banter, rather than analysis, in the brief time she is on camera after 6.30am. But this rising star does need to speak fluent English. I know it's live television, and therefore a fair bit is forgiven, but on Thursday morning, she explained why ANZ bank's profits were up: "It's because of the amount of money ANZ has loaned out." Really? Instead of the passive "has loaned out", what about simply using the word "lent"? It does the same job, only better. It's a bit like "gifted". Does no one ever "give" anything any more?
- The Timaru Herald