TV best medium to savour golden hour

MAGICAL MOMENT: A standing ovation by the fans for Brendon McCullum's 300.
MAGICAL MOMENT: A standing ovation by the fans for Brendon McCullum's 300.

Last Tuesday, between 11am and 12 noon, was an hour to savour.

New Zealand cricket captain Brendon McCullum became the first Kiwi to score 300 runs in a test innings. It transcended sport.

This was a time for New Zealanders up and down the country to stop what they were doing and watch one of the great moments in our sporting history.

HISTORY: Brendon McCullum during this triple century.
HISTORY: Brendon McCullum during this triple century.

Such is the power of television. Mrs Brown couldn't watch it live, because she was playing golf, but playing partner Robin had a transistor with her and the group was able to share in the moment that way. But it was the medium of television that captured the magical moment.

Commentators Ian Smith and Simon Doull, both vastly experienced cricketers, agreed they had never seen anything like it.

The crowd cheered when McCullum blocked a ball. They cheered when he judiciously let a ball go through to the 'keeper. They cheered even louder when he actually scored a run to edge closer towards the 300 milestone (sorry, 1.6 kilometrestone).

At 11.45am, he did it. A slashing boundary catapulted little Mac to 302. The crowd gave him a standing ovation which seemed to go on forever. Two balls later, he was out, but no one cared. They gave him another standing ovation. I suspect much of the country did the same.

When Mrs Brown got home, we watched it again. Her thoughtful husband had recorded it for her, and we relived the moment all over again. This was television at its best, being able to transmit the action around the world, although I suspect the Indian fans may have been a little less enthusiastic.

While that was a highlight of the viewing week, something else that screened was decidedly at the opposite end of the enjoyment scale.

On Monday TV3 ran the first episode of the wretched second series of The GC. It is no better than the first series, and what even sticks in the gullet more is the fact that we're paying for this self-absorbed, self-indulgent, self- centred, self-seeking nonsense.

Last year the taxpayer-funded NZ On Air gave it $419,000 under the guise of its cultural obligations. Even PM John Key was forced to defend that decision, pointing out NZ On Air acted totally independently.

This year, there's been no such controversy because it's all been done under the auspices of the Maori Broadcasting Funding Agency. It's not clear how much they gave, but already it's obvious there is a bit more Te Reo and culture apparent.

If that's what it takes to get the money, then clearly it's no problem for The GC's producers.

The original idea had some merit. Not much, mind you, but it did have some. Nearly 130,000 Maori live in Australia and that's a subject worth exploring.

Every year thousands of Maori are drawn to the glamorous Gold Coast so it made sense to delve a little deeper into the lives of the thousands of young Maori, or Mossies [Maori Aussies] as they are known, who live there.

It's a reality series, but sometimes we could do with less reality. The screen oozes with flesh, rippling tanned, uber- muscular flesh - and that's just the women. The central character is Tame, who acts as the narrator. He's big, very muscular, heavily tattooed and tends to speak in a language that defies any ethnicity, or meaning, come to that.

While modesty is still a quality he has yet to embrace, he can be a likeable chap in some ways. He works hard, has made a few bob and it's fair to say he works to live. There are plenty of his old mates from the first series, and a few new faces, both female and male.

Some sleep with each other, some are just mates, but whatever the relationship they all like to party together. Alcohol and nightclubs seem to play a huge part in their lives and to the producers' credit, the bad is left in there for all to see, along with the good.

Tame and his mates still like to chase the "Aunties" [girls] and one favourite seems to be Chlamydia. Not sure about the spelling, but let's assume it is the same as the sexually transmitted disease.

One of the girls laughs at her name and says to one of the boys, "she might give you Chlamydia". They laughed at that one, I can tell you.

A couple from the last series have broken up, although they are still friends, if not close ones.

"We're not besties," says Jade, matter-of-factly. They know what she means. Where's Stan Walker when you need him?

Mrs B is usually generous of spirit. She says: "While not wanting to pan anything made for people under 25, to like this you need an IQ to match."

It's hard to disagree.

The Timaru Herald