Couch Potato

When he's supposed to be doing other things, chances are you'll find Mike Kilpatrick watching television instead. He styles himself on comedy hero Jim Royle, loves a laugh, enjoys a cry and if it's on the box he will share his opinion on it too. Whether you want it or not

800 Words, James Griffin and a fanboy

09:00am 18 Sep 2015

If James Griffin decided to make a show about the worst public toilets in New Zealand chances are I'd love it. The man is a dead set genius in my opinion - and also one of the nicest people I've met.

Hence the new show he co-created with Maxine Fleming - 800 Words - was always something I was going to be extremely forgiving over. But more about that in a minute...

I had the great fortune to work on a podcast called The Lesser Gods with former Stuff TV blogger Chris Philpott. We were both massive fans of The Almighty Johnsons and took the tentative step into online broadcasting because of it.

I can't speak for Chris but I had hoped we might get 50 or so people listening to the episodes - but it took off. The podcast was posted just after the show aired and we analysed each week's action. We even got a chance to interview some of the stars - who were just amazing when faced with stereotypical fanboys throwing questions at them.

It turned out we were getting over 1000 people listening to episodes, from all over the world. Including James Griffin. I was astonished and the first time I met him I as in awe. I was standing in front of the man who co-created what many consider the best New Zealand show of all time, Outrageous Fortune and it doesn't get much better than that for a television geek.

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WWE Superstar Titus O'Neil a true champion

10:00am 15 Sep 2015

Anyone who has read this blog knows what I think of wrestling - the drama, the storylines and the real-life dimension make it one of the most compelling television watching experiences there is. And there is no bigger thrill than interviewing one of the WWE's big stars.

Titus O'Neil is making waves as one of the Prime Time Players, the former tag team champions who, if he has anything to do with it, will defeat The New Day on today's season premiere of WWE Raw to reclaim the titles. That will set them up for a match with one of wrestling's legendary teams - The Dudley Boyz - at the Night of Champions Pay Per View (PPV) next Monday (NZ Time).

I caught up with the massive O'Neil to discuss his partnership with Darren Young, Night of Champions, their feud with The New Day, his crowning as Celebrity Dad of the Year in the US - and why he hopes one day to show his New Zealand fans what he's made of.

The Prime Time Players have had a rocky past - including a split in 2014. But you're back together and helping to revitalise the tag team division. How is your relationship with Darren?

I've always felt close to Darren and I will remain close to Darren regardless if we are together as the Prime Time Players or we are both competing as singles wrestlers. I think the world of him. I think of him as a member of my family and vice versa. This opportunity that we have second time around to be teamed up has been very good for both of us.

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The League - politically incorrect, utterly brilliant

09:00am 11 Sep 2015

The joy of one of your favourite television shows starting a new season is rarely tempered - except when it's already been announced that it's the last one.

And so it came to be that I sat down last night to stream the first episode of season seven of The League, which is easily in my top five favourite comedies of all time.

On the face of it, The League isn't normally something I'd enjoy - it's based around a group of friends in a fantasy American Football league and (although I hate the term) is as 'politically incorrect' as anything on television. There's toilet humour, drug use, a giant mascot called Mr McGibblets, toilet humour, more toilet humour and so much abuse that no-one walks away with dignity. 

But the genius is that, to a large extent, the fantasy football stuff is irrelevant. I have no great interest in American Football (I'm a Miami Dolphins fan so that goes without saying) - so quite a number of the player cameos and the details of the fantasy league go over my head.

None of that takes away, though, from the enjoyment of seeing the writers and cast work with each other to create characters which I've gotten to know and love over the last six years.

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Show Me a Hero a worthy follow-up to The Wire

09:00am 09 Sep 2015

Think of all the times that you've been impressed with the cast of a movie or television show and then winced because of how bad it turned out to be. That's how I felt before watching the first couple of episodes of Show Me a Hero, created and co-written by David Simon of The Wire fame.

It's an amazing group of talent, full of familiar faces and there's always a suspicion that such a stacked cast is an attempt to hide the frailties of the story and the script.

Thankfully my worries were needless - Show Me a Hero turns out to be one of the best shows of the year and is sure to be up for numerous awards, not least for some of the star turns in front of the camera. Simon and co-writer William F Zorzi (The Wire) have taken former New York Times journalist Lisa Belkin's book about segregation in Yonkers, New York and created a compelling and stunning piece of television.

Oscar winning director Paul Haggis (Crash), who was originally scheduled to direct an episode, was so impressed with the script that he signed on for all of the six episodes. That faith is borne out as I was enveloped in a world which I had never been a part of but immediately recognised.

Show Me a Hero tells the true story of Nick Wasicsko (Oscar Isaac - Ex Machina, Star Wars: Episode VII), a young councillor who uses the threat of forced desegregation in the late 1980s to unseat Mayor Angelo Martinelli (James Belushi - The Defenders) and assume the role for himself.

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Television's WTF moments still raise the heckles

09:00am 04 Sep 2015

I try to think of myself as somewhat level-headed. Passionate, for sure, but never angry for no reason and certainly never deliberately nasty to anyone.

And then I stumbled across something on the internet yesterday and I realised I may have been conning myself all these years.

What started as a wee trip down the memory lane of How I Met Your Mother, courtesy of this BuzzFeed article, ended with a surprise twist.

The last of the 23 times that HIMYM got way too real was, apparently, the ending of the final season - and that set something off deep inside of me.

When the finale aired first time around it bothered me a little but obviously not that much because there's no apoplexy or real anger in there - just a vague sense of disappointment.

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