America's Cup is all of New Zealand's cup - not just Auckland's
OPINION: Journalists are trained to ask questions and seek answers, so when the spotlight is turned on them, we expect the same transparency.
Simon Dallow – "Is there going to be a welcome home parade for the America's Cup?"
Paul Hobbs (TV journalist) – "Yes, in Auckland on July 6."
Simon Dallow – (surprisingly) "And what about the rest of New Zealand?"
Paul Hobbs – "The parade's going to be broadcast live on TV One."
That's no answer. Simon Dellow should have asked the question again. We'll have to wait and see if the Auld Mug travels south of the Auckland motorway. Surely our politicians can prise a few dollars from this year's Budget to pay for the journey.
When commentator Peter Montgomery announced "The America's Cup is New Zealand's Cup" he didn't mean Auckland's Cup. I'm sure in some distant location – probably Bill English's old electorate – Ron Ratbag Replicas have manufactured 50,000 miniatures of the America's Cup already and we could welcome one of them to Palmerston North.
In hindsight, the final of the America's Cup should have been broadcast live on "free-to-air" television. That must be a prerequisite for 2021.
What is being broadcast live on free-to- air TV is Doctor (TV One, Wednesdays), a delightful and unpretentious series about Dr Hugh Knight's fall from grace (whoever she is) and rehabilitation in his home town of Whyhope.
The series is exceptional because the writers have taken time out to craft personalities around the leading characters. If there's such a person as a loveable Australian rogue, then Dr Knight is it. But he has a conscience and a commitment to be the best GP he can.
This episode he was allowed to perform minor surgery and, as a result, most of the community will shortly be without their appendix. I'm sure Hugh Knight won't understand what "minor" means and he'll carry out the world's first heart, hip and hernia transplant.
NCIS LA (TV3, Wednesdays) returned to our screens this week and what a contrast. A flimsy story was based around the cardboard characters. When radio active material is stolen from hospitals, NCIS agents, "G" Callen, Sam Hanna and Kensi Blye, chase the terrorists before they explode a dirty bomb over Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump's under secretary of defence, Corbin Duggan, threatens to dismiss the staff because the NCIS station has been compromised. Nothing is convincingly explained. It could be one of the best decisions Trump makes.
But every series has a saving grace – she could be the person Dr Knight fell from. There's some smart dialogue and interaction between the leading characters and Sam Hanna (LL Cool J) masters a few Jihadist sentences when interviewing a suspect. Local linguists tell me he actually said "your mother-in-law's got two bottoms".
Red Rock (TV One, Monday to Friday) is an engaging afternoon series, new to television. It's a soap opera, more Sard than soap and is Coronation Street on steriods. Set in Dublin, it's based around the local police station and two rival families, the Kielys and the Hennessys, so there isn't the usual breadth of colourful characters.
It gets into its business so quickly that viewers are in the eye of the feuding storm within minutes but, once you're there, it's difficult to get out. Darren Kiely is dead and his family believes a Hennessy killed him so they seek revenge.
Attempting to restore peace is Superintendent James McKay who's married to Claire Hennessy, a lawyer investigating her brother's involvement in the death, while Katie Kiely is having an illicit affair with David Hennessy.
With enemies like that, who needs friends? This is a Romeo and Juliet tangle that not even Shakespeare could sort out. Mum Kiely, estranged from her family, has returned from Spain for the wake and brought a bottle of "Vodker" with her. It seems to be as genuine as the Rolecks on her wrist.
Before Darren can be properly preserved, David Hennessy pays his respects and a fight breaks out around the open casket. What cad-a-ver man does that?
McKay breaks up the melee and demands that the "fighting and feuding stops now". It won't until the series is over. Imagine Coro Street's Roy Cropper smacking Norris Cole with one of his mince pies. This is worse than that, far worse.