Cracker by Damian Christie

Ben, the two of us need look no more

Much like BMG, who had obviously pre-recorded, mastered and photographed both Ben and Michael singing the Idol single, to allow for its almost instant release, I had this week’s post-idol blog half written. Unfortunately I’d grossly underestimated the power of the New Zealand public to do the right thing. It went a little something like this:

10 Things I’ve Learnt from Watching Idol

1. There is no justice in the world

2. People under 18 should NEVER be given the vote. Never.

Etc. As I say, it was only partly written, and in retrospect I don’t think I would have been able to come up with ten decent points. Mind you, that never stops Jim Hopkins. Speaking of bad weekend print journalism… is it just me or has the Sunday Star Times gone to the dogs (with a couple of major exceptions, but I’m told they prove the rule)? I’ll expand on this sweeping generalisation at a later date, but for now you can be content simply knowing I’m right.

Anyhoo. It wasn’t to be, Ben won and I was more or less happy. Not that I really cared, but y’know, when you’ve watched a show out of one eye for fifteen weeks, it’s the same as watching it avidly for seven and a half. It's quite an investment to not have an opinion.

Beyond this, you know what? I REALLY don’t care. Not at all. Because it’s a TV show, a drawn-out talent quest. Ben won, show’s over, I start watching the new series of The Sopranos. End of story. To follow his career from here on in is to buy into the whole concept of hideously manufactured pop. Yeah, yeah, stable door, horse bolting etc, but I’ve got a point, right? At the end of one of those DIY garden programmes you don’t spare a second thought whether Shona’s new fernery is going to take, or if she’ll keep up with the weeding. Same idea, different trousers.

Chuck's written a solid post about the final idol show though, which is pretty bang on:

Funnily enough all the old losers we’d already voted off returned for the fun of the final. It was kind of cruel, almost saying ‘look isn’t this great, if you’d been better, this is what you could have had’. I was almost hoping Paul Ellis’ evil side would belatedly show up with the line “Remind us again Eddie why the nation thought you were so crap.”

I’ve managed to get to a few shows at the New Zealand International Comedy Festival, which is unlike me. Generally any such festival sees me looking through the programme, promising this time will be different, this time I’ll go and see that play/film/show/exhibition, then finding said programme on the bottom of my In Tray a month later and swearing next time will be different…

This time was different. I got in early, booked a bunch of tickets and now all I have to is swan up on the night. I’ve seen three so far, Australian Charlie Pickering, who did a great show about urban legends, Untold Tales of Maui starring the very talented duo of Taika Cohen (who as Taika Waititi made my favourite short film ever, 2 Cars, 1 Night) and Jemaine Clement (from Flight of the Conchords). Both shows were very good, but unfortunately have now finished.

Last night I saw British comedian Andy Parsons. His show is continuing, but I’d suggest you could probably find better ways to spend your comedic dollar. Sorry all you nice folk at the ComedyFest, love ya, but he just wasn’t particularly good.

I think comedy has (or should have) moved on from the “excuse me sir, you in the front row, yes what’s your name please…” and observations that weren’t especially funny when Billy Connelly made them a decade ago (“What is it with people saying ‘take care’ instead of goodbye… it’s like ‘oh thanks for that, I was about to go and hurt myself’… and what about ‘drive safe’… it’s like…).

But that’s just my opinion, what would I know? It has however left me uttering a phrase I never thought I’d say… “Wow, some of that New Zealand comedy is really good, better than the overseas stuff”. So this Comedy Fest, why not Buy NZ made? Apart from Mike King, obviously. Seeing Mike King when you’re in the mood to laugh is like going to the swimming pool when you’re hungry. But at least he’s givin’ it a go, eh? At least he’s givin’ it a go. Give me a break.

Flight of the Conchords last show this Saturday promises to be damn good though, as does Taika’s Incredible Show next week. See you there.

Housekeeping: Cheers Deborah and the team at Pead PR for the LoveKylie poster. It's like you read my mind. Me te aroha nui ki a koutou katoa