Hard News by Russell Brown


Media3: Our comedy

The received wisdom for a long time was that New Zealand TV can't do situation comedies; that all our good scripted television humour is salted into dramas like Outrageous Fortune. Because, well, Melody Rules.

But last year, there was the finely-worked Hounds. Auckland Daze was pretty good too. And now, there is Flat3.

Flat3 has been made in the format in which Auckland Daze began -- a webseries (although for the time being it has not enjoyed the NZ On Air funding that Auckland Daze received). It's the work of Roseanne Liang, writer-director of the films Banana in a Nutshell and the dramatisation of that documentary, My Wedding and Other Secrets. And I think it's really, really good.

The obvious reaction is to look at a show with an ethnic Chinese director and three young Chinese leads and assume it's, well, Chinese comedy. But it's really more contemporary Kiwi comedy. They're us, remember?

There are plenty of laughs when Roseanne and actor Perlina Lau join us on tonight's Media3 too. Also on tonight's show, Alastair Thompson and Alison McCulloch talk about the Scoop Foundation Project, which launches today and looks like the most convincing local take yet on a public interest journalism foundation. And Jose looks at the impressive Maori Maps project, which is building a richly-detailed map of New Zealand's marae on top of Google Maps.

That's all at 11.15pm tonight on TV3, after Nightline.

In the meantime, you can find the six episodes of Flat3 here.

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