Radiation by Fiona Rae


Signing off, moving on

Looks like my evil plan to become the world’s worst blogger has come to pass; although it turns out that being the world’s worst blogger just means never writing anything. Consequently, me and the Queen of England are total badasses.

I feel bad about this state of affairs, and friends, it’s time to end the pain. I need to blog or get off the site, so it’s time to retire Radiation. Those heady days when I had a surprising amount to say about television are behind me; some of you will know that all that energy has been used for my day job at the Listener, writing what’s known in the trade as a shitload of copy, as well as overseeing the TV listings. It doesn’t leave much brain-space and I have to say, my blogging mojo has been on the blink. Any left-over energy has been going into my actual real life. You remember, the one that exists outside the internet.

But in cyberspace, no-one can ever really leave. Lately, the stately New Zealand Listener has been coming to grips with this newfangled internet thingy, and I, a late-forties mother of two from Pt Chev, am exactly the right person to lead the charge. There is a new, fancy, 21st-century website, with actual things to read. It’s not out of the question that Radiation could be resurrected in another form (note to self: try not to make promises you may be unable to keep). There are going to be “comments” and “online only” content. Like those cute kittehs, I will be in ur internets, edtng ur webzite.

It’s been about nine years since Russ and I sat in our old kitchen trying to think of names for a website that could house a new version of Hard News. Russ came up with the name although, from memory, publicaddress.com was taken, but not the slightly less cool .net. These days, when IP addresses are running out, it doesn’t matter. I’ve been happy to be part of this community of blogs, and the site has had unexpected spin-offs for a lot of the writers. He likes to pick ’em, does Russ, and he had confidence in me even when I didn’t.

So thanks to all of the bloggers, commenters, Twitterers, clever monkeys and the webheads at Cactuslab who literally make it possible. Thanks to my sweetheart, and the conversation that has been going on since we were at school (true!). See ya over at the Listener.


Not funny

Comedy Central New Zealand no longer has broadcasting licences for The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, in case you were wondering where they went. A shame, considering the Rally to Restore Sanity is coming up and also this is happening. And let’s not forget Colbert’s March to Keep Fear Alive. There is video on The Daily Show and Colbert Nation websites, of course, or your favourite aunt in America may have to send you the VHS.

Thanks for all your comments about the changing Listener website. Early days and all that. I’m afraid I had my fingers in my ears going la-la-la when you were talking about other parts of the Listener.

In upcoming TV news, don’t forget Making Tracks this Tuesday, and the new season of Glee is on its way. Squee!

What do we think of TV3 going up against TV1?


This Is Not My Dan Carter

You can say a lot of things about TVNZ – and people do – but you can’t say they’ve been mean to local drama lately. Go Girls always gets a big push, and they are promoting the crap out of This Is Not My Life, especially the Charles Mesure in his undies angle. Dude is all over town in his undies. Anyone would think he was Dan Carter. The story I did about TINML is here, and the interview I did with Charles is online here. The cast of V, including Charles, has been at Comic-Con and are interviewed by EW here. I’ve seen the first two episodes of TINML, and it is good. Among other things, it creepily captures a New Zealand version of the picture perfect picket-fence town. Also, Smart cars are funny.

Right, that’s probably enough being nice to TV1. A big tick on the drama promotion, sure, but how shit is the news these days? If it bleeds it leads, with crosses to young reporters who are “across the story”. That just means some poor kid standing pointlessly outside a hospital/empty building/police station at night. I usually manage to watch about three items before stomping out, enraged, on the look-out for better things to do, like clean the loo. Also, Shortland Street really needs to change its opening montage; I count at least three characters who have either gone to Samoa or are dead.

Entertainment Weekly has some great Comic-Con coverage, especially this, for which the technical term is geekgasm.

Here’s my list of shows that we’re really behind on: Friday Night Lights, Burn Notice, Supernatural, Being Human (which hasn’t even started), Chuck. Any thoughts?


Better than Twilight

Sexy old True Blood has started in the US, but don’t worry, if your favourite aunt in America hasn’t sent you a VHS already, Prime is rolling out the naked Viking vampire pretty soon after the American transmission. Two weeks after, in fact, starting on June 30. Grant Bowler has made his first, albeit brief, appearance; there’s a little chat between Stephen Moyer and Grant here. Don’t worry, no spoilers, unless you didn’t know that GB is a werewolf (oops). On the other hand, there will be spoilers in EW’s coverage, which is ginormous.

I’m not sure I’m comfortable with the D-O-double-G’s song about our little Anna Paquin, actually.

The American Outrageous Fortune, Scoundrels has just started too – I just hope it’s better than the UK version, which was called Honest. Scoundrels looks a little bit closer to the original intent, but I hope it’s not too glossy. American TV seems to only be able to do working-class on cable. Wonder what Munter will be called in the US version?

I said it after The Devil Dared Me To, and I’m calling it again: Heath and Stapp are a class act. Bogan Family Films shows that all those years doing stupid stunts and pissing off gorillas in cages has come to something. Last week’s episode, which featured a film within a film, was kinda awesome. Watch here.

The Heroes with asbos is coming: C4 is promo-ing Misfits. It’s really awesome. Really.


Geek, annoyed

That was disappointing. Perhaps I expected too much. It’s been consistently cryptic for five seasons, why stop now? Cynically, you could suggest that the series finale of Lost left so many questions unanswered in order to squeeze a few more dollars out of the fans in DVD sales.

Honestly, there were logic holes big enough to, er, fly a plane through. If the island and everything that happened on it were real, what was the point of the flash sideways? Was it just some sort of giant MacGuffin? And if flash sideways was just a staging post for heaven, why were there characters in the church who were still alive on the island? Ben, Hurley, Rose, Bernard, Sawyer, Claire, Kate? Was Desmond just some sort of crossing guard, there to point everyone in the right direction? What about Miles and Lapidus? Am I experiencing geek outrage right now? Maybe. Geek annoyance, at least.

Sure, it was about the characters, as Doc Jensen keeps telling us. Yes, I had a wee tear when Sawyer and Juliet recognised each other in Sidewaysland. But in the end, it all began to look like a thinly-veiled religious metaphor (Freud would have had a field day with that stone knob being pulled out of the hole in the island and letting all the bad stuff out, btw).

By contrast, the series final of Ashes to Ashes in the UK was at least clear. And it was plotted from the beginning of Life on Mars, as this interview with series co-creator Matthew Graham makes clear. Warning: only read this if you have seen the final or you just don’t care.

Glee returns this Friday (June 4); the episode directed by Joss Whedon and starring Neil Patrick Harris is six eps in and contains a fabulous flash mob sequence. Oh, who am I kidding? You’ve probably downloaded it already. Also Miranda starts on TV1 on Friday – but at 11.00pm.