Radiation by Fiona Rae

Altered realities

There’s a reality show in the Holmes resignation surely. What’s the bet Julie Christie’s been on the blower to Tony Holden at TVNZ pitching Presenter Idol: The Search for the New Holmes? “If it’s a public vote, Tony, people can’t complain!”

Or how about He’ll Have to Do? because whatever you think of him, it’s fair to say there’s only one Paul Holmes, otherwise it would be easy to find a replacement (most likely male btw, hence the “He’ll”). Obvious choice: John Campbell. He polarises people too, so no change there. He might have to stop swearing when he gets excited though.

But I’d like to put in an early suggestion for the new Holmes: Hugh Sundae. We already know he’s good with old people – he used to talk to Noreen – and I’m sure he could brush up his skills with animals and children. He used to do pretty feisty interviews with Helen as well. Ralston: ring him now.

Through the magic of cyberspace I’d just like to point out that I wasn’t actually a tongue-tied nong at the Great Blend event at the Grey Lynn Bowling Club last week, and in fact made several witty and interesting answers to the questions posed. It might not seem that way, but here’s a quick rundown of what I actually said:

To the question from Ben: What does the panel think of the new ‘podcasting’ trend? My reply actually was: ‘I thought it was an innovative form of fishing at first, but a tech-head friend informs me that it’s perfect for him to download onto his iPod, but as far as blogging goes, it sounds like an awful lot of faffing around to me, which kind of defeats the purpose. But what would I know – I was wrong about pxt phones.”

To the question from Robyn: Do you ever feel the need to write an entry to satisfy your readers, but can't find anything interesting to write about, so you end up making something up? What I actually said was, “It’s all true, every word.” [laughter]

To the question from the floor about balancing having something to say while not getting your head too far up your arse, my actual reply was, “Having a specialist subject helps, that way you can avoid talking about yourself entirely.”

To the other question from the floor, from Judith Tizard, about writing about your family, what I actually said was, “I think you do have to be very careful and I don’t refer to my kids by name – usually number one son and number two son – and occasionally to “the boyfriend”. The funny thing is, the personal columns are the ones that people respond to – the challenge is to provide a kind of universality of experience without being too personal."

To the question which may or may not have been asked on the day (for argument’s sake let’s say it was) from Heather: How does one become a pundit anyway? What I actually said was: “Sleep with the right people.” [laughter]

And to the rather lengthy question from Conor that referred to French philosopher Jacque Derrida and seemed to be about the power of bloggers to reinterpret meaning and redefine what is being said. My answer was, “No, I don’t think so.”

Meanwhile, in the fake world of Hollywood, good news everybody. There are signs that reality TV hasn’t completely taken over. Entertainment Weekly has a rundown of five new “scripted dramas”, as they’re now being called (as opposed to “unscripted dramas” like Survivor and The Apprentice), which are don’t-miss television. The first is Desperate Housewives, an über-Soap that stars Teri Hatcher among others and has gone to number one.

The others are the smart satire Arrested Development; a new teen drama called Veronica Mars, which apparently gives Buffy fans a new teen cult idol, although we’ll have to see about that; a cop show called The Wire, (“the most demanding, intelligent hour on television right now” according to EW) which is about a bunch of cops in Baltimore on wire-tapping operations; and Lost, a new JJ Abrams production (the creator of Alias) which features a bunch of plane crash survivors on an island. It stars hobbit Dominic Monaghan as a has-been rock star with a drug habit and the fantastic Harold Perrineau who was in Oz and outshone Leonardo in Romeo + Juliet. He was also in the last Matrix movie, but let us never speak of that.

Here’s a good Time story about how the various CSIs are really old-fashioned procedural cop shows after all.

The Letterman list is hardly worth mentioning, except maybe Chazz Palminteri appears on Tuesday.