Radiation by Fiona Rae

It's like gaydar

I know there are Angel fans are out there. They sneak in every now and then with comments, they swap tapes like a secret society (I should know) and every now and then they bump into each other and – it’s like gaydar – divine a fellow fan. Some are even men, which is unusual, as men and drama don’t always mix.

They’re definitely there, because the boyfriend tried to buy Angel season 4 on DVD for my birthday and it was all sold out. “Our distributor doesn’t seem to have any left either,” said the guy behind the counter. Presumably, TV3, which is half-way through showing season 4 late on Wednesday nights, hasn’t noticed this straight commercial conflict, although in the US DVDs are held back until the series have done their dash repeating on cable – we could buy or rent Buffy and Angel on DVD well before the US.

It was Andrew Dubber who alerted us, “Wow. Recommended.” he said after a marathon weekend watching the second half of the season, and if it’s anything like last Wednesday’s episode, omigod. It had more of a Buffy feel, with Gunn and Connor digging up a demon and Gunn quipping, “Sometimes you just gotta keep whacking,” when it took a little while to kill the little bugger.

In classic Whedon style, giant rifts are being wrought in the gang by the newly-minted Angelus. His weapon? The truth. Mix it up with some great lines (he prefers a chase before catching his victims: “Isn’t there any fast food left in LA?”), a bit of kung-fu fighting, and then a shock ending: Cordy’s gone over to the Dark Side! She stabs Lilah in the neck with the Beast’s dagger! Now who’s top bitch?!

I do know it seems like a secret club though. You either get it or you don’t. It’s not like ER, where the parameters are defined and the world is easily understood. It hasn’t been easy for Angel to pick up new viewers in the US, ultimately its undoing. Plus, it costs quite a lot for all that latex on people’s faces.

We’re a Ben household; Michael should be investigated for the murder of several songs, including “Dock of the Bay” and “One”, the latter being a world-weary relationship song that cannot be sung by a 17-year-old. I didn’t think they’d be retreading the same songs, and outfits, last night, although I guess five completely new songs is a big ask. Idolblog was running hot on Ben last time I looked. However, having been completely wrong about Camillia, I’ve probably jinxed Ben already.

If you just can’t get enough Idol, American Idol starts straight after NZ Idol ends. And in shock news just to hand, a new local arts programme is starting on the 16th. It’s called Frontseat, it’s hosted by Oliver Driver and is produced by Gemma Gracewood. Also, Kim Hill is talking to John Clark (writer, humourist, actor, Fred Dagg) on Wednesday night.

I wrote a couple of weeks ago (in e.g.) about how reality shows are taking over from dramas now in the US (12 of the top 20 shows are reality). Here’s a slightly tongue-in-cheek story about how the pilots for new series are decided upon. Remember, these are the new shows that you and I will be seeing next year …

Jolisa sends this link about what happened in writer Keith Hollihan’s building when The Apprentice came to visit. And here’s a Guardian story about the aftermath of a Channel 4 reality TV visit to the small northern town of Silsden. And you’ve gotta love the French farmers. Why write letters, when violent protest will do? They’re threatening to wreck the set of reality show La Ferme Celebrites, or Celebrity Farm, because it’s an outrage to their noble farming tradition.

Thanks to Heather for the link to her blog freshtrifle.blogspot.com. Sorry it’s taken a while to get to that, Heather.

The Letterman list is fairly boring again, except David Byrne appears on Wednesday, maverick senator John McCain on Thursday and Hugh Jackman on Friday.

And thanks to everyone who wished me a happy birthday; it was, although we saw average comedy and had an average meal. But hey, at my age, a night out’s a night out, you know?