Radiation by Fiona Rae

Sick as a blog

Funny how life seems to get in the way of blogging: sick child, sick boyfriend, sick me, sick child. Bloody winter. But let us speak no more of these things, except to say that I was embarrassed to discover that my last blog started out with Nicky Watson’s exit from Dancing with the Stars and given that the show is over and Norm Hewitt won – apparently a victory almost as momentous as Michael Campbell winning the US Open – that makes it, well, ahem, a long time between blogs.

So the old folks had their day with Dancing with the Stars and the second NZ Idol frenzy starts this weekend and judging by the promos there are just as many sorry young things whose mums and dads have told them they can sing lining up to be told otherwise on national television. Haven’t they learned anything from the na-na-na guy? I don’t have any big objection to NZ Idol really, I just hope that the wannabes are realistic about their chances. It’s not like winning is some ticket to life-long fame and fortune, as Ben Lummis would know. Guess they can take that away. And how funny is it that he’s in the Woman’s Weekly saying he thinks his “lifestyle” might have had an effect on Sony BMG’s decision? Heh. Crazy Jesus-popping, high-on-life Christian.

It is so over between Seth and Alma. Naturally. A couple actually in love in Deadwood? It’s never gonna happen. It’s the Whedonverse all over again. “If anyone’s happy on my show, they have to start spitting blood,” he says on an otherwise really boring commentary track on the Angel episode “Hole in the World”. Really enjoying season five after the initial “What are we doing here, how are we going to crowbar all these characters into the new set?” episodes. Just wait for “Smile Time” in which Angel is turned into a puppet. Heh. One internet reviewer claims it’s a kind of meta-comment on the state of the relationship between the WB and the show at the time. Who knows, but it’s real funny. Special appearance by David Fury as well, who is now working on Lost. [There is a Lost finale recap on salon.com, btw, but I’m waiting til I see the finale on Wednesday before reading it.]

Okay, enough of the geek talk. I went to the launch of Outrageous Fortune this week, the first local drama on screen since last year – it’s actually about a year since The Insiders Guide to Happiness screened. I keep waiting for a glut of New Zealand drama, which never comes. You hear about Orange Roughies, The Market, Interrogation, the Insiders Guide spin-off and the unnamed soap that TV1 is supposedly developing, but where is everything? No wonder it led the nominations at the New Zealand Screen Awards, although there’s another drama in the nomination apparently coming up: Good Hands. If someone can explain how it is in the running when it hasn’t been screened, I’d like to know. Really.

Anyways, folks, Outrageous looks like a whole big bucket o’ fun, judging by the three-minute showreel I saw. Kind of an anti-Insiders Guide if you know what I mean. Whereas Insiders was gloomy, cerebral and shot through a green filter, Outrageous is big, bold, brassy and quite boffy. Starts Tuesday the 12th – TV3.

Speaking of local drama, Hugo on Shortie is turning out to be a decent sort of villain, although I was thinking that when it’s a female villain you tend to think of them as mad, whereas when it’s a male villain, you think of them as [said in an Austin Powers sort of way] pure evil. He’s quite a complicated villain for a 7.30 show – suppressed, self-destructive, sexually dangerous. I think Fraser Brown is playing him beautifully, especially his little galpal talks with Toni, which err just this side of gay.

Will it reach here: Starbucks is rapidly becoming a mass-marketer of music in the US. They pick and choose artists to sell in stores next to the decaf-chocca-mocca-kiwi-flavoured slop and watch while their CDs leap onto the Billboard charts. Next thing will be exclusive content, a branded satellite radio channel and in-store digital media bars where customers can burn their own mixes from a database. The retail music industry, which is in decline, is wondering if Starbucks will be its saviour. Frightening? Depends whether you like Bob Dylan or not.

Okay, enough. If I write anymore, Russell will die of shock. Send nice comments, buy the book, I promise not to be so tardy in future. Umm, floss. Wear sunscreen. All of that.