Radiation by Fiona Rae

Smacking the clowns

I’ve never met Oliver Driver, but I’m liking the cut of his jib. Not only did he have an excellent clown fight on Serial Killers on Friday (“Hey, when you get the chance to smack a clown, you take it.”), but he fronted Frontseat on Sunday in a discerning and occasionally self-deprecating manner.

Okay, so we might be a bit biased towards new arts show Frontseat, as its producer is a friend of Public Address and may even be related to one of us, but dammit, it actually went out and did stories, which is more than you can say for mainstream television, which contents itself with visual press releases for whatever’s in town at the moment.

Actually it’s not quite true that I haven’t met Oliver Driver, he sat at the same table at the bNets a couple of years ago. After the prizegiving, I scarpered to talk to people I knew, and when I got back he was sitting in my chair with a woman humping his leg and I had to grovel at both their feet in order to extricate my bag from under the table. Ah, the bNets.

In other news, the show has ended but the website lingers on: Idolblog is contenting itself with stories about Ben and the others, including an excellent spoof cover of the single (wouldn’t you love to see the alternative shot they must have taken of Michael?). They also have a story about going to a VIP concert featuring the Idols and meeting John Barnett and Andy Shaw from SPP.

The Idolblog phenomenon has parallels with Lord of the Rings, which early on wasn’t happy with theonering.net, but finally invited Erica Challis to see sets in Wellington. It’s just not a good look to be serving your biggest fan with a trespass notice.

After being initially threatened by the internet, production companies, especially in the US, have realised that fans, and especially the fansites, drive the buzz about shows and that, as much as they’d like to, they can’t control everything related to their productions. You can probably measure success in how many websites spring up (and in the US they do so, alarmingly quickly). It’s fair enough that sites shouldn’t publish copyright pictures, but it’s good to see SPP welcoming the Idolbloggers.

Speaking of not being able to control everything, here’s a site that loves The West Wing so much, it wants to kill it. Don’t Save Our Show is a site dedicated to the Aaron Sorkin-executed West Wing and wants NBC to remove “John Wells' unrecognisable version from the air”.

Speaking of press releases, I won’t bore you with the full script of a press release I got from TVNZ about Shortland Street, which is part of a package I receive every week. It featured quotes from actor Michael Galvin regarding the new nanny character – however, if you turned to page 19 of the Sunday News (the 16th), you’d be able to read it almost word for word – except for the part where the writer, Ellen Davies, says that “Michael told the Sunday News.”

TV Gal on Zap2it.com, a Buffy and Angel lifer, laments the passing of Angel and counts down her 15 favourite eps. Some are spoilers for us (check the date before reading on), but many are old ones. She points out that the network was the big bad for Angel, giving it four different time slots in five years.

Matt and Trey are releasing South Park’s greatest religious hits on DVD at the same time as The Passion of the Christ will be released. The New York Post calls their spoof ep “The Passion of the Jew” a classic in this story. Hope C4 gets the new season soon.

The CSI franchise rolls on in the US, and I must say, it’s more fun that Law & Order don’t you think? The same way they introduced CSI: Miami, they’re playing team tag with CSI: New York -- David Caruso will go to New York to see investigators (Gary Sinise and Melina Kanakaredes) there. I doubt we’ll see the New York franchise until next year; it was a coup getting Gary Sinise, I’m picking he’ll be the thing that saves it.

The BBC’s Panorama programme has broadcast a mock terrorist attack on London and copped some flak for it. But even better than that is the news that Spitting Image is planning a comeback. And I’ve had emails in the past about the Sunday Theatre slot being full of god-awful thrillers and such; the new controller of BBC2 has promised a return to landmark drama and documentaries.

Lastly, I guess the Havo’s Quality Time must have been kicking action girl Sydney’s butt, hence Alias’s move to Monday nights at 10.30pm – but how many disease-of-the-weeks does TV2 have up its programming sleeve with which to fight Havoc? The 200-pound tumour? That was just sick medical porn – it almost makes ordinary porn look healthy.