Monday, January 08, 2007

Is Aussie TV afraid?

Most of the time, the New Zealand-Australia rivalry is simple fun. A joke here, a good-natured put down there, no more than you might expect to hear at a gathering of friends.

Sometimes it’s a bit more.

Australia’s Screen Producers’ Association is threatening “industrial action” if the country’s Channel Nine is allowed to include the New Zealand-made comedy-drama Outrageous Fortune as part of its “local content” requirement. In 1997 a high court decision found that New Zealand programmes count as local content.

From a New Zealand perspective, there are two things about this: First, Aussie unions seem as if they’ll go on strike if someone so much as glances at them sideways. We do know that’s just John Howard propaganda, but we like to pretend it’s true.

The other thing is this: It’s a big joke. If the Aussies are worried about NZ drama elbowing Aussie drama off of TV, they should probably worry more about whether synthetic or natural fibres are better. The fact is, there's so little NZ drama (or comedy) produced that it in no way threatens Aussie-made programming. Seriously, they need to get a grip.

And whatever happened to the ANZAC spirit, eh mate? Your country is big enough to accommodate a Kiwi programme or two. God knows we put up with truly awful stuff made in your home girthed by sea—and that’s just the TV commercials!

Seriously, relax! We’re no threat to Aussie TV and we won’t be even if you deign to allow our programmes to count as “local”. Ironic, though, how some Aussies are quick to want us to merge with them while others want to treat us as foreign as Japan. Maybe we all need to hit pause and have a cup of tea. That’s sure to make things better.


Anonymous said...

NZ tv is crap. get over it.

Arthur Schenck said...

Were I to be uncharitable, which I never am, I could suggest that anyone thinking Aussie TV is good should consider two words: "McLeaod's Daughters". Nuff said.

Well, maybe not: "Neighbours", "Home and Away", "Today", "Backyard Blitz" (although Jamie almost makes up for it), "Sky News Australia", the country just keep giving and giving...

Seriously, ALL countries make crap TV--some programmes just have less stench than others. I personally don't watch Outrageous Fortune because it is crap. So, too, are a lot of American shows. Or Aussie shows. So what?

If NZ TV shows are really crap, then the Aussie TV makers have nothing to fear, do they? Perhaps, then, they should be the ones to "get over it?"