Monday, April 28, 2008

Worst NZ television

This has got be a good thing, really: It took me nearly thirteen years before I saw a New Zealand television programme that was so bad, so cringe-making, so bloody awful that I count it among the worst television programmes I’ve ever seen. Thirteen years is a pretty good run, but it had to end.

Television New Zealand has inflicted a home-grown version of the British series, “Stars in their Eyes”, in which amateurs “transform” to perform as someone famous. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then the stars imitated on this programme should rightly feel deeply insulted.

It wasn’t just that the performers sounded (and looked) very little like the famous person they were trying to imitate; the pain was in their inability to stay on pitch on in tune. On the debut episode, the Freddie Mercury imitator even sported fake Freddie teeth, making him look like he was going to a fancy dress party.

Host Simon Barnett gamely tried to keep the show moving forward, though he was a bit cheesy in doing so, but his efforts were comparable to prolonging a root canal. Barnett is best known as a radio host and a sometime venturer into politics, backing the people who promote smacking children. But it’s this show that may do the most to tarnish his reputation.

I suppose I could have avoided all these deep cuts if I’d simply said I hated the programme and won’t be watching again. But TVNZ has been inflicting several awful programmes on us: A NZ version of “Dancing with the Stars [sic]” and lately—and most inexplicably—a new remake of the old American game show, “Wheel of Fortune”. So part of it is that this latest show is just one bad programme too many. Mostly, though, it’s just that this programme is so incredibly bad.

One truly awful show in thirteen years. I still say that’s pretty good.

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