Sunday, February 06, 2005


I don't know why, but I seem to have watched an abnormal amount of TV over the past week or two, perhaps it is just my sub-conscious ensuring that I rest up before the year starts again. Very little, unfortunately, stands out as being good or worthwhile viewing - it has been nice catching up with Felicity again, and astonishing to see just how precocious the Olsen twins were before they were even teenagers, but I am sure there much better things I could have been doing with my time.

One thing I did not know is that TV3 has started showing M*A*S*H, yet again, right from the beginning - certainly from the period before I was even watching TV. The episodes I saw this week were dated 1972; they still had Henry Blake in charge, Hawkeye and Trapper John were running the place and Klinger only made one appearance. Yep - checking out the episode guide, I have seen the very first episode aired (if you ignore the pilot). That is cool, because it is a major programme in the history of TV and, while I didn't really recognise this until I saw a documentary about the anniversary of M*A*S*H, they were quite innovative - some of those shots in the hospital anticipate the moving action shots in ER, for example.

And as one programme starts, another finishes: we are at the end of the second series of Teachers and TV1 are giving it a rest, putting on a pretty weak comedy
Two Pints Of Lager in its place. The episode two weeks ago seemed to lack direction and spark - Simon was gone, and the focus seemed to be on Jenny regaining her status as uber-teacher: she had this plan to keep a chart of all the information various teachers learnt about their pupils, as she (rightly, I would have though) claimed it was good for kids if their teachers had some clues to them as people. Of coure, the others, led by JP, sabotaged her plan. The final focussed on the end of year piss-up and lots of casual sex - Susan asked Bryan if he'd mind shagging her, the new teacher made a grand entrance by scoring Penny, even Kurt gets to sleep with Liz (to her dissappointment). But it wasn't all bad - Kurt started to see Carol as attractive again and Bob has managed to re-ignite something with his wife.

Of course, Wednesday night was a big night in NZ TV land, with the new friends spin-off Joey, the new series of Scrubs and then the new Gilligan's Isle-like Lost. I was out to dinner and saw none of them.

Two other programmes really stand out - last Friday, there was a ridiculous film called Almost Heroes, in which Matthew Perry led an expedition across America in an attempt to hit the Pacific before Lewis & Clark. I really liked the part where he was laid up and needed an eagle egg to be cured. His fat co-leader (Chris Farley) gets the job of going back down the Rocky mountains and climbing a tree to fetch an egg. By the time he's attacked by the eagle and is back on the ground, his need to eat is stronger than his loyalty to his colleague - and fried eagle egg looked rather tasty. So, he goes up for another egg (and eagle attack) and again eats the egg, and then goes for the last one. This time he takes it back, with many longing looks at the egg, trips and breaks the egg - only to be told it was the shell needed. Not exactly cutting edge comedy, I know, but it was a nice way to relax.

Today, in some really bad timing, given that Nepal is under direct rule, martial law is imposed, all communications with the outside world are cut, the Intrepid Journey was Craig Parker's trip to Nepal, tracing his way through many of the places I went to (plus doing a bit of a trek above the snowline). The thing that really got to me, just like Pio's trip of a couple of weeks ago, was the food. Afterwards, I had an urgent need for Indian food - not your fancy rogan josh or chicken korma, but the kind of place that only has two choices: veg or non-veg. Some dhaal, rice and small servings of chicken and veg curry would be so good. I did go down town to find something suitable, but ended up with a very average chicken kedai at Mr India. Perhaps 2005 is the year to actually learn to make some of the indian food I crave.


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