Tuesday, February 15, 2005

TV Week

God, I seriously love ER. The new series started with a hiss and a roar - Dr Pratt, the Asian Dr and their kid are run off the road into the lake - the parents are OK but bubs is never to be seen again. Seela wanders back from Michigan and, despite being told she no longer works at County General, seems to have lots to do. Random things happened to Sam and Carter that I couldn't really follow, because I missed most of the last series.

Tonight's show was great. Seela' s parents turn up determined to take her home, saying that she owes them - and she probably does, as they've sacrificed a lot to put her through med school. But is it really what she wanted to do, was it ever? That's the dilemma she's working through and Dad's pressure is not helping. Maybe it is being selfish, but she can't really be expected to live out her parents' dream for her, can she? If she wants to improvise for a bit, why not? It may even lead to her committing to being a doctor. It is this sort of back-storying that makes ER so good - in a few deft conversations, so much is made clear. Then there was Abi - her first real day as a doctor, and the transition from being a nurse was not easy for her. Had to laugh when her little new sidekick, Penny, told her off for not recognising the importance of nurses. She had two main patients - a fellow who was pretty much beaten to death for being gay and a young Mexican girl who was abducted and used as a sex slave. Of course, Abi rescues her, not just from her "aunt" but also from the Child Protection people, reunites her with her family and sends her off to Mexico. The girl is, unsurprisingly, terrified about the long trip back. It was really sweet to see the show end, with the girl on the train home, asleep on Seela's shoulder.

There has been a lot of talk about the new show on 2, Lost. I saw it for the first time last week and can't say it made much of an impression on me. Jack, who seems to be the central character, reminded me of the older brother off Party of Five and there was some random story about a girl who had killed someone stuck on the island with a fellow who was somehow taking her to justice. I guess the one interesting point was Jack pontificating about how they were all leaving their lives behind, getting a fresh start on the island - which is true, but not enough. Much the same for the Amazing Race - the finalists were all so bland and whiny it was hard to tell them apart. At least the guy with the hair too stupid to be true didn't win.

Ah well, the new Brit comedy on One made up for it. Doc Green is the new vehicle for Martin Clunes (of Men Behaving Badly fame). He's a brilliant surgeon going for a sea-change - taking up a position as GP in a tiny Cornish (?) village. The committee appointing him is blown away to get a man of his calibre, although the hot school teacher chick votes against him because he has no social skills. And, certainly, he manages to get pretty much everyone offside very quickly. The show looks like it has promise - apart from Martin hanging woefully around the school teacher, there is the depressed policeman, the know-it-all but useless plumber, the receptionist with attitude and the dog which seems to have adopted Martin. His first case is a man presenting with over-developed breasts, which Martin quickly works out is the result of using his wife's HRT cream as a lubricant. At least, he thinks so until the young surfer dude comes in with the same problem.

Not TV, but I'm really getting sick of Nine To Noon. It was a real pleasure having Eva Radich running it, even Maggie Barry was OK if a bit soft. But Linda Clark is just so annoying: today's show was a classic illustration. She had a story about a 15 year old girl who had run away, but had seen a couple of doctors and made use of her bank accounts. Linda had the bit between the teeth, saying that the doctor should have got in touch with the parents. She started with the mum, who was complaining about the doctors fobbing her off with a citing of the Privacy Act. Linda agreed, and brought in a doctor, saying that surely it was commonsense that parents be told if their kids have seen a doctor. Last in the sequence was the Privacy Commissioner - who finally said what some of us already knew - the Privacy Act does allow discolsure of personal information about kids under 16. Now, shouldn't Linda have started her interviews armed with that information, rather than going off half cocked and relying upon "commonsense"? The Privacy Commissioner closed Linda down pretty quickly when she started saying that because the parents were guaranteeing the kids bank account, it was only commonsense that the parents should be given information about their kid's operating of the account.

Speaking of radio - Kiwi FM started last week. Somehow, Brent Impey thinks that that answers any need NZ might have for a national youth network, despite it not being aimed at the youth or nation-wide. I actually think that we have a greater need for a national, state funded, NZ music network than a youth one - since a lot of the commercial stations seem to be aimed at the juvenile audience and then there are the student stations. Frontseat was asking about all this last week: I've written in, hoping to win the prize for best letter.


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