The Best and Worst of New Zealand Television

Here in New Zealand, where I live, most of the shows you’re likely to see on our four or five main broadcasting channels are American. But you do get a few Kiwi shows, some of them good and some bad. Here’s a short list for your amusement:

The Best:

7 Days (2009-present)

My personal favourite Kiwi show and probably the funniest thing on Kiwi television, this show pokes fun at the current events of the nation and the past week, playing every Friday night. A panel of brilliant Kiwi (and overseas) comics make hilarious jokes with a helping of controversial profanity and politically incorrect insults the most hilarious thing you’re likely to find ’round here.

Outrageous Fortune (2005-2010)

Although 7 Days is the funniest show, if you take in all elements of entertainment, Outrageous Fortune has to be the best. It revolves around a family of criminals who decide to go straight when their patriarch is jailed. Full of humour and Kiwi-style originality, thousands of New Zealanders tuned in to see this brilliant show each week until it finished at the end of last year. It was the best show on Kiwi TV, and it had a great run.

The Flight of the Conchords (2007-2009)

This extremely popular show originally aired on HBO in America, but it has become just as famous (probably more so) here in New Zealand. The unique brand of offbeat humour which is somewhat of a mix between Wes Anderson and Judd Apatow has made millions laugh, and though it only ran for two seasons, it still remains a cult classic both here and abroad.

The Jaquie Brown Diaries (2008-2009)

Yet another offbeat Kiwi comedy, this show presented us with the already known Jaquie Brown, a comedienne playing a fictionalized version of herself. She is a “celebrity” trying to succeed in a world unable to accept her. And as a result, hilarity ensues. Not the best Kiwi show, but an acceptable and funny one nonetheless.

Diplomatic Immunity (2009)

One of the truly funnier Kiwi shows, Diplomatic Immunity poked fun at the raw and “unorganised” politics of the Pacific Islands, it follows the ambassador of a fictional Pacific country, his disgraceful attitude, and attempts to straighten him out. There’s true comedy here, and it’s a shame the show never had a future.

RadiRadiRah (2010-????)

One of the newer and funnier Kiwi sketch shows, RadiRadiRah has so far had one, funny season. Though parts of it were weak, the now iconic “Beached As” whale and the strangely appealing Gavin Hoode sketches have no doubt had an influence on Kiwi comedy, as well as reminding us of is possibilities.

The Worst:

Go Girls (2010-????)

This show had an interesting premise, but audiences looking for strong acting and originality were to be disappointed. Not the worst show, but a real let down.

Shortland Street (1992-present)

The show has been around for a long time, and I admit in the early days it might’ve had something. But now, it’s reduced to clichéd, unoriginal storylines and disappointing acting. The show’s pathetic attempts at evoking emotion are laughable, the characters are flawed, and episodes are in desperate need of rewrites.

So there. Those’re a few of the TV shows we’ve braved over the recent years. There are a lot more, but these are the ones that get the most recognition. Seen any of them? Leave a comment below.

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About Tyler

Patient observer of all things film and music, from Béla Tarr to Boards of Canada. Foul mouthed and clinging to the edge of sanity.

Posted on July 19, 2011, in TV Shows and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. The Killian Curse was the absolute worst program to cone out of this country. Ugh, I have nightmares just thinking about it.

    Anyways, I don’t watch many NZ shows (or movies for that matter) because we have such terrible accents, which really downgrades the old acting skills.

  2. I used to bloody love Shortland Street!!! HAHAHA Back when I was a Sutdent and got to watch lunch time TV (which is when it used to be on over her)

    The rest apart from Conchords I haven’t heard of.

    Is there no real good crime/murder dramas with a black comedy running through it? Or a good cop show like ‘Luther’?

    • There have been a lot of crime dramas recently, but they seem to have came and went, and most of them were probably Australian.

      It’s easy to notice a steady decline in Shortland Street over the past ten years.

  3. Unfortunately, none of these have made it to Canada aside from the Flight, which is brilliant. 7 Days sounds like a Canadian show called “This Hour Has 22 Minutes”, a sort of news-like satire that focuses on the previous week’s politics and the like. It’s off the air now, but was quite funny while it was around.

    • Sounds interesting. I don’t think there’s any other show on Earth that has captured so beautifully and offensively the comedy of politics.

  4. Flight of the Conchords might be my favorite show. I’m glad they only made two seasons because the series is absolutely perfect and never grew tired or ran out of steam.

  5. Tell me people are you ready. Oh oh here we go on the Erin Simpson show, I got what you wanna know, so come and take it. Come on come on give me what you got got listen honey. We can take it to the top top don’t you worry. Alright, turn it up in every city.

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