Including 7 Days and Live to Dance

by Fiona Rae / 11 June, 2011


Country Calendar (TV1, 7.00pm). A study in minia­ture of the New Zealand horticultural industry as Calendar rolls into Motueka to meet Richard and Sue Horrell, orchardists who have had to constantly change crops in order to keep afloat. It started with tobacco in the 1980s, then kiwifruit, apples and grapes. Different apple varieties followed, and an organic block. Lately, gold kiwifruit are replacing green, and the Horrells are looking forward to gaining access to the Australian apple market later this year.

Walking with Dinosaurs (Prime, 7.30pm). The original CGI “nature” series – and even if computer graphics have improved in the short 12 years since it first aired, it’s still awesome. At the time, Walking with Dinosaurs was the most-expensive-per-minute documentary series ever made and spawned a raft of similar programmes, including daft sci-fi series Primeval. Happily, screening of the series coincides with the animatronic “arena spectacular” that is coming to Auckland at the end of the month.

Outrageous Fortune (TV3, 8.30pm). Yes, you read that right, but no, it’s not the lost season of Outrageous Fortune, unearthed during renovations at James Griffin’s house. TV3 goes way, way back to the beginning, when Wolf got put away, and Cheryl made the monumental decision that the family should go straight.

Hustle (UKTV, Sky 006, 9.20pm). Seven seasons is a lot in the UK for a drama series, but Hustle, the show about a group of con artists, is more popular than ever – this season was the most-watched yet. Mickey Bricks (Adrian Lister) and his team only con the bad guys; last season it was bankers and a deadbeat dad; this season, a corrupt MP, a shady judge and a ruthless football agent.


Netball (Sky Sport 1, Sky 030, 7.30pm and Prime, 9.30pm). The second of two games in this short series against the Australian Diamonds should give the Silver Ferns a tough preamble to the World Champs in Singapore in just three weeks’ time. We haven’t won that tournament since 2003, but perhaps the Trans­tasman ASB Championship, which was launched in 2008, will give the Ferns a greater edge.

The Food Truck (TV1, Sunday, 7.00pm). Brett McGregor doesn’t have one. Nadia Lim certainly doesn’t have one. Gordon Ramsay wouldn’t be seen dead in one. If Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall had one, it would probably run on the rendered offcuts of elderflowers and rabbits. Jamie Oliver had something typically fancy in which he drove around Italy. But, in short, none of these TV cooks has a truck. The chef who does have a truck is TVNZ’s latest find, Michael Van de Elzen. The Auckland chef has a kitted-out 1970s Bedford truck that takes the starring role in – wait for it – The Food Truck. Not that the truck cooks, mind you. That really would be something to see. The cheerful Van de Elzen, a good Kiwi chef in shorts and sneakers, is on a mission to create healthier versions of our favourite fast foods: pies, fish and chips, hotdogs, pizza, Chinese, Mexican, burgers and chicken. Some of these are easier than others. He begins with pies, which are “in our DNA”. Unfortunately, there are 500 calories per pie and a quantity of fat equivalent in size to a golf ball. We Kiwis stuff 65 million of these time-bombs into our mouths each year. In typical mission-doc style, Van De Elzen first samples the competition – one from a famously good pie shop in Auckland, a horrible pie from the service station (“it’s sh--”) and a gourmet pie in Kingsland (“not as good as I thought it would be”). He then visits a pie factory for a bit of a reality check: “Kiwis love meat pies”, he is told. There is no way he’ll get people to eat a vege pie. But on he goes, creating a bunch of lovely handmade pies for truckies down at the wharf, before working on three different kinds to sell to the good folk at the Whangamata Beach Hop and hot rod festival. We won’t ruin the surprise, but Jamie Oliver would be proud. Next week: fish and chips, which are also “in our DNA”.


My House My Castle (TV2, 8.00pm). Rob Harte wades into the murky waters of Western Springs, once Auckland’s water supply, but now a recreation and nature reserve next to Auckland Zoo. There lies the rub – the zoo has recently announced the acquisition of more elephants and it wants to take 2.5ha of the park to build a bigger enclosure for the pachyderms. Some residents are not best pleased and nor are animal rights groups. Harte talks with these groups and the zoo.

Kalgoorlie Cops (TV3, 8.00pm). Not a week goes by without a new fly-on-the-wall real-life cop series. What to say about this one? The title tells you where it’s at, although New Zealand audiences may not know that Kalgoorlie is on the edge of the Nullarbor Plain in the West Australia Outback and has a population of 32,000 – most of whom are employed at or service the Super Pit, the largest open-pit mine in Australia, which produces more than $1 billion worth of gold a year. All of this makes it a frontier town, with pubs on every corner, the highest per capita registration of customised Holdens and Ford V8s and its fair share of murders, drug trafficking, organised crime, prostitution and missing tourists. Modern-day Deadwood? We hope so.

Skins (Four, 9.30pm). The final, and Grace and Rich are planning to elope. Wait, what? When is this set – the 1960s? Are they stealing away to Gretna Green? What’s wrong with young people these days?


I Know a Sheila Like That (Maori, 8.00pm). The series about inspirational wahine meets waka ama star Vesna Aroha Radonich, who has triumphed over a hearing impairment to become a world-class paddler. She now works to inspire other young Maori women and says, “when I’m out on the water it’s just freedom, absolute freedom”.

Rabbit Fall (Maori, 9.30pm). Cool-looking Canadian drama series about a cop (playwright and jazz singer Andrea Menard) who is sent to the spooky remote town of the title and finds herself investigating possibly supernatural events. Naturally, she doesn’t believe all this nonsense – until she begins experiencing some pretty odd stuff. Rabbit Fall is Saskatoon’s first-ever drama series and the fictional town is set on the edge of Canada’s vast boreal forest.


After the Quake with Nigel Latta (TV1, 8.00pm). Psychologist Nigel Latta turns his attention to Christchurch, and the effects of 2/22 on children especially. In a series of community talks, Latta discusses the signs of stress in children and how the brain reacts to traumatic events and has advice for parents on how to help their kids get through. In addition, a website will be launched tomorrow (June 16) that features advice and numbers to call for assistance.

The Investigator (TV1, 9.30pm). Bryan Bruce shines the torch of truth on the investigation into the ­disappearance of Luana Williams, a sex worker who went missing in 1986 from her Tauranga home. Williams’s body has never been found and she was officially declared dead in 1999.


Live to Dance (Prime, 8.30pm). Paula Abdul – bringing the crazy since 2002. Abdul may no longer be on American Idol, but she’s still got plenty of nutso to give as one of the judges in this US version of the Brit series Got to Dance. The other judges are former Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt, and choreographer Travis Payne. You know how this goes – a nationwide search for the greatest dance act in America, yada, yada, yada.

7 Days (TV3, 9.30pm). Oh goody, our weekly random-joke generator returns. Same studio, same panellists (“7 Days is staying refreshingly the same,” says producer Jon Bridges) – why fix it when it ain’t broke?
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