December 29-January 4: Online

by Fiona Rae / 20 December, 2012
Our actors acting over there, and animals doin' stuff.
Lucy Lawless in Parks and Recreation


TAKE THAT, USA: It’s unusual for little ol’ us to be ahead of the US when it comes to television, but guess what? Downton Abbey’s season three has only recently started playing there. In an eight-minute video, CBS’s Martha Teichner looks behind the scenes, catching the stars behaving in a shockingly modern way. No spoilers because we’ve already seen it!

PARKS AND REC AND LAWLESS: Parks and Recreation recently added to its awesomeness with a guest-star role for our own Lucy Lawless. Turns out she’s Ron Swanson’s perfect woman. They meet when he turns up to fill her pothole. (Oh, that did not sound right.) Here are a few clips from the episode, which will screen here next year on Four.

OUR ACTORS ACTING OVER THERE: Speaking of Kiwis in Hollywood, Spartacus star Manu Bennett has been cast in superhero series Arrow, an adaptation of the comic Green Arrow, and Outrageous Fortune’s Antony Starr gets his big US break very soon in Banshee, the new series executive-produced by True Blood creator Alan Ball. An official trailer is now online.

PACK THE PRECIOUS: Among the many interviews and press conferences and launches for The Hobbit, surely the most tenuous is travel guide Lonely Planet’s discussion with Andy Serkis about what Gollum would pack on a holiday. It’s nice to see that Gollum’s voice isn’t a tricksy computer contrivance, though.

ANIMALS DOIN’ STUFF #1: This little kitteh learns how to “scratch” in this video, although that’s no way to treat a Bob Marley record. Nora the Piano Cat goes one better and makes her own music.

ANIMALS DOIN’ STUFF #2: The year in news has definitely ended on a high with old SPCA dogs learning the new trick of driving. Porter, the World’s First Driving Dog has been viewed more than 350,000 times on YouTube:
bit.ly/YSz8UV. Here's the official site.
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