The Best of the Week.
SUNDAY JANUARY 10
The Sunday Feature (RNZ Concert, 1.00pm). In the second episode of Taloa: An Exploration of Music by American Indian and Maori Composers, Chickasaw composer Jerod Tate investigates the integration of traditional instruments with Western classical instrumentation. The programme features interviews with leading taonga puoro performers Horomona Horo and James Webster.
Goodie, Goodie! Python, Python! The Lost Cambridge Circus Tapes (RNZ National, 1.10pm). Like taking the Tardis back in time – here’s a series of recordings unearthed from RNZ’s archives that feature capping revue the Cambridge Circus, which toured New Zealand in 1964. Included in the cast were two future Goodies (Tim Brooke-Taylor and Bill Oddie) and two Pythons (Graham Chapman and John Cleese). Today: The Cardinal Richelieu Show, in which Brooke-Taylor books the holiday from hell and Oddie thinks he’s turning into a bird.
Opera on Sunday (RNZ Concert, 6.00pm). The Metropolitan Opera’s Rat Pack makeover of Verdi’s Rigoletto gets another outing – its dazzling neon sets and chorus-girl staging were applauded by audiences; it’s a mise en scène that seems appropriate for a story about sin and murder. American tenor Stephen Costello is the licentious Duke of Mantua, who seduces Rigoletto’s beautiful daughter Gilda (Russian Olga Peretyatko); Slovakian bass Štefan Kocán is the assassin Sparafucile; and in the title role is Georgian baritone George Gagnidze.
MONDAY JANUARY 11
Marcus Lush (Newstalk ZB, 8.00pm weekdays). The man from Southland returns to his more natural habitat of nights, where many strange and interesting things may happen. Bring back Condensed Milk Thursdays, Marcus. But what is happening to Kerre McIvor? Glad you asked – she is moving into the daylight, with a new gig at noon with Mark Dye from today.
Your chance to comment on TV and radio
I can’t believe TV3 is scrapping the investigative programme 3D. Given the important issues it has brought to our attention and the issues where it has been instrumental in bringing about justice (Teina Pora, for example), I can only assume it has rattled too many cages and this decision is politically motivated.
If TV3 was merely looking to save some money, look no further than scrapping the moronic, totally unfunny 7 Days and Jono and Ben.
Congratulations, TV3, 2015 has seen you complete the dumbing-down of your brand. No more investigative journalism to dilute the rich vein of trashy television; no current affairs to keep our society safe; no challenging of the status quo; and nothing that might educate.
I watched the final 3D and was reminded of the profound worth of good journalism that Paula Penfold, Melanie Reid et al have done over the years. For it to be flicked away on a management whim is depressing.
Throughout history, good journalism has been essential to civilised societies. The power to shine a light onto that which prefers the dark, to question, to challenge, to educate – this is the work of the media. You have a responsibility to do more than entertain. To be exhorted to check out Scout’s trivial nothingness just before we watch the world’s news about sums you up.
Why are people worried about programme times? We record everything we might want to see on Freeview. So we watch The Nation, Q+A, 3D, Sunday, good late-night films and documentaries – even the news – when it’s convenient to us, whizzing through commercials. There must be many like us. Does our recorded viewing register on the ratings? How long before the advertisers realise they are wasting their money?
GREEN MEANS STOP
To me, green signals a beginning, a take off, and red is for stop, finish, no more. So, why are new programmes in the TV listings marked with red and finals with green?
Fiona Rae responds: It does seem weird, but it’s a hangover from the days before the little boxes when we coloured the time and title of a new programme red. Readers can write in to Talkback and let us know if they’d prefer green boxes for new shows and red for finals.
Send comments, queries or complaints about radio or television to: email@example.com, or Talkback, NZ Listener, Private Bag 92512, Wellesley St, Auckland 1141.
Follow the Listener on Twitter or Facebook.