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Coverband: Even losers get lucky

Taken from NZ Herald, by Greg Dixon.

So you wanna be a rock 'n' roll star?

Then listen now to what I say: just get an electric guitar and take some time and learn how to play. Then, maybe, if your hair's combed right and your pants fit tight, you'll have a big hit and move to LA and ... then what?

Well hopefully, like Meatloaf bellowed, your rock 'n' roll dreams will come true. Bt what if they don't? It is with this alternative universe, the shaky afterlife following the half-life of rock 'n' roll success, that new local comedy, the terrifically silly and rather mishchievous Coverband (9.30pm, Thursdays, TV One) has decided to have some fun.

This is the story of the brothers Gibson, Matt and Alex, who started a band at high school. They played guitar and bass; Ivy was the singer. At first they called themselves Ivy and the Poison (ha!) "It was Ivy's idea," the opening voiceover from Matt told us, "to change the name of the band to just 'Ivy'." (a poke at the ego of singers! ha again!) And then they had the big hit and Ivy and Matt moved to LA - dumping brother Alex and drummer Knuckles in the process - and then ...

it all went pear-shaped.


Read the full review here.
   

Brokenwood Mysteries: A moment of sleuth

Taken from NZ Herald, by Lydia Jenkin.

It was Miss Scarlett, in the billiard room, with the candlestick.

TimeOut wanted to find out whether Neill Rea and Fern Sutherland's roles in new murder mystery series The Brokenwood Mysteries had heightened their powers of deduction. So we challenged them to a game of Cluedo, the winner being the first to discover Miss Scarlett's misdeeds.

It initially took us a while to remember the rules of the game (correct protocol must be adhered to) and get a little momentum going with our investigations, but once we discovered the secret passageways that ran between the kitchen, study, conservatory, and lounge, we were on a roll. Questions began flying as we tried to out-manoeuvre each other in figuring out who had killed poor Dr Black, with what handy implement, in which room of Tudor Close.

Both Rea and Sutherland claim to have figured out who the killers were early on in the likes of Broadchurch and The Killing, and their fictional counterparts - Detective Inspector Mike Shepherd, and Detective Kristin Sims - have recently solved four murder mysteries in Brokenwood.

So you'd think one of them would win...


Read the full article here.
   

Flat3’s new season trailer

Flat3 follows Lee, Jessica and Perlina as they try to figure out who they are, what they're doing in this life, and whose turn it is to buy toilet paper.

Sometimes smart, often silly, a little rude and a lot awkward, Flat3 is a Kiwi comedy with a unique cultural take - universal in its specificity and relatable in its fresh perspective.

The series is co-written and directed by Roseanne Liang, director of My Wedding and Other Secrets, and features new Go Girl JJ Fong.

Season 3's release date is 26 September, 2014.


FLAT 3 Season 3 Trailer from Flat3 on Vimeo.

   

David Farrier: I was Rhys Darby’s straight man

Taken from NZ Herald, by David Farrier.

I met Rhys Darby in 2007. I was interviewing him about the success of a small show called Flight of the Conchords. His wife Rosie was in the room, giggling away. Their first child was in a pram, sleeping.

My questions were pretty good, before my brain went to that bad place journalists have, full of terrible questions like "How did it make you feel?"

The questions I pulled out was. "Where do you get your ideas?" Rhys looked me directly in the eyes, paused, and guffawed. "That's a hack question!" He'd never been more right.

Years later and we'd become friends, mainly bonding over our low-fi radio show/podcast about Bigfoot called The Cryptid Factor. I'd usually do the interviews on the show, and at some point Rhys hit me with the concept of a TV show he was writing, in which he wanted to cast me ... as me. I thought it was a joke at the time, then Short Poppies happened.


Read the full article here.
   

Coverband: Playing jukebox for jokes

Taken from NZ Herald, by Lydia Jenkin.

Sticky-carpet pubs filled with rowdy drinkers, basly lit living rooms filled with inebriated party guests, sterile office dos with staff only there for the free beer - such is the glamorous life of a covers band. But the creators of a new local TV show thought it could be fodder for a comedy series.

It all started in 2007, when Johnny Barker's 48Hours film competition team, called Lens Flare, won the grand prize with a short musical comedy, Lease, about three hapless musicians. With the prize money, Barker decided to shoot a trailer with his teammates Jared Kahi and Brendon Morrow for a TV series idea they had rattling around, and see if they could get anyone interested.

It was when The Down Low Concept (Nigel McCulloch, Ryan Hutchings and Jarrod Holt, who also created 7 Days and Hounds) came on board that NZ On Air and TVNZ also came to the party with some funding.

"With The Down Low Concept's reputation, things finally worked out," Barker explains. "Initially I thought of it as a music-based drama, and now it's got that Down Low stamp on it, it's taken a very quirky turn. They're great writers."


Read the full article here.
   

Lucy Lawless: Hungry children - the hidden toll

Social scientists and doctors from the Child Poverty Action Group are up in arms because more than a quarter of a million Kiwi children are living beneath the breadline.

Who are these kids? I can't see them from my suburb. And why the hell should my family's tax dollars be spent on people who can't or won't look after their own?

The concept of being my brother's keeper is totally out of fashion. When I was a kid we were always raising money for the "pagan babies", but we are now hardened to the plight of people we can't see or don't understand.

But here's the truth: we are already paying for the offspring of poverty.

Hungry children are sick children. Sick children make poor students who struggle to become productive members of society. Feeding children in schools is a smart strategy. More accomplished students will profit all New Zealand in the long run.

Some wonderful individuals and companies have generated breakfast programmes in some of our neediest schools but we need a cross-party pact to prioritise the ethical treatment of little people.

Doctors from CPAG say the effect of totally preventable, poverty-related diseases on our hospitals' budgets is significant and about to snowball. A great deal of this stems from the wretched standard of housing we find acceptable in NZ.

Read the full article here.
   

Flat3’s ‘most ambitious season’ out this month

Taken from 3News, by Daniel Rutledge.

Kiwi cult comedy web series Flat3 is back for a third season, starting September 26.

The show follows three Kiwi-Asian flatmates as they figure out who they are, what they're doing in love and life and whose turn it is to buy toilet paper. It's been described as Girls meets Flight of the Conchords, with a touch of Bridget Jones' Diary.

Flat3 was created by stars JJ Fong, Perlina Lau and Ally Xue, who were inspired to make it through a combination of annoyance at typecasting and the desire to take the kind of comedy they loved and make it their own. The show is written and directed by Roseanna Liang and produced by Kiel McNaughton.

"At the beginning we didn't know whether people would like the show or feel they could relate to it, but the overall response has been so positive," says Lau. "People have been very generous in their responses and open about the show. We really appreciate the feedback and love that we've dreated something people can watch and recognise themselves or their friends in their characters."


Read the full article here.
   

The Brokenwood Mysteries - Coming soon to Prime TV

The Brokenwood Mysteries comprises four two-hour murder mystery stories set in a seemingly quiet country town where the town's newest resident, Detective Inspector Mike Shepherd, finds that murder lurks in even the most homely location.

Neill Rea (Scarfies, Legend of the Seeker, Go Girls) stars in the lead role of DI Shepherd while Fern Sutherland (The Almighty Johnsons) plays Detective Constable Kristin Sims.

Each telefeature in the series is a standalone story which sees the show's two lead police officers trying to solve a murder case. Chris Bailey (Nothing Trivial, Street Legal) is Producer, while Tim Balme (Stolen, The Almighty Johnsons) is the lead writer. James Griffin (Outrageous Fortune, The Almighty Johnsons, Sione's Wedding) has also penned one script.

The Brokenwood Mysteries was filmed in the greater Auckland region and will screen on Prime TV in New Zealand later in 2014. The production received funding from NZ On Air.

   

Coverband - Coming soon to TV One

Coverband... a story of broken hearts, broken dreams, sex, drugs and... other people's music.

No one grows up wanting to play in a covers band. It's what happens when the dream of being a rock star has faded and the desperate need for cash takes precedence over any faltering ambition.

Like all cover bands, The Silhouettes nearly made it with their original material. Now they're on the bottom rung of a very shonky ladder to nowehere special, in a world where dodgy promoters and drunk crowds pretend that they're having a good time - but would rather just listen to the original track on an iPod. But unlike everyone else in the scene, The Silhouettes' leader Matt Gibson isn't ready to give up on the dream. Not while he has unfinished business with his former lead singer, the now infinitely more successful Ivy.

Starring Matt Whelan (Go Girls), Johnny Barker (Shortland Street, Go Girls) and Wesley Dowdell (Outrageous Fortune).

   

Homegrown and top class

Taken from NZ Herald, by Lydia Jenkin.

I'm not sure what's got into the water this year, but it's clearly agreeing with local film-makers, because we're currently enjoying one of the best crop of local films to be released in quite some time - and it's not just us local critics who think so.

Not only are the films doing well at the local box office, but they're winning awards overseas, and being invited to fancy festivals/

Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi's What We Do In the Shadows won glowing reviews for international festivals before it even opened in New Zealand and, in the 11 weeks since it kicked off here, it's grossed over $2.5 million at the box office.

The Dark Horse has won nothing but praise and accolades, for its stars (Cliff Curtis and James Rolleston) and creators, and has taken more $1.5 million locally in the five weeks since it opened.


Read the full article here.
   
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