Is Agent Anna worth watching?

agent-annaThis morning TVNZ sent out a press release celebrating the ratings success of Robyn Malcom’s new show, Agent Anna.  When we reviewed it we found it pretty hard to watch and while we don’t appear to be alone, the ratings would suggest that people are still watching it.

So, here is a question for those who have seen more than the first episode.  Is it really worth watching?

Is Agent Anna worth sticking with?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Comedy is a winning formula for TV ONE with new local series Agent Anna leading Thursday night’s popular line-up.

Starring beloved actress Robyn Malcolm in the title role, Agent Anna has proven itself an instant winner with New Zealand audiences. More than 1.2 million New Zealanders (5+) have tuned in to Agent Anna so far this series, and on average more than 400,000 (5+) watched each episode.

TVNZ Commissioner of Drama and Comedy, Kathleen Anderson says, “We’re thrilled the audience is enjoying Agent Anna. We also know it just keeps getting better, so we think the viewers are in for a real treat.”

Agent Anna Producer, Rachel Gardner says, “We set out to make a comedy that all Kiwis would relate to and find funny. We wanted to create characters that have a little bit of something that everyone can identify with in some way. We’re proud of the show and are thrilled the audience is giving it the thumbs up. It’s in a large part thanks to the talents of the writing team, Vanessa Alexander and Maxine Fleming, that we’ve achieved what we have – and the stellar cast headed by Robyn Malcolm.”

Jeff Latch, Head of TV ONE and TV2 is delighted with the ratings success and agrees it can be attributed to those involved in making the series.

“It’s fantastic to see a primetime local comedy series resonate with the New Zealand audience. Thanks to NZ On Air’s support, commissioning, programming and the fantastic team at Great Southern Film and Television for delivering a superb series,” he says.

Jane Wrightson, Chief Executive of NZ On Air says, “It’s no surprise that Agent Anna is attracting a big audience. We received a great proposal from a very strong team and we’re proud to support this great local comedy for viewers to enjoy.”

With a strong lead-in from Agent Anna,Miranda, Mrs Brown’s Boys and Citizen Khan have turned TV ONE’s Thursday night into a winning comedy blockbuster. On average more than 30% of the available viewing audience is watching the line-up and these comedies are the most watched in their time zone.

Agent Anna screens on Thursday nights, 8:30pm on TV ONE.

About the author

Regan is one of the co-founders of Throng Media.
If they're on, I'm usually watching Game of Thrones, The Killing, 24, Battlestar Galactica, The X Factor, Survivor, Go Girls, and the NRL.
More from this author »

  • http://www.facebook.com/ky.wadsworth Ky Wadsworth

    It’s very lighthearted and fluffy…and I have actually enjoyed watching it after work, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to see it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chris.philpott Chris Philpott

    Our reviews of the first episode were almost polar opposites, haha (mine is here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/blogs/on-the-box/8249144/Agent-Anna-impresses-plus-next-weeks-TV) – but sadly episode 2 and 3 have kinda devolved into more straightforward comedy (“LOL there is a man under her desk”, “LOL she spilt stuff on her shirt right before the important moment”); I thought it was going to be a redemption story about someone undergoing a major life change, a la Enlightened, but it hasn’t gone that way at all. Sadly.

    I will say this though: comparisons to Outrageous Fortune are ridiculous. Agent Anna has about as much in common with OF as Miranda, the show following it, does.

    • http://www.facebook.com/reganjcunliffe Regan Cunliffe

      The comparisons were more around the characters Robyn has played. Anna was just awful to watch first episode where as Robyn made us love Cheryl West from her first moments on screen. Perhaps the issue is that she is acting out a character she created rather than taking direction from someone else.

      In any case, and I would need to check, but I’m pretty sure AA is doing better than OF did first season. The TV One effect?

      • Craig_Ranapia

        Who “we”, kemosabe? Perhaps the ratings told a very different story, but I think OF took a fair while to find its feet — which shouldn’t surprise, because at its best it managed a very tricky balancing act between broad comedy and pretty effing intense drama.

  • David Finch

    Perhaps you need to ask the same question about The Blue Rose which appears to be in a ratings freefall.

    • http://www.facebook.com/reganjcunliffe Regan Cunliffe

      I’m getting to that…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=684221341 Trevor Ashman

    TVNZ certainly love patting themselves on their backs YUCK :(

    • http://www.facebook.com/reganjcunliffe Regan Cunliffe

      If 1.2million have watched in total and the average audience is around 400k, does that mean that 800,000, or 2/3rds of people aren’t coming back for more?

  • TV Monkey

    I wasn’t expecting much from Agent Anna but was pleasantly surprised. Didn’t like Blue Rose much, just feels contrived somehow. The ratings have dropped for it? How do you find out such things? I find the criticism of Regan’s that basically boils down to ‘She’s not like Cheryl West and I don’t like it cos I liked Cheryl West’ to be pretty lame for surely obvious reasons.

    • http://www.facebook.com/reganjcunliffe Regan Cunliffe

      It’s not that Anna isn’t “like” Cheryl West but rather that she has no life in her. Cheryl was full of life, Anna seems like a walking corpse.

  • TV Monkey

    Okay, sorry I found it. Holy cow 150 000 that’s pretty brutal. I remember when people were saying The Cult and This is Not My Life didn’t rate that well, but even at their lowest point they were still like 200 000 or so. Jeez Louise. Can’t remember if they were 8.30 shows either.

    • TVMonkey

      Sorry, that was confusing, I was talking about latest blue rose ratings there :) in reply to my earlier comment asking about it.

  • Brett C

    “for those who have seen more than the first episode. Is it really worth watching?” Not really a fair question. Can’t judge this show just by the 1st episode only.

    • http://www.facebook.com/reganjcunliffe Regan Cunliffe

      I did judge the show by the first episode and I haven’t seen the rest so it is totally a fair question of me to ask anyone who has seen the further episodes as to whether or not I should give it another go…

  • anon

    Yes, you should give it another go! As Robyn Malcolm says “a very cynical poll with comments based on only first episode.”

  • Sophie

    Isn’t it only like 6 episodes long, cos that’s the main thing that put me off. I just don’t that’s long enough to have a beginning, middle and end in terms of plot and character development and i don’t feel like I would get entertained or informed through watching it. I haven’t seen any of it and none of the reviews I’ve read had made me change my mind and decide to give it a go.

    • TV Monkey

      Yeah, I would like to see a proper length series, like 12 or 13 episodes.

  • Jim

    Agent Anna is really good one of the better NZ shows in recent years… don’t be hating on TVNZ for the sake of it they got this press release bang on. ..

  • Hab

    Agent Anna is one of the few local things TVNZ have got right this year! It’s certainly improved Thursday night performance

  • Ana

    You just don’t like like the character Robyn is playing, especially when compared to Cheryl. And I don’t think you’re the target audience.

    But the point is many women in their 40s who’ve just divorced can relate to the loss of confidence.

    And when you consider the most re-occurring role on TV for women is that of a 25-year-old corpse, it’s actually quite nice to see women breathing…and being older and having concerns beyond what shoes to wear and finding a boyfriend.

    It’s our Rafters, but cooler, I reckon.

  • Anon

    I didn’t see the first episode or read any reviews so I watched episode two with anticipation of watching Robyn Malcolm shape a new character. And it was a treat. I will watch it again simply because of her performance. Sure, I too find myself living in similar circumstances so there was an immediate empathy with Anna and so I am also most likely the target audience. Malcolm definitely makes it worth going back to.

  • aaronimpact

    I saw bits of the first episode of Agent Anna – horrible sex jokes. I think the Blue Rose is quite good, they’re not trying to use cheap comedy.

  • philip smith

    as the maker of agent anna i can only thank throngs people for giving it such an enormous thumbs up. we are stoked! wow! episode five has been described as an nz comedy classic by pre screeners so … standby. thanks to regan and his team for supporting a show outside the safety zone! it must have been a really really scary experience. cheers again to the 69% of throngers who love it. ep 5 – for you all. phil smith

  • Rox and Pat

    Love it, BUT would like to see each storyline go for 1 hour. 1/2 is too short, you just get into it and it finishes. There is definitely a bit of a few of us in there. Well done

  • Peter Fleming

    The New Zealand Herald reports that the unreal estate industry is a bit prickly about the brilliant comedy series Agent Anna.The Royal New Zealand Herald reports that the unreal estate industry is a bit prickly about the brilliant comedy series Agent Anna.
    The series depicts pretty much what went on in some of the rogue agencies just a few years ago.
    The industry needs to lighten-up and join New Zealanders in enjoying what is a brilliant comedy taking the urine out of the industry that few New Zealanders still do not entirely trust for integrity and honesty.
    In 2012, (for trustworthiness), the industry was ranked 35 out of the 40 industries surveyed… just ahead of sex workers, car salespeople and those pesky telemarketers.
    Robyn Malcolm, you are brilliantly cast in the role as Agent Anna.
    This series will be acknowledged as a memorable and hugely entertaining programme and will be repeated time and time again in the future as a Kiwi icon… just like the repeats that Fawlty Towers and the other memorable comedy programmes have enjoyed…. betcha!
    The series depicts pretty much what went on in some of the rogue agencies just a few years ago.
    The industry needs to lighten-up and join New Zealanders in enjoying what is a brilliant comedy taking the urine out of the industry that few New Zealanders still do not entirely trust for integrity and honesty.
    In 2012, (for trustworthiness), the industry was ranked 35 out of the 40 industries surveyed… just ahead of sex workers, car salespeople and those pesky telemarketers.
    Robyn Malcolm, you are brilliantly cast in the role as Agent Anna.
    This series will be acknowledged as a memorable and hugely entertaining programme and will be repeated time and time again in the future as a Kiwi icon… just like the repeats that Fawlty Towers and the other memorable comedy programmes have enjoyed…. betcha!