benpaul12's blog

While watching Close Up tonight in the story about the
little old lady who was taken advantage of, someone had sent in a letter to
Close Up saying:

‘The treatment of the [lady] had bought me to tears.’

Now I do not expect that the person who wrote the letter to
have perfect English but this is a huge problem on our news shows where journalists consistently
use bought instead of brought. It does happen the other way
around but the former is the most common misuse.

I know that the quote is verbatim from an average Joe Blogs
but this is something that the producers of the show should correct (especially
when they read it out loud too). I would say though, they didn’t even pick up on it.

I have heard the journalist that does Good Sorts on One News
get it confused, our rugby commentators get it wrong and even some of my
lecturers at Auckland University confuse the two.

Brought is to bring something, bought is to
buy something.

I am not saying that I know it all about grammar etc. (I am
sure this is riddled with errors) but I do believe the people who bring us the
news should know the difference and use it correctly.

I watched An Idiot Abroad last night and thoroughly enjoyed it, although I do not believe that Karl Pilkington is what Gervais and Merchant say he is all cracked up to be. They tell the audience at the start of the show that Karl is like all ignorant British tourists and will be so out of place in these far flung locales he will be a riot to watch.


Karl is more interesting and a breath of fresh air than an ignorant frustration. While Karl does seem a little out of place – this is no more than any other tourist in a non-western nation.


While I have seen Karl in other Gervais produced material he only seems to push the envelope in front of Gervais. Karl is alone in this show and is clearly just himself, questioning actions of foreigners but not in a vicious way. He says things that all westerners probably think.


This thinking aloud is a nice change to usual travel programs, and I say travel programs because this is basically what this show is. I did not find the show hilariously funny, it was more like Intrepid Journeys with a comedian who makes wry observations. Also, in terms of being a travel program it was good because there was honesty. He commented on how the Great Wall of China was rebuilt in 1950 and 1980 and questioned its legitimacy – which is nice in comparison with travel shows which just preach how beautiful and incredible places are.


So why am I writing this then? Because it seems that the show title and what Gervais and Merchant expect (and expect the audience to see) is an Onslow (from Keeping Up Appearances) being a bigot in foreign lands commenting on things in a hilariously wrong sort-of-comparative way. But the show so far does not live up to this. Karl does not seem the type.


Karl says what he is thinking but he doesn’t think in a vicious way, he thinks in an interesting way and sometimes just as we do. This is sometimes funny and sometimes not much of a surprise. Hence why the show is not really a comedy but basically a travel walkabout with an interesting man.


Also, Karl is not an idiot. Most of the observations he noted were not silly or dumb, his observations in some respects were intelligent or at least relevant. Karl may not be educated in the scholarly sense but he in no way seems like he hasn’t been around the block – like many of us.


I will certainly be watching next week but not because I want to cry with laughter or wince with frustration – but because it was somewhat enlightening.


What did you think?

Every week I look forward to watching New Zealand’s Next Top
Model. I feel that the production team and the hosts behind the show are doing
an excellent job. This season they have nailed the drama factor with
interesting and varied girls and somewhat interesting challenges. But overall I
think what I appreciate about this show is the professionalism of the hosts. Mostly
from Sara Tetro and Chris Sisarich. Sara, who is the rock of the show serves as
an inspiration, hard task master and deep down quite soft and mother like
leader to the girls. I have heard Sara speak in person and for me she was a
great role model as a strong, attractive person and her success in the field and
life shows. This influences the show to a great deal. Chris (although a little
overdressed in the free Workshop garter) leads and provides the girls with
direction well, he provides good influence to the judging panel and offers fair
criticism – he gives the feeling that he knows what he is doing.

As Daniel Carter, Kate Sylvester, Paul Serville, ?name? (an
international Gucci model) and others, including the photographers (which are
excellent) all show up on the show week in and week out it gives the show a
feeling of quality. As they are New Zealanders doing well internationally it is
something to be proud of, an inspiration element which again lifts the show to
a surprising level of quality.

I have not watched other Next Top Model shows from around
the world like I have with the NZ one, but from watching snippets it seems that
the NZ one feels less bitchy and more focused on actually building young girls
confidence. Proving that New Zealand is successful internationally in the field
of fashion and that we can produce local content well.

Some of the challenges feel like they have been created by a
group of people brainstorming (with few ideas) – and influenced by sponsorship.
This then allows girls to be criticised in silly challenges. I do not think it
really matters if the girls do not know how to put make up on somebody else,
dress someone else in only Glassons clothing (height of fashion) or various
trivia about the world of fashion. Although the challenges may be entertaining
(sometimes), they could be improved. I feel that the improvement could follow
something like Shear Genius where there are two challenges a show, and one can
gain immunity from the first challenge, with both challenges being quite
similar to the first one – showing personal improvement, or not.

I watch the show recorded on MySky, which means the timeslot
does not affect my watching of it. But I think that the show would be watched
by more people if either it was on at 8.30 not 7.30 on Friday, or at least on
another night – getting around 250,000 viewers is not too bad, but it could be
much better.

Colin is a joke, but everyone knows that.

Overall I love watching the show every week and am quite
impressed by the quality exhumed from Chris and Sara. The show feels quite
professional and not as petty as it may imply. For young girls wishing to
either enter the field of modelling, fashion design or business in general the
show is quite inspirational – particularly showing that our little old New
Zealand is home to some very successful people in such an international field.
I hope they keep making it.