Burying Brian

In our first post reviewing the world of TV in 2008, we reveal our favourite new kiwi shows on TV this year:

  1. The Jaquie Brown Diaries
  2. Off the Radar
  3. Burying Brian

Read on to find out why…

The Jaquie Brown Diaries
Kiwis love comedy but to pull off a successful home-grown comedy is incredibly rare. Jaquie Brown had just the right mix of cringe-factor, self-mocking, celebrity cameos and real world references along with quirky yet likeable characters. We just wish there were more than six episodes and we’ll be hanging out for the next six episodes to screen on TV3 in 2009.

Off the Radar
In a world where sustainable and green permeated our news, politics and conversations daily in 2009, this show could have simply been another TV show to jump on the bandwagon. Instead, Te Radar provided a fascinating and humorous insight into what living off the land really means. If you missed the series, check out the book.

Burying Brian
We watch a lot of pilots of shows and never follow them through to the end. Not so with Burying Brian – we really wanted to see if and how the women would get away with the Brian’s death.

Other notable mentions:

New Zealand’s Got Talent
Stars in their Eyes
Who wants to be a Millionaire NZ?

What was your favourite new NZ TV show in 2008? Let us know in the comments.

Three really good kiwi shows are being released onto DVD before Christmas!
These are:

Released 13 Nov 2008
The Wests are back…….for a fourth series of New Zealand’s best loved comedy drama. This time around, Cheryl battles the forces of Wolf to defend her kids and castle, but as family tensions erupt, the worst villain may be the enemy within….

Released 6 Nov 2008
Jodie wishes Brian was dead. Or sho she says, after a few drinks and rather too loudly in the bar with her oldest friends. But then, later that same night, after a loud and raucous argument, Jodie’s wish comes true. Brian lies dead and bleeding on the kitchen floor. An accident, of course… oh dear. Burying Brian is the cover-up that uncovers everything.

Released before Christmas 2008
The Jaquie Brown Diaries is a new (Zealand) comedy series in which real life TV journalist Jaquie Brown plays an insecure, overambitious, status obsessed reporter doing fluff pieces for a hard hitting current affairs show called ‘McHuntly at Seven’.
The series takes a satirical look at the life of a c-grade celebrity and brings the society supplements of the newspapers to frightening fruition as Jaquie encounters, romances and bitch-slaps many of New Zealand’s most well known celebrities.

TVNZ has decreed that Eyeworks NZ series Burying Brian will remain six feet under.

In telling Onfilm that the network is declining to commission a second series, Andrew Shaw, the broadcaster’s general manager, commissioning, production & acquisitions, would only say it was a “business decision”.

It’s one that will have surprised Eyeworks. Burying Brian was its first TV drama series but such was the company’s confidence in its prospects that it was developing a second season and had applied to NZ On Air for more funding. [See page 10 of Onfilm’s August print issue for more.]

“TVNZ said it had rated better than any other New Zealand drama in its first season and they were very pleased with the quality of the series,” Eyeworks development producer Robin Scholes told Onfilm in a statement.

“They felt it was more a self-contained miniseries and believed a second series would not rate as well.”

Source: Onfilm. Link »

A second series of the show is currently in development!

The series rated exceptionally well in the network’s target demo 25-54, achieving a 32% market share.

According to Eyeworks NZ, the series has potential to also be shown internationally.

“It’s an universally appealing series with the ability to travel around the globe, both as a finished sale or as a local remake. Already our Eyeworks colleagues worldwide are talking with major networks about bringing the series to their local markets. I’m confident we’ll succeed in launching Burying Brian in more territories.” says Julie Christie, CEO of Eyeworks NZ.

Lots of people have been talking about the songs heard on the fantastic new Kiwi show Burying Brian. I asked Eyeworks TV for the list of songs and here it is:

Sleeping During the Day – The Mint Chicks
The Witness – SJD
Soulution – Solaa
Sunrise To Sunset – Solaa
One Left Standing – Elemeno P
Fishing For Lisa – The Feelers
Wrestled With Your Angels – Anika Moa
Save My Life – Bike
Been Missing – Shapeshifter
Been Missing – Shapeshifter

Wednesday 6 August, 8.30pm

For actor Scott Wills, the thought of playing Warren Crowley on Burying Brian was not very appealing, but the opportunity to work with Ian Mune was not to be missed.

“To be completely honest I didn’t really want to do the part at all. The thought of playing a wife beating parking warden kind of curdled my milk a bit.”
He says the decider was getting to work with Ian Mune again and seeing it as a comedy rather than any serious exposé on the Kiwi male.

“The scenes I did with Ian made it worthwhile – you don’t really pass on those sorts of opportunities. Ian is a very funny man.”

For Wills the most challenging part of the role was pitching the right performance. “When you look at the costumes, the colours and the scenario, it’s not what you’d call a straight drama or traditional naturalism. To find that somewhat heightened dramatic pitch without being too ridiculous was always going to be a little hard,” he says.

Wills’ scenes with Mune can be seen tonight on the season finale of Burying Brian, as Jodie saves Warren’s life by rushing him to the hospital. Checking himself out of hospital, he goes in search of Denise, but is not the only one. Looking frantically for Denise, Jodie hopes she hasn’t thrown herself off a cliff.

Meanwhile, Josh takes his father’s place as Kimberley’s partner, much to the disgust of his former girlfriend Alex; and Theresa finds support from an unlikely source. Can Brian finally be laid to rest?

Wednesday 30 July, 8.30pm

Gerri and Theresa appear to have abandoned Jodie, which only leaves Denise, who is behaving very strangely indeed. When Jodie’s plan to move Brian’s body goes badly wrong, she is faced with blackmail on one side and discovery on the other. She begs Gerri and Theresa for a final chance. Is it finally time for Theresa to ‘fess up’ to Pete?

Ingrid Park, who plays Denise, says the stakes are very high for her character.
“Without giving away the story, I have a scene where I get more than a little upset with my life. As an actor you have to go to a really dark place to bring out the kind of performance required in those scenes, and I hate doing that. It’s really quite depressing. Of course, it is just make believe, but there’s always an element of truth in it.”

Denise is the friend the others take for granted: the quiet one, the organised one – and the one that the women realise they don’t know that much about.

“I love Denise,” says Park. “The absolute number one reason I wanted to play her was her quirky comedy value. She’s so unpredictable and more fun to play than any other character I’ve ever been. And I wanted to wear pink frocks and white cowboy boots. What girl doesn’t?”

The series posed a few unusual occupational hazards: “Dragging that damn carpet around day after day for the first episode. Who would have thought you could get carpet burn standing up!”