Life viewed from the couch is remotely Amazing.

January 24, 2009

Last night, with my ass having set down roots in the seat cushion of my ’70s-era brown velour rocker, I watched the pilot episode of some American sitcom called Two and a Half Men. It was actually quite funny in places and, with luck, I predict a bright future for the show.

I know, I know, that was little more than some programmer’s eeeny-meeny-miney-moe solution to filling a 30-minute gap on a slow summer evening, but it’s a perfect example of how far behind the rest of the civilized world New Zealand is drifting.

Kiwis may not give a rat’s patooie that their TV schedule lags so woefully in arrears of North America’s, but I’m originally from Canada where, if the US networks fart, we check our pants.

It’s summer here of course, a fallow time in any culture when it comes to TV scheduling. The idea being we’re supposed to turn off the plasma, step outside and somehow revel in the glorious weather and long hours of daylight.

But there are only so many food groups I can cremate on the barbecue and green things in the garden I can yank out before I succumb to the urge to jam the cable from the satellite dish directly into my brain and assume my rightful place of worship on the couch.

Our 2009 season is starting soon but I already know some of the shows being trumpeted have since been cancelled by the likes of NBC or ABC, which isn’t exactly encouraging. And I have yet to read anywhere about when the next installment of The Amazing Race (the one that’s been over for months) might air here, despite the fact its host, Phil Keoghan, is a Kiwi, and the contestants actually visit NZ for one of their pit stops.

But it’s not all doom and gloom in my living room (as opposed to, say, the bedroom). Rather than be tempted to mould Australian (Kath & Kim) or English (Life on Mars) hits in our own image, we get to see the originals in all their glory. I’m hearing whispers that the Yankified version of Mars is decent, but I doubt it will touch the brilliance of its English inspiration, or its equally wonderful sequel, Ashes to Ashes.

I know what you’re thinking: “John, put down the remote, return that oh-so-yummy New Zealand ice cream to the freezer and go for a walk, you pale-skinned, chubby loser.”

To which I reply, around a mouthful of hokey-pokey: “It’s not my fault.” And,  “I blame my parents.”

It’s true. My mother will watch anything whose title ends in “Idol” or begins “Dancing With  . . .” If there was a show called “Dancing With American Idols on Figure Skates” — well, that would pretty much describe heaven, now wouldn’t it?

You want to call my mother? Better check the TV listings first. You want to drop in for a visit? Where’s the TV Guide?

I have a brother who takes great glee in showing up while Mother is engrossed in one of her favorites. And you thought Simon Cowell could be cranky  . . .

Our lack of quality TV may be one reason why my parents won’t be visiting Napier any time soon. Well, that and a 14-hour flight and some $4,000 worth of airfare.

Too bad because, strangely enough, the new season of American Idol started its run in New Zealand mere days after premiering in North America. Yes, it is a sure sign of the Apocalypse, but somehow it also reminds me of home and family.

Because I just know my parents are  watching Two and Half Men as well. Sure hope it gets renewed for a second season . . .

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One Response to “Life viewed from the couch is remotely Amazing.”

  1. Son said

    Two and a Half Men is currently airing it’s sixth season here.

    NZ really is behind the times.

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