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Brauniasland: life after rabbit ears

Brauniasland: life after rabbit ears

Mar 7, 2014 etc

First published in Metro, November 2013.

 

The next exciting year of television in New Zealand.

The future of television is so close that you can smell its breath. TV goes digital in a month, on December 1; better picture quality and more channels are only the first step in this brave new world of home entertainment. The changes will roll out over the next 12 months.

DECEMBER 2013
Digital picture quality will make it seem as though news anchors such as Simon Dallow and Mike McRoberts are actually reading the news in your house.

New channels include The Knitting Instruction Channel, featuring the automated voice of that nice lady who reads out each new stop on the Link bus service.

See in the New Year with a special inter­active live event hosted by Pio Terei, Leigh Hart, Heather du Plessis-Allan, Ali Mau, and Dai Henwood.

JANUARY 2014
Try to forget you saw in the New Year with a special interactive live event hosted by Pio Terei, Leigh Hart, Heather du Plessis-Allan, Ali Mau, and Dai Henwood.

Make the most of summer with a special screening of Sir Peter Jackson’s director’s cut of The Hobbit. New technology means that the film will pause every time you leave the room. When you come back in, the volume will be just that little bit louder and the picture just a little bit more in your face. The channel won’t change and the TV won’t turn off until the film ends. Catch-22: the film never ends. Happy viewing!

FEBRUARY
Howzat! Experience test cricket like never before when India take on New Zealand in the test series. Digital picture quality will allow you to feel as though you’re hanging out with the batting team as they stand around watching the play from inside those rooms in the stands which always have a sliding glass door. Listen to them talk about women, sex, gossip, food, clothes, cars, holidays, films, the weather, and cricket. See which kind of zinc they dab on their noses. Wander down the hallway. Leave the ground. Catch the bus, and go home.

As for the cricket, forget it. Broadcast rights  have been tied up in a deal with digital media company Coliseum, which will offer subscribers unlimited access on Macs, PCs, iPads, iPhones, Android phones, tablets and other things which aren’t televisions. Edited highlights, though, will be shown on free-to-air TV at 2am.

MARCH
Digital picture quality will make it seem as though news anchors such as Simon Dallow and Mike McRoberts are following you around the house.

New channels include The Martyn “Bomber” Bradbury Channel, in which the irrepressible frontman and blogger films himself in a variety of locations (in his kitchen, his lounge, his shower) at different times of the day (breakfast, lunch, dinner, midnight to dawn) while shouting a lot. Each show promises something different.

APRIL
Experience reality TV like never before with the launch of new series Can You Handle a Scandal? Every week, a complete nobody will be hauled out of the comfort of their home, and thrust into a situation which threatens to completely derail their life.

It could be sending an inappropriate text, or shouting something that might be construed as racist, or making some other kind of blunder which transgresses the delicate social order of the New Zealand way of life.

How will they handle it? A team of experts from the PR industry will assign themselves to each contestant — who has to decide whether to take their advice and accept responsibility for the scandal, or to brazen it out by holding a press conference in the manner of Tony Veitch.

The nobody is you. Good luck!

MAY
Missing the madcap adventures of Sally and Jaime Ridge? You’re not alone. Actually, you probably are.

JUNE
Digital picture quality will make it seem as though news anchors such as Simon Dallow and Mike McRoberts are sitting at your dining room table and waiting to be fed.

New channels include The Funeral Service Channel, featuring the automated voice of that nice lady who reads out each new stop on the Link bus service.

JULY
Some things never change! Talent shows will always be with us. Three of the best in 2014 include:

Devonport’s Got Talent. Music critic Simon Sweetman searches the North Shore for the new Lorde, finds her, and tells her that she’s fucking useless and a complete waste of space.

The Y-Factor. Marvel at the truly rotten standard of singing, dancing and emoting until you’re forced to ask out loud, “Y am I even watching this shit?”

Mop Idol. A cross-promotion with The Shopping Channel, in which contestants demonstrate the amazing capabilities of a range of mops.

AUGUST
What kind of poetry would you like John Campbell to imitate when he goes out in the field and does those solemn voice-overs on Campbell Live?

Thanks to new interactive technology, you can choose whether he’s tired and world-weary (“Another day dawns. But for some, the day dawns darkly”), smiling through his tears (“The sun rises. It has its hat on!”), or in awe of everyone and everything (“O glowing planet! O another beautiful morn in Aotearoa! O misunderstood vagrant rifling through my pockets. All you have to do is ask. For did Jesus not say…”, etc).

SEPTEMBER
There’s only 12 months before the 2015 Rugby World Cup kicks off. Will the All Blacks emerge triumphant, and retain the Webb Ellis Trophy? Or will something go wrong, like a case of poisoning, or blatant cheating, and everything turns to custard? Will Richie’s groin stand the strain? What if the other teams are better? What if we lose? And what if digital media company Coliseum secure the rights?

The anxiety starts here.

OCTOBER
National make a last-ditch attempt to woo liberal voters and win the election by whistling up a new channel which rescreens every show ever made on TVNZ7 — but this time hosted by Pio Terei, Leigh Hart, Heather du Plessis-Allan, Ali Mau, and Dai Henwood.

The cunning plan hits a snag when it’s revealed that only 17 people in New Zealand are continuing to watch any form of television.

NOVEMBER
As audience figures continue to fall, and advertisers withhold their spend, television managers will be forced to implement new cost-cutting initiatives.

Maintaining picture quality is the main priority. The screen has to look good. But other production elements may have to suffer a little, and consumers of the brave new world of home entertainment are going to have to accept that for TV to survive, it will need to reduce its wage bill and disestablish key positions.

DECEMBER
News anchors Simon Dallow and Mike McRoberts would be grateful if you got your arse off the couch, fed them, clothed them, and continued to put a roof over their heads, so they can sit back and watch the news, featuring the automated voice of that nice lady who reads out each new stop on the Link bus service.

Illustration by Tane Williams.

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