Category Archives: Local TV

ABC’s Good Game Cancelled After 10 Year Run

ch1560h_460
Good Gae hosts Steven ‘bajo’ O’Donnell and Stephanie ‘Hex’ Bendixsen.

ABC’s long running video game review show Good Game has officially been axed after a successful ten year run on the network.

Announced earlier today (Tuesday Jan 31st), the decision seems to have come out of no where with fans expecting the show to resume as per normal for it’s eleventh year in mid February.  The shows spin-off – Good Game: Spawn Point airing on ABC ME – looks set to continue on, but it’s currently unclear in what format.

goodgame.jpg

The announcement via their Facebook page attributes the cancellation to that of ‘two of the key presenters perusing other opportunities’ and how audiences are choosing to obtain information about gaming.  The two hosts leaving are Stephanie ‘Hex’ Bendixson and Nich “Nichboy” Richardson.

Good Game’s other spin-offs including Good Game: Well Played which covers esports and Good Game: Pocket, a daily news and gameplay show will not be returning either.

7’s The Big Music Quiz has a Great Concept but Less than Stellar Host.

TBMQ Ep 2 - 4-104
Bindi Irwin and Rebel Wilson on 7’s The Big Music Quiz.  (c) Channel 7 2016

Successful and good quiz shows featuring celebrity panelists comes down to three defining factors.  1: A smart yet funny quiz show offering up great questions.  2: A great selection of celebs that not only get into the game but are also good sports.  3: A good host that can interact well with those celebs appearing on said show.  The Big Music Quiz hits two of those three points and without the third, it painfully shows.

The premise is pretty simple, two teams of semi well known faces show off their music knowledge over six rounds of questions….all of which are of course musical based with the loosing team forced into humiliation by ending out the show with a dance off.

The selection of celebrities in the shows first outing range from Screaming Jets front man Dave Gleeson to model Kris Smith to Winners and Losers star Melanie Vallejo and over the coming episodes includes Rebel Wilson, Ada Nicodemou and Kate Ceberano.

The big miss with The Big Music Quiz is in host Darren McMullen – he of former The Voice Australia host and House Husbands actor – does not mesh well with either the celebrity guests or the show in general.  I hate to say it as I like McMullen but the quick wit required to host these type of shows is missed completely by him as he manages to miss any and all opportunities for zingy comebacks…even when presented to him on a silver platter.

For example, in the first round of the first episode, contestants are given a short 20 seconds to identify the artist of a well known song, model Kris Smith says “I remember 20 seconds being a lot longer than that!”  McMullen laughs and moves right onto a score check.  Heck, even guest Laurence Mooney (probably ascertaining the lack of hosting ability) attempts to have a decent crack at poking some tongue in cheek comments.

It’s a hosting gig perfect for someone like Paul McDermott or even say Hamish Blake who have a proven track record with this kind of thing.

The big Music Quiz is just that…a big music based quiz show, a flashier version of Spicks and Specks and of the first episode available for preview, it’s without the witty banter between host and celebrities that make those shows even more watchable.  Good news is that The Big Music Quiz is not a lost cause thanks to its host.  The mix of fun rounds, easy to moderately tough questions and great selection of celeb guests pick up the slack.

If there is anything 7 could take away from The Big Music Quiz it’d be to cast a wider net when looking for a host and look into viewer interaction via an app or website.  A show like this would work perfectly with at home viewers so they can watch and play along at the same time on a second screen device.

The Big Music Quiz starts soon on Channel 7 (possibly Sunday August 28th)

The Bachelor Australia Via the Eyes of a First Time Viewer.

The Bachelor Australia-Season 4-Episode1-6
“I love you, You love me, We’re a happy family” (c) Network Ten 2016

So I have to admit, I have never watched a single episode of The Bachelor Australia.  Like never ever.  None of the US versions when they aired here and none of the three previous seasons of our very own locally made series either.  It’s not like the show has never been on my radar…The whole Blake Garvey fiasco and “Dirty Street Pies” flooded my social media timelines when they were taking place but truth be told, I have never been that interested.

That was until however I began watching the very awesome UnReal (currently streaming on STAN) which offers a rather gloomy and depressing look at the goings on behind the scenes of a show very much like The Bachelor and it got me wondering how having watched a show like UnReal would affect how I would watch a show such as The Bachelor. And luck be it, a brand new season of The Bachelor began last night.

The Bachelor himself, Richie Strahan, an orphan from the first series of The Bachelorette, is stupidly handsome and utterly charming enough for anyone to ever remember Bachelorette Sam Frost deemed other men more worthy to marry than him.  Anyways, it seems as though much like myself watching for the very first time, he had no idea what was in store as leggy lady after leggy lady disembarked from their black limousine to be introduced to Richie.

The Bachelor Australia-2
In case we forget their names. (c) Network Ten 2016

It’s here I began to devise a drinking game to go with watching The Bachelor.

*Take a shot anytime Richie’s eyes dart somewhere south when talking to a potential match.

This goes along with the following…

*Take a shot anytime the camera zooms in on cleavage or side-boob.

*Take a shot anytime Eliza sings her self penned song – either to Richie, to the other women or to herself.

*Take a shot anytime a woman is seen clutching at her hip slit dress in an attempt to keep her vah-yayyay covered.

*Take a shot anytime the camera pans to Osher Gunsberg and you find yourself yelling “YOUR NAME IS ANDY G!”

*Take a shot anytime one of the girls rolls their eyes or offer up a killer resting bitch face.

*Take a shot anytime the ‘token brunette’ demands she’s different from the other girls here.

*Take a shot anytime Olena comes on screen and you begin to question your sexuality.

You get the drift but basically, anyone playing this game, i’m assuming should be hammered by about the 20 minute mark of each and every episode.

So this brings me back to UnReal.  Throughout this first episode, all I could think was “God save the poor soul tasked with handling Keira”, “Is Alex, Faith or Megan the ‘wifey’ this season?”, “Is Janey the unstable one?” and other such questions that make UnReal so darned perfect to watch.  As the first episode dragged on however, I actually stopped thinking about the UnReal version and what could be going on behind the scenes and found myself, much like Richie, drowning in what what going on in front of me.  This sort of tag team system that was taking place as each girl goes to spend one on one time with Richie while the others watch on offering ‘if looks could kill’ glances at each other all while hoping to be the lucky recipient of not only a red rose (that according to Russian import Sasha is quite yummo to nibble on) by the end of the night but the exclusive and awe inspiring white rose.

As a first time viewer, it’s all quite bizarre and funny to watch a group of women henpeck each other over the attention of a goofy yet handsome man that may or may not profess his love to one of them but not before romancing and pashing all the ones he likes.

It’s those reasons mentioned above though that also make me understand why it’s so delicious to watch and why it get’s everyone talking.

My hot tip – Olena, Faith and Megan for the final three!

The Bachelor Australia airs Wednesdays and Thursdays 7:30pm on Network Ten.

Literal Blood, Sweat & Tears for Wentworth’s Season 4 Finale

SigridSonia
Lady be crazy!  (c) Fremantle Media/SoHoTV

WHAT A FINALE!!

Why is everyone so shocked?!  I mean really come on, this is Wentworth people!  The team creating this show have always set the bar high for compelling television and continue to raise that bar with each and every season finale!

My last post, I offered up some season 4 end game theories which came off from not having previewed the episode but from reading what Wentworth had offered up during the season.  My score card?  Not the greatest…i’m giving myself a 3.5 out of 8….so not even 50% but let’s look back at that finale and how my I went in my predictions.

SPOILERS BELOW!!  Do not continue if you have NOT watched the season 4 finale!

1: Ferguson Becomes a Free Woman (sort of right) /// I was partially right on this one!  Joan did in fact find freedom after raking in Jake (Bernard Curry) to kill star witness Nils Jesper (Tony Nikolakopoulos).  It was a bold move on Ferguson’s behalf but that final scene proved that her freedom will be certainly short lived.

2: Sonia reveals her true freak (right) /// Sonia (Sigrid Thornton) kept us guessing for most of the season as to her guilt or innocence and as I called it, we would discover that Sonia in fact is a cold hearted murderer but in the way we found out was nothing short of chilling.  After a meeting with Det. Don Kaplan (Steve Bastoni) Liz (Celia Ireland) discovers that the body of Sonia’s missing friend had been found with a shaved head.  It was an odd mention to reveal and after seeing Sonia’s devastated response to her friends death, Liz believed Sonia to be innocent.  It’s not until Sonia offers to be the one to shave Maxine’s head as she goes through chemotherapy that Sonia, so calm and gentle mind you, mentions the power one has when shaving someone’s head and that it’s a symbol of rebirth.  It’s the first reveal of Sonia’s inner freak that Liz or us viewers have ever seen.

3: There Will be no Top Dog (wrong) /// Karen (Tammy Macintosh) says early on in this final episode that she doesn’t want the job…”let someone else take charge”.  It’s after a brutal fight between herself and Bea in which Bea believed Kaz to be the one to give Allie (Kate Jenkison) a ‘hot shot’ that she overdosed on.  It’s not until she’s ‘drafted’ by the other imates that she accepts the job of prison top dog.

4: Boomer Does not Fall Pregnant (right) /// It was only a short scene, a very quiet mention in which Boomer (Katrina Milosevic) reveals to Liz that the pregnancy didn’t take.  While only a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it scene, it was another touching moment for Booms this season.

5: Vera Will Discover Jake’s Past Offences (wrong) /// Jake managed to not only keep his secrets hidden from Vera, he left his co-worker Will Jackson (Robbie Magasiva) exposed as he kept his tracks hidden when Vera (Kate Atkinson) demanded an officer wide drug test to try and find who helped smuggle the drugs in that somehow ended up in Allie’s veins.

6: An Inmate Will Die (sort of wrong) /// To be clear, Allie woke up from her coma and Bea…well they can’t kill Bea right?!  Wentworth played a sneaky game on us by making us believe Allie would not wake from her induced coma thanks to the overdose provided to her by Joan.  In the meantime, we all believed that Bea would finally get her final revenge on Joan for those actions but when the tables turned on Bea, she, like us, all believed there was no hope for Allie and literally surrendered herself to the brutality of a stabbing with a screwdriver.

7: Doreen’s Sentence is Extended/Reduced (sort of right) /// While there was no mention of Doreen’s (Shareena Clanton) current sentence being altered, it was revealed she “doesn’t have that much time left” and that it should play well for her if she were to request a transfer to Perth where Nash (Luke McKenzie) is currently holed up with their son Joshua.  There wasn’t much more for Doreen this episode but it looks like this decision will play heavily into her story line for season 5.

8: Franky Distances Herself from Wentworth (wrong) ///  Can I just say though, was I the only one thinking the worst when Franky (Nicole da Silva) put the gun she took from Shayne (Hunter Page-Lochard) into her pants outside the court where Joan’s trial was taking place?!  While that scene decided to go no where, it seems like Franky has no desire to remove herself from the ladies inside Wentworth and that was shown in a touching scene between herself and Bea in the visitors room where the two talked love and life.

So there you have it.  Another wonderful season, another spine tingling season finale!  Will Bea survive her attack?  Will Allie make a full recovery?  What will happen to Ferguson? Will Jake keep his secrets close? Will Doreen make the transfer to Perth?  Will Franky and Bridget live happily ever after?  Sound off in the comments above!

Wentworth Fourth Season Premiere Date Announced

26913F3700000578-2991250-image-m-23_1426166992752

Mark your diaries people – Wentworth’s fourth season premiere has finally been announced and it’s coming to SoHo on Tuesday, May 10th!  I’ll just start with the reveal trailer….

 

Season four will see Bea and the inmates return to Cell Block H after the destructive fire that tore through the prison in the third season finale but not all is as it seems with another inmate looking to take Bea’s top dog position within the jail.  There’s also a confirmation that Frankie Doyle (Nicole da Silva) and Bridget Westfall (Libby Tanner) will be back with Frankie now free from Wentworth trying to adjust to life outside the walls of Wentworth and ‘the freak’ aka Joan Ferguson is still around, albeit spending some time wrapped cozily in a stylish white jacket!

New faces to this season includes Sigrid Thornton as Sonia Stevens, a wealthy cosmetics entrepreneur, recent entrant into Wentworth and murder suspect.  Bernard Curry as Corrections Officer Jake Stewart and Kate Jenkinson as another new inmate Allie Novak.

So once again, remember, Season four begins Tuesday, May 10th on the SoHo channel on Foxtel!

SoHo Teases First Wentworth Season Four Look

WentworthS4

Push our buttons why don’t you SoHo!  Yesterday, via the SoHo Channel Facebook page, a small and soundless snippet of a trailer was posted with the words

“Your patience has been rewarded…
Wentworth Season 4 – COMING IN MAY!
#Wentworth #Season4 #SoHoTVAU #Foxtel

That’s it.  Nothing more and nothing less.  Not even an exact date in May!!!  As we’re now in mid March, this is the longest we’ve ever had to wait for any information on the upcoming season of Wentworth (bypassing the new cast members) and this snippet is sure not to be the last before the May premiere date.

tumblr_o42j8oXTZq1si9fjqo2_r1_500.gif

So now it’s a waiting game as SoHo relentlessly tease us with these meager flecks of information!

tumblr_nzcnhcqf8p1uxbhvho6_500.gif

Are you excited for the new season of Wentworth?!  Sound off in the comments above!

Here Come the Habibs Courts Unfair Criticiscm

1454608784474
Here Come The Habibs: Source, Channel Nine

 

I’ll happily admit that when the first promos for Channel Nine’s Here Come The Habibs went live, I was immediately put off. I Did not want to watch it, thought what I had seen seemed crass and happily joined the throngs of those condemning it on social media. So much was my nose point out of join by a 30 second promo that I a) did not really want to watch the first two episodes provided for review and b) had a whole spiel mentally prepared about “who at Channel Nine thought this was a good idea?”

I guess that’s what happens when a bad promo for what turned out to be a funny two episodes, is given out to the public.

Judging it by it’s cover we all are.

Lets get into the nitty gritty of Here Come the Habibs.

FouFou Habib (Michael Denkha) and wife Mariam (Camilla Ah Kin) have found themselves able to “live the Australian dream” and to move into the rich and swanky suburb of Vaucluse after a rather hefty ($22 million) lotto win – but they aren’t telling anyone about their windfall, not even their children Toufic (Sam Alhaje), Elias (Tyler De Nawi) and Layla (Kat Hoyos).

Neighbours Olivia O’Neill (Helen Dallimore) and her castrated husband Jack (Darren Gilshenan) are not too keen on their new Mediterranean neighbours (well mainly Olivia) and a war erupts between the two – Olivia wants them out, FouFou wants to stay.

The script, written by Phil Lloyd is tight and full of zippy one liners and throws casual playful punches at multiculturalism, terrorism, greedy family members and the Cronulla riots. The fish-out-of-water premise is very reminiscent of shows like the Beverly Hillbillies and even the Fresh Prince of Bel Air and right from the outset, the loud and brassy Habibs are not the focus of ‘being made fun of’ instead, it’s the rich white privileged that takes most of the hits and should take most of the bullets from the viewing public.

A scene in episode two where Mariam is attempting to join the local yacht club but is thrown a curve ball by Olivia that leads to public embarrassment, will leave you hoping the snotty cow gets hers in a later episode.

While the pilot took a bit for me to warm up to, by the time a turf war was established between the newly rich Habibs and their snotty neighbours the O’Neill’s, I was full on humble pie.

Here Come The Habibs is Channel Nine’s first foray into locally made scripted comedy in over 15 years and personally, I’m picking that the Habibs was actually a wise choice for the network to work it’s way into bringing back some good Aussie comedy. Granted though, Nine isn’t doing itself any favours with how it is choosing to market the show that has resulted in public outcry from an outrage addicted audience and calls for the show to be pulled due to claims it’s racist. Let’s not forget, this show hasn’t even aired yet!

Shows currently airing like Fox8’s (American import) Fresh Off the Boat and SBS’s The Family Law both offer a humorous look on multicultural families and the Habibs is no real different. Able to poke fun at itself while ensuring we’re laughing with and at them at the same time, plus Habibs is actually a bit more engaging than the two shows mentioned above.

While Australia is still trying to find steady ground when it comes to scripted comedy, Here Come the Habibs will hold it’s own against the haters and those trying to tear it down before they’ve even seen an episode. I was like you, then I watched and saw what the Habibs was actually offering.

Here Come the Habibs begins Tuesday night, Feb 9th @ 8:30pm on Channel Nine.

p.s – keep an eye out for the wretchedly funny Pippa Grandison as Olivia’s best friend, who is more than happy to stir the pot when it comes to poking Olivia’s buttons and her new neighbours.

Wentworth Season 3 Casting News AND Season 4 News!

8ee107fb8e11fa27c5eb0c84c03d7dff_XL

Queen Bea and her group of blue hoodie wearing prisoners have been confirmed to return for a fourth season of Wentworth!

Foxtel and FremantleMedia announced recently that production on the fourth season will start in Melbourne mid 2015!

Foxtel Head of Drama Penny Win said “All of us at Foxtel and FremantleMedia Australia are extremely proud of Wentworth and the passionate bond the series has forged with drama lovers, starting with our discerning Foxtel subscribers and expanding to captivate audiences around the world.”

FremantleMedia Australia Director of Drama and Wentworth executive producer Jo Porter said “Without wanting to give away any specific spoilers from season three, suffice to say it builds to a fabulous crescendo that in turn has given our season four writers a fantastic launch pad to explore what is next for the complex and compelling characters of Wentworth. Our loyal Wentworth fans are not going to be disappointed and I know our amazing cast and crew are going to relish bringing to life these potent stories.”

Work on the drama’s third season ended last August and is set to premiere on Foxtel’s SoHo channel April 7th.

Pia Miranda joins the cast for season 3.  Pic Supplied/Foxtel
Pia Miranda joins the cast for season 3. Pic Supplied/Foxtel

The Daily Telegraph also announced some interesting casting news for the up-coming third season.  Looking for Alibrandi star Pia Miranda, All Saint’s Libby Tanner and Tammy McIntosh will all appear with Miranda playing inmate Jodie Spiteri, Tanner (whom I’ve always though would be perfect for this show) stars as psychologist Bridget Westfall and McIntosh as vigilante Karen Proctor.

Say’s the Daily Telegraph article “A production spokeswoman hinted: “all three will impact the power play of the prison.”

Season Four will air some-time early-mid 2016.

Foxtel Confirms a Fourth Season of Wentworth

8ee107fb8e11fa27c5eb0c84c03d7dff_L

How exciting and great news not only for this incredible drama but original Australian scripted drama – Wentworth continues!  The Aussie drama about life inside a women’s prison has been confirmed for a fourth season Foxtel and FremantleMedia announced today.

Foxtel and FremantleMedia Australia today announced production on the fourth season of the internationally acclaimed drama Wentworth will be underway in Melbourne in the second half of this year.

Season 3 wrapped production in August and will premiere on Foxtel’s SoHo channel on Tuesday April 7, at 8.30pm EST.

From the press release:  Foxtel Head of Drama Penny Win said “All of us at Foxtel and FremantleMedia Australia are extremely proud of Wentworth and the passionate bond the series has forged with drama lovers, starting with our discerning Foxtel subscribers and expanding to captivate audiences around the world.”

FremantleMedia Australia Director of Drama and Wentworth executive producer Jo Porter said “Without wanting to give away any specific spoilers from season three, suffice to say it builds to a fabulous crescendo that in turn has given our season four writers a fantastic launch pad to explore what is next for the complex and compelling characters of Wentworth. Our loyal Wentworth fans are not going to be disappointed and I know our amazing cast and crew are going to relish bringing to life these potent stories.”

Season three begins in Australia on Tuesday, April 7th at 8:30pm on SoHo.

More Winners and Losers for Channel 7

Back for season 5, Winners and Losers on 7
Back for season 5, Winners and Losers on 7

It’s great to see Channel 7 showing faith in one of it’s locally produced dramas after the announcement of a fifth season of Winners & Losers to come in 2015.

The drama, currently half way through it’s fourth season, has been officially greenlit for season 5, Seven said yesterday.  “At its heart, Winners & Losers is about the unbreakable bond of friendship and that’s why it resonates with so many Australians,” said Seven’s head of drama, Julie McGauran. “It’s an evolving story about young women trying to make their way in life, connected by shared experiences and supporting each other along the way. We’re delighted the journey continues.”

There’s no real surprise though with the renewal seeing the series averaged 1.05m metro viewers through it’s run in 2014 and is also Sevens highest-rated locally produced drama series in the younger demographic, even ahead of Home and Away.

To refresh you all, last time we saw our favorite winners, Frances had just given birth to her baby girl, Sophie was contemplating single life after another break-up, Jen was struggling to deal with life after her double mastectomy and Sam was left dealing with a dying Luke in her arms.

Season 4 continues in 2015 on Channel 7.