haven't always had a great track record when it comes to
predicting the life and success of local TV shows. When
Holmes launched, I suggested the star himself would be
reduced to doing ads for opticians within weeks, writes
On the strength of an episode or two, I said Shortland Street
wouldn't last. I ran into its producer soon after and she was
so angry she invited me outside for fisticuffs.
So here comes Seven Sharp, TV One's latest answer to what
comes after the six o'clock news bulletin. The name, at
least, is half right. The show starts at seven, but sharp it
Fluffy, I'd call it - a bit like that three-headed dog owned
by Hagrid the caretaker in the Harry Potter stories. Though I
admit Seven Fluffy isn't a good title.
I'm not even sure presenters Ali Mau, Greg Boyed and Jesse
Mulligan are a good mix, though they gave it their nervous,
sometimes clumsy, best shots.
Seven Sharp, of course, is a modern sort of current affairs
show. In-depth and serious is out and short, snappy,
viewer-inactive, bright and breezy and poll-driven is in.
There had been talk that Seven Sharp might feature as many as
eight items in its half hour, but tonight it was hard to tell
which pieces were actually items, which were banter and which
were wobbly bits in between.
To be honest, it was easy to tell which were the wobbly bits
in between and there were quite a few of them.
The show even started with some wobbly bits as the hosts
indulged in some ill-judged banter about who might replace
Titewhai Harawira to hold the PM's hand at Waitangi tomorrow.
Then, bizarrely we were off for a beginner's guide to
Parliament with reporter Heather Du Plessis-Alan before we
went back to the studio for a semi-funny backgrounder from
Mulligan on David Shearer's selection today.
By the end of the first segment, Mulligan, in fact, seemed to
be in charge.
After the break, more nonsense about Titewhai, and then a
sudden old-fashioned field report about a soldier with
post-traumatic stress disorder. It felt out of place and
Boyed's clumsy attempts afterwards to tie it to public
awareness didn't much help.
Then more awkward banter and a pre-recorded satellite
interview with singer Josh Groban, who's coming this way for
concerts, natch. And that, after a bit more banter, was that.
No live interviews (except with each other), no hard-hitting
current affairs and, certainly, no easy banter. Seven Sharp
can only get better. And it had better and rather quickly.
Because that was a pretty embarrassing start. Though with
Mulligan, they may just have a star of some sort in the
making. They just might have to eventually ditch the straight
people sitting next to him.
That is, if TVNZ wants this sort of show.