TVNZ plumbs the depths

Here's a thought for a new reality television show.

Let’s gather together a bunch of TV producers, marketers and ideas people, and drop them on an island somewhere as far from the rest of humanity as possible.

Each week, they vie to come up with the stupidest, most harmful concept for a new programme, and the one who is too sensible is voted off and quickly returned to reality.

The last one left is the winner. Their prize is to stay marooned on the island, on their own, forever, not bothering the rest of us with their tasteless and trashy suggestions.

Hey, TVNZ, why don’t we have our own version of this?

In the meantime, we will just have to put up with our state broadcaster offering us the challenging and thought-provoking — although not in a good way — FBoy Island NZ instead.

This delightful televisual feast is due to start on the channel TVNZ+ on October 12.

Television remote Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Without going into it too deeply — while explaining that an “FBoy” is a not particularly nice chap just looking for conquests, acting as if entitled to sex, rather than wanting a long-term, stable relationship — the premise of this awful-sounding show is that three young women have to choose between 20 young men, only half of whom are decent fellows.

This latest iteration of what is basically a dating show steps right down into the gutter in terms of how it appears to proliferate stereotypes about women, and seems to try to normalise sexual conquests or behaviour and misogyny by putting it at the core of the programme.

This week it was discovered one of those in the show, Wayde Moore, was found not guilty last year of attempting to suffocate a drunk woman he told the police he had brought home to have sex with. The court determined he had been trying to keep her quiet rather than suffocating her.

TVNZ has now edited him out of the programme.

Of course, nobody has forced any of the “contestants” to take part, but the concept is appalling and could leave any of them with emotional and psychological scars, although TVNZ says mental health support is available.

It seems hard to believe our state broadcaster is crass enough to even consider producing and running something like this in what are meant to be more enlightened times.

This is the same organisation which went into utter hand-wringing conniptions and mea culpa mode about employing Kamahl Santamaria as a host on its Breakfast show, after finding he had sexually harassed colleagues elsewhere.

Do we need reality shows like this? And whose “reality” are they offering?

Editing Mr Moore out of the programme is a good start. But keep on editing, please.


Photo: REUTERS/Pathe
Photo: REUTERS/Pathe
And another thing

Now on a happier note, one which moves us from a total lack of talent to a super-abundance of it.

Sixty years ago today, The Beatles released Love Me Do, their first single to make it into the British Top Twenty.

At a time when many hit parade offerings were either sugary, syrupy ballads with sweeping string accompaniments or maudlin solo efforts, The Beatles broke the mould.

From the opening harmonica riff and catchy beat, its close harmonies and self-written lyrics, it was immediately clear in October 1962 the band was giving listeners something new.

While not their biggest hit, this was the precursor to their first number one a few months later, Please Please Me,  and the platform 
from which Beatlemania sprang forth later in 1963.

Nobody listening to Love Me Do can fail to smile. Thank you to John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr for bringing so much happiness to a troubled world across so many decades.