A Companion For The Night!
Thursday 16 July 1998
By eBroadcast Staff and agencies.
Late-night TV isn't all Home Shopping and husky-voiced phone services.
Not that Sebastian Vasta went looking for that sort of
I've never stayed up all night watching TV. I'm sure that some
'teltales' readers have, but me, I'm a late-night TV virgin. Well, I was, until last Saturday night.
It started out innocently enough. I was watching The Pretender...quality viewing indeed. But I quickly tired of this unstimulating fare, and picked up the remote in search of something more...exciting.
Good News Weekend didn't deliver, and the frighteningly
good Once Were Warriors only kept me awake. Before I knew
it, the clock was striking midnight. The witching hour had arrived, and
in the darkness, the TV took on an ethereal glow. It was time for
I was initially pleasantly surprised by this show. The 'instant
requests' included the fabulous Intergalactic by the
Beastie Boys. Plus, that bloke from Cheez
TV was absent, joy of joys - but unfortunately it left three
somewhat clueless presenters. But this was late night TV, and by this
stage I (and most of the show's audience) would be too tired to care.
Or too distracted. GZ is aimed squarely at the
late-night internet user. Wired computers adorn the set, with people
animatedly IRCing. The show is live, cheap, and sleazy. But I wasn't
expecting anything else.
I was quite surprised with the live acts on the show, namely the DJ
Endorphin. That impressed me greatly - unfortunately it was all
downhill from there. Just when you thought there was one last denizen
of resistance to his ego, Australian commercial radio's very own tryhard
Howard Stern impersonator, Ugly Phil popped up with a timely
reminder that this was crappy TV at it's best....or is that 'worst' ?
The interview, and performance, by a troupe of Spice Girls
impersonators, was one of the most embarrassing things I’d ever seen. At
least they had the ugliness down pat. Not that Ugly or his
offsider back in the studio cared much, they were more interested in
Ginger's assets than the quality of their program.
The two female co-hosts struggled to cope with this wonderfully
subtle male chauvinism, choosing to laugh it off with a perfect bimbo's
titter. It's nice to know that we have finally achieved equality of the
sexes. Channel Ten and Ground Zero: thank you.
Running from the large-sized head of Ugly, I stumbled across
Rage for a few brief moments before that cinematic gem,
10, caught my attention. Somewhat more sexist and sleazy
than GZ, 10 could be excused because it
didn't have Monsieur Ugly, and hey, this was the Seventies, baby.
But Dudley Moore isn't the most well-cast of sexual heroes, and
besides, it was time for Fantasy World Cup.
A brief self-plug: You may remember a recent column where I praised
FWC; well, funny thing that, soon after that, the tabloids
jumped on the bandwagon, Tony Squires and Richard Wilkins sat up and
took notice, and suddenly this gem of a show was a talking point among
the bleary-eyed soccer diehards. Remember; you heard it here first.
But enough of the breast-beating. Fantasy World Cup
was reason enough to while away the night hours, but as the ensuing
soccer match began, sleep finally caught up with me. I closed my eyes
for a brief second, and the next thing I knew I was watching a
gap-toothed newsreader....speaking Ukranian.
The bliss of the night was over, already forgotten as Bruce MacAvaney
told of the wonders of underwater hockey. Suddenly, this daylight realm
seemed insignificant. I longed for the comfort of dark, and the
assurance of poor TV. Would this be a one-night stand ? No, I thought,
this was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. I think I'll stay up
for Pacific Drive tonight....