From 2013 to 2015, newbie actor KJ Apa played Kane Jenkins on Shortland Street. The character was created to explore New Zealand's high rates of youth suicide. After a season on teen sci fi drama Cul de Sac, Apa got his American break, playing a teen quarterback alongside Dennis Quaid in family feature A Dog's Purpose, directed by Lasse Hallstrom (What's Eating Gilbert Grape). In the same period, Apa scored a lead role as archetypal American teen Archie in the high profile Riverdale — a television take on the classic Archie comics. In 2018 he signed on for romantic comedy The Last Summer.
Coming from New Zealand and playing just an iconic American character, I was nervous ... The fans are so aggressive. I was thinking, ‘Man I hope I don’t get too much stick from these guys.’ The feedback has been really well, really good. So, I’m really pleased with it. Apa talking about playing Archie, at San Diego Comic-Con 2016, Entertainment Monthly
This daily after school show for young audiences covered celebrities, music, movies, sport, fashion and interviews. Content for the YouTube generation included cross-media segments like ‘Snackchat’ (make a meal in the Snapchat time limit), and ‘Hundy on a Mundy’ (viewers complete unpleasant tasks for prizes). It was made by Kiwi kids television powerhouse Whitebait TV for TV2. The show's presenters included Eve Palmer, Michael Lee, musician Massad Barakat-Devine and Adam Percival (What Now?). In 2016 it became The Adam and Eve Show, then shifted to ZM radio.
Shortland Street is a fast-paced serial drama set in an inner city Auckland hospital. The long-running South Pacific Pictures production is based around the births, deaths and marriages of the hospital's staff and patients. It screens on TVNZ’s TV2 network five days a week. In 2017 the show was set to celebrate its 25th anniversary, making it New Zealand’s longest running drama by far. Characters and lines from the show have entered the culture — starting with “you’re not in Guatemala now, Dr Ropata!” in the very first episode. Mihi Murray writes about Shortland Street here.