This TVNZ light entertainment series takes its name from a Little Feat song but the music on offer is predominantly country. The set is barn-like but “yee ha” trappings never overshadow the performances (although big hats are in plentiful supply). Actor and musician Andy Anderson is a genial host (getting confessional at one point about his days on the “lunatic sauce”) and there are two numbers from Beaver. Bluesman Sonny Day channels Willie Nelson and the other soloists are Gray Bartlett, Brendan Beleski and Australian singer Annette Moorcroft.
After a run of hit short films involving creatures on the run, Chicken marked the feature debut of director Grant Lahood. Brit Bryan Marshall stars as Dwight, a fading pop star who fakes his own death as a career move. Meanwhile a crazed fowl rights-activist (Cliff Curtis), angered at Dwight's promotions for fried chicken, plots revenge. Though the romantic black comedy tanked at the box office, the story and performances did receive some positive notice, with Metro reviewer and musician Rick Bryant finding it "very funny ... very enjoyable".
This 2014 web series follows a South Auckland family chasing a talent quest title. In this 10th episode (out of 20) the Saumalu family debates Moana’s shock announcement that she is getting engaged to Indian-Kiwi Dev. The head-girl and student DJ are a South Auckland Romeo and Juliet. Dad Kavana wants to send Moana home for some ‘Fa’a Samoa’ (‘Samoan way’) education. Meanwhile Moana finds out that Dev is already engaged, and decides to move things to the next level. The series was based on the hit stage show that debuted at the 2013 Auckland Arts Festival.
During the 1960s, two young sisters from Auckland took New Zealand’s music charts by storm. The Chicks — Judy and Sue Donaldson — were 14 and 16 years old when they were first discovered by musician Peter Posa. The duo became famous for their matching outfits, stylish hairdos and catchy pop songs, and their popularity was bolstered by regular performances on hip television music show C'mon. In this short clip the sisters reunite to perform top 10 hit 'Timothy', at a 1985 variety special celebrating the first 25 years of television in New Zealand.
Decades after the words "and Hugo said you go" first entered eardrums, this animated Kentucky Fried Chicken advert is still remembered by many on both sides of the Tasman. Two children sit in the car with a hunger so strong, they're "getting thinner" (though not so you'd notice). Song, lyrics and imagery work as one: the car, the animals and (in the last shot) the KFC store all move in time with the music, sending a 'we're all in this together'message that is as hypnotic as it is logic-defying. The promo was animated by Zap in Australia. Just one question: why does Holly sound like a male?
Screening on TVNZ, this animated series for young kids follows the adventures of Massey the farm tractor and his machine mates on Murray and Heather’s farm. In this episode from the first series Massey gets distracted en route to fencing by Slo Mo, an uppity mobility scooter who doesn’t like collecting eggs. When the chicks follow Slo Mo to the shed — where no animals are allowed — the gang come up with a plan, and a cunning disguise for Slo Mo. The series is narrated by broadcaster Jim Mora (Mucking In), who created it with Brent Chambers of Flux Animation.
TVNZ ventured back into country music for the first time since That’s Country with this short series presented by actor and musician Andy Anderson. Very much a down home cousin to its big budget predecessor, it eschewed glitz and glamour to focus firmly on live studio performances (with no retakes allowed). Music director Dave Fraser presided over a crack resident band and guest performers included Midge Marsden, Beaver, Dalvanius, Suzanne, Sonny Day, Hammond Gamble, Brendan Dougan and John Grenell. Five episodes were produced but only four broadcast.
Auckland band the Headless Chickens went against the grain of the so-called Dunedin Sound that dominated the roster of legendary record label Flying Nun, by making extensive use of beats and electronica. The band won the Rheineck Rock Award in 1987, and the prize money funded their innovative (for its use of sampling) debut album Stunt Clown. Singer Fiona McDonald joined the band in the early 90s, and it was during this time that they attracted their widest audience. Headless Chickens split up in 1998, but in 2008 performed reunion gigs in Australia and New Zealand.
Fronted by songwriting brothers Kody and Ruban Nielson, the eclectic Mint Chicks emerged from Auckland’s live music scene in 2005 with debut album F**k The Golden Youth, having made a name for themselves and polarised critical opinion with chaotic, often volatile, shows. They found approval in 2007 when their follow-up, Crazy? Yes! Dumb? No!, won five NZ Music awards, including Best Album and Best Group. Recordings at The Dandy Warhol’s famed studio The Odditorium, yielded 2009 album Screens. A Ray Columbus cover and EP Bad Buzz followed in 2010. The band split to pursue solo projects that year.
Great adverts are strange things: mini works of magic, with the power to make viewers smile, cry, and even buy. Kiwi directors have shown such a knack for making them, they've been invited to do so across the globe. But this collection is about local favourites; dogs on skateboards, choc bar robberies, ghost chips. NZ On Screen's Irene Gardiner backgrounds the top 10 here.