TV Review: Seven Sharp: third strike lucky



 More prophetic than anyone could imagine – Jesse in a coffin 
Jesse Mulligan was the last of the original ill-fated trio to be dumped from Seven Sharp.  This happened last week with little notice given and less notice paid.  His removal was more inevitable than the four blade razor.
Mulligan was the least damaged of a panel of lame ducks when it started following the demise of Close Up, but the format of 2014 – with the waspish Hosking ensconced as alpha male – demanded a sacrifice.  Mulligan appears to have been kept on just to save face for the network and provide a semblance of continuity over the new year – as if that would prevent it looking like anything but a major failure.
Hosking’s on-air mocking a few weeks ago of the old Seven Sharp desk being on trademe was brutal.  Hosking was pretty much telling Mulligan to piss off with the other losers when that went down.  If charmless hostility is supposed to be one of Hosking’s winning qualities then the folk who run TVNZ have spent too much time listening to ZB talkhate radio.  Paul Henry is only a mild laxative causing flatulence compared with the relentless toxicity of Hosking.  Pairing him with Toni Street, Miss Bubbles McBubbly, as a counterpoint tends to highlight his offensive ranting rather than diminish it.  The only thing being softened by her presence is the lighting.  She cheerily gushes her way through the show in wide-eyed amazement – perhaps at how she got this job in the first place (because if she reflected on the tenure of the rest of the hosts she would look a lot more depressed, like how Mulligan looked the last month or so).
With Hosking comes an ability to compete head to head with Campbell Live on the big interviews.  From what little I can stand to watch of this marketing-inspired shite, the opportunity to match Campbell has not been pursued.  The tension between the original flawed project – derived from a brain-storming session late in the afternoon at the Devonport wine festival – and the new flawed project hung as it is upon the prickly persona of Hosking is already on display.
They may be getting better, but they still don’t know how to treat major issues of the day: too heavy or complex they will tend to avoid altogether whereas Campbell Live would make a meal of it.  Where Seven Sharp does delve into weightier topics the juxtapose with the fluff is unpalatable.
Having Hosking go from empathising with one form of victim on the outro to story one is not a gentle or pleasant segue to a victim-bashing intro to story two.  All the face-pulling required to act out each alien emotional concept to him is painful and it is unconvincing.  Hosking must think so too as he doesn’t even bother as of late, preferring to just read the autocue and make perfunctory remarks that cut down on the need to go through the ritual of performing the usual instinctive emotional responses an audience expects and demands of a host handling this material.
You can tell when he doesn’t care – and it is quite often.  It is this barely disguised contempt for the show’s own content which leads me to believe that Hosking may be even more underwhelmed by what TVNZ are doing with the show than the critics are.  Maybe he knows the show is coming to an end but he is not?
The only marked improvement worthy of mention, or at least special mention, is the easing off on the pointless social media distractions in favour of dialogue between the hosts.  How old fashioned – probably why it works much better than the bombardment of inanities from teh interwebs despite the awkward moments it creates.  The frenzied interaction fad may have peaked just in time to allow Mr Perfect his big shot.


  1. Seven Sharp kind of puts me in mind of my grandfather’s axe, 5 new heads and 3 new handles and still as good as the day he bought it

  2. A few Fridays ago Hosking signed off with the profound thought that Auckland had so many cruize ships passing through it, that we didn’t know how lucky we are living in this country (and under this government, of course). Paul Henry does the same thing – we’ve never had it so good in this lucky country of ours (with the subtext that this is because of the wonderful present government)

  3. I’ve heard that Hosking is a bit unsettled. Not being listed on the Herald’s 100 Coolest NZers has hit him hard!

  4. I recall reading somewhere that Seven Sharp had a ratings boost because of Hosking, and Seven Sharp was killing Campbell Live in the ratings. What the fuck is going on?! How is this even possible? When did Mike Hosking suddenly become popular again? He’s one of the biggest pieces of shite we’ve ever had on television.

    Can anyone comment on the accuracy of this, or have I confused right wing blog bullshit with fact?

    • Yep. The poll was run by the same outfit that featured on ‘The Simpsons’ a while back
      Their poll had candidate A with 100% and candidate B with 1% with a reported margin of error of + or – 1%.

  5. I have a good idea of how to improve Seven Sharp 100%. Replace the current presenters with the Wiggles!

  6. I have all but ceased watching free to air TV. They still seem to think its 1976 but without the multiple layers of bullshit of 2014. The “news” is the absolute pits, a Punch and Judy show with a container ship of make up liberally thrown about.

    You see morons, it’s not the news and how shite the research is, oh no, its the presenters ‘cos you see them on the back of buses looking profound, looking serious, looking all star like. Its their expressions, its their banter, its their twitter accounts and their empty opinions, and I truly think they believe they are far more important than whatever they think they’re doing for a living.

    As for Hosking, who needs another party political broadcast on behalf of the National Party to remind us that no matter how much you polish a turd, its still a turd!

    • That’s all the news and current affairs programming in this country seems to be about – cushy, high paying jobs and vain, lame attempts at celebrity.

      I don’t even see the point in having presenters, notice on Euronews their news bulletin just has a narration, but even then their news isn’t great.

      I suppose the internet is the way of the future. It would be good if there was a program/app that read a personalised news bulletin by searching the web for the stories of relevance and reading it in a good human sounding voice.

      Perhaps working on that principle sophisticated programs in future could provide excellent, custom, informative broadcasting. Maybe with free nationwide wireless internet, there will be no need for current TV and radio broadcasts.

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