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The Age

Thursday October 8, 2009

Hey Hey, it wasn't too badLAST Wednesday was a night of firsts in our house. I watched my first episode of Celebrity MasterChef and was caught up in the competition. The celebrities, as promised, were not the selling point. My 10-year-old son watched his first episode of Hey Hey, It's Saturday and was caught up in the weak jokes and colour. If I had to choose between him watching grannies falling over on Australia's Funniest Home Videos or Hey Hey, I'd go with the latter.Julie Fullgrabe, Evandale, SAGood clean funHOW refreshing to have Hey Hey, It's Saturday back. Unlike the panellists on Spicks and Specks and Good News Week,Hey Hey's presenters were able to string a sentence together without swearing or using sexual innuendo. Keep it up!Peter Waterhouse, Moonee PondsLike old school friendsTHE Hey Hey, It's Saturday reunion show was a bit like a school reunion mildly interesting but reminds you why you didn't stay in touch. And certainly not something you'd want to do every week.Stephanie Puls, AlphingtonRadio host roastMANY have made much of the ratings battle between Nine and Ten last Wednesday. I have a ratings winner to ensure a Ten victory: Celebrity MasterChef special highlight Kyle Sandilands on a spit. Oink, oink.Effi Smith, WilliamstownLeft out of the loopHEY Hey, It's Saturday last Wednesday was great until the closed captions for the hearing impaired stopped at 9pm.Matthew Wren, Avondale HeightsHeritage of unfunninessMARIEKE Hardy is being a bit hard on Sam Newman when she criticises him for not being funny (Back Chat, 1/10). He is part of a heritage of Victorian TV presenters with the same problem. From Bert Newton, Denise Drysdale and Daryl Somers to the astonishingly dull Dave Hughes is an unbroken line of smug, unfunny people.Tony Andrews, Seacliff, SAClaws out for NewmanAS A Geelong supporter (and one-time player) for more than 60 years and a former Footy Show viewer, I say, "Hear, hear!" to Marieke Hardy's column on Sam Newman (Back Chat, 1/10).Bob Morrow, ElthamStorm brews over coverageWHICH idiot at Channel Nine in Melbourne decided to pull the plug on the NRL grand final coverage? Which fool at Channel Nine would like to be handed over to Storm fans to explain?Chris Benham, CarnegieNo need to see drunk anticsDID anyone benefit from Channel Nine airing excerpts of Brendan Fevola's Brownlow edition of "Street Talk"? For all his flaws, Fevola has every right to feel aggrieved by Channel Nine covering its back.Anthony Jenkins, Pascoe ValeHunting a part of natureVALERIE Pearson (Letters, 1/10), sensitive souls should realise that hunting is part of nature and while it may be gory, such is life and death. Yellowstone did a wonderful job at showing the complex interactions and cycles that are part of nature. Nature knows no happiness or sadness, no kindness or cruelty. These are purely human traits.Melissa Nicholls, CroydonHaunted by advertisingDURING FlashForward, I blacked out for 16 minutes and dreamed of cars, supermarkets, department store sales and Channel Seven promos. Apparently, 1.2 million Melburnians experienced the same horror!David Bowker, RowvilleTurned off in a flashCHANNEL Seven kept the advertising watermark for FlashForward while screening the movie Casino Royale on Sunday. This had the dual effect of my household not only switching off the movie but refusing to watch the advertised program the next night.Roman Horoway, Mount MarthaBurdened by beastHUNGRY Beast was unbelievably bad. The presenters lacked pizzazz. The sketches were ill-conceived, especially the interview with the family of a soldier killed in action. The sets and costumes were ugly. Andrew Denton, what were you thinking?Pam Pilgrim, HighettHitchens shows up polliesWHAT a relief it was to watch a politician-free Q&A on ABC1 (1/10). The contrast was rendered particularly stark by the presence of Christopher Hitchens, who was 10 times more knowledgeable, original, fresh and direct than any politician I have heard on the program. Predictably, he caused severe embarrassment to the representatives of both religious orders, Father Frank Brennan and Waleed Ali, who were forced to dance on the points of proverbial needles to avoid difficult questions. Let's ban the politicians from the show all they can contribute is the tired old party line and let's have more Hitchenses who have something new to say.Rob Siedle, HawthornQ&A breaks free of treadmillIT TOOK Christopher Hitchens, British author, dissident and commentator, to get Q&A off the treadmill of boring, contending political parties and into the area of riveting television. No longer safe, cliche-driven, hedging political party spin but telling it like it is.Ron Pinnell, BurnleyFaith informs votesAS A committed Christian, I admit I occasionally agreed with Christopher Hitchens on Q&A. But did he have to be so supercilious and patronising? To expect people to express an opinion or vote at an election without reference to their personal beliefs, which are informed by their faith, is surely illogical and unworkable.Eileen Rule, Glen WaverleyBrennan left behindTHE ABC is to be congratulated on the Q&A series mainly for well-balanced panellists. However, Father Frank Brennan was lost in the scene and let his side down miserably. He was overawed trying to be "all things to all men" in his obscurantist answer about "gay marriage". The program is about fast repartee and cannot wait for ponderous bush lawyer tactics!Maureen Federico, Frankston SouthA word for The WireMICHAEL Freeman (Letters, 1/10) criticises The Wire as "garbled, meaningless and incomprehensible". He must be watching a different program to me or expect everything to be neatly packaged like CSI. The Wire is complex, multi-layered and engrossing once you get on its wavelength. However, its authenticity means subtitles are a must. Better still, get the DVDs and view it at your leisure and all will become much clearer.Ian Colvin, Mount Nelson, Tas.Series needs long-term studyMICHAEL Freeman (Letters, 1/10), The Wire does not reward casual viewing because it's the antithesis of police procedurals in which grisly crimes generally come to a neat end. It's not pretty and not for everyone but will reward committed viewing.Alan Turner, Brunswick EastReflection of the real worldMICHAEL Freeman (Letters, 1/10), The Wire is a realistic, gritty drama in the real world, people do swear and are difficult to understand. You had best stick to All Saints and Packed to the Rafters, where the characters speak "Australian" and the plots require very little brain power.Helen Case, Carrum DownsPolice portrayal disappointsANY hopes of finally being able to put our name to a good cop show were crushed when Rush was aired. The aggressive, irresponsible police officers portrayed on the show as well as the unimaginative plots and dialogue give the force, not to mention Aussie TV, a bad name.Hilary Campbell, MilawaDubious methodsWHEN you've grown up with the likes of Poirot, Barnaby and Grissom, it's hard to swallow the way evidence was obtained in a recent episode of City Homicide. A masked cop scaring the daylights out of the suspect? Couldn't the writers find new evidence with hair samples and other bits on the boat?Alan Tam, Wantirna SouthMore Marr pleaseI AGREE with Liesl Kosma (Letters, 1/10) about David Marr. He's erudite and what a voice! ABC FM, more Marr please.Ruth Boschen, BalwynLetters policyGreen Guide letters must now be submitted online. Please go to our website and follow the prompts. Ensure you select "Letters to Green Guide" from the "publication" dropdown menu.

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