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Stateside With Rosalea: I've been seeing you!

Stateside with Rosalea

I've been seeing you!

By Rosalea Barker

May is Asia Pacific American month, which is why I found myself watching a documentary about Pacific skin art on Sunday night. There's no equivalent to the Listener here in the US, so I found the programme while out surfing in the commercial breaks during a World Premiere on CBS.

The PBS documentary included a long segment about moko and puhoro, filmed entirely within the Maori community and giving an excellent sense of a country called Aotearoa; the CBS programme was 'Lucy', which was filmed entirely within the Pakeha community, giving an excellent sense of a country called Hollywood. The stark contrast put me in mind of the days when TV3 first started broadcasting, and the debate that ensued about keeping a New Zealand identity in our programming.

In a way, 'Lucy', which is a 3-hour biodrama about Lucille Ball's life, is as perfect a picture of the NZ identity of that time as a biodrama of Aunt Daisy would be. In the ensuing years Kiwis have absorbed the TV culture so completely that now we're exporting it back to the US! Which is a dubious achievement when you look at it from a cultural point of view, but an excellent achievement otherwise.

'Lucy' was prime time Sunday night viewing, and topped the ratings in the first two hours, coming second in the third hour to a repeat episode on NBC of 'Law and Order: Criminal Intent'. You can see the figures at

Ian Mune stood out, but all the Kiwi actors were easily as good as anyone from here would have been. I also recognized a few Kiwi tech and craft names in the credits (which are always squeezed into one corner of the screen here), and a hunt around the net came up with some info from the We Love Lucy discussion board at

For those of you who were in it, the CBS website shows very little of the actual filming but here it is: To complete the trifecta of Kiwi screen presences, Ebert and Roper, the Sunday night film reviewers on ABC, showed Anna Paquin in many of the 'X2: X-Men United' clips they aired, though they didn't mention her by name. The film had an $85 million debut in theatres over the weekend.

'Whale Rider' opens in theatres here in the Bay Area on June 20, but has already had a hit showing at the San Francisco International Film Festival in April.

© Scoop Media

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