There was a chorus around the internet saying that first episode of cycle 2 of NZNTM was a little underwhelming (or at least Katherine is Awesome said as much, and her commenters agreed – probably not technically a chorus, but nevermind). And while I certainly didn’t have that problem with the first installment – feeling that it had more than enough of the jaw-dropping reveals, regional accents and (mostly) unintentional host humour to work – the second was a different story.
Because it just coasted for the most part – the Glassons set up was a good premise squandered by a couple of fairly wooden company reps; no one had the abject fear-of-heights they were clearly hoping for up the bridge; and Rob Trathen was too competent and non-sleazy to get that train-wreck shoot going. Still, amidst the ho-hum there were embers which will flame out in the coming weeks, not the least of which was the astonishingly breezy enmity of the youths toward one another. This is a generation schooled on ‘reality’, even more so than the last, and while they mightn’t be able to walk in heels or strike a pose, they can certainly tear strips off each other without appearing remotely concerned with human emotion. And that is good television, folks.