Peas in a pod 200/ Spe­cials!

Your Week­end TV re­viewer Jane Bowron small-screen highs and lows. 0Off Opening

The Dominion Post - Your Weekend (Dominion Post) - - Tv Review -

The odds of meet­ing your dop­pel­ganger are a tiny one in a tril­lion. But with so­cial me­dia and spe­cial web­sites de­voted to find­ing some­one who looks just like you, more and more seek­ers are meet­ing their mir­ror im­ages.

In Find­ing My Twin Stranger (TVNZ 1, Tues­day, 9.15pm) seven pairs of dop­pel­gangers un­dergo a se­ries of tests to find out which un­re­lated pair are the most iden­ti­cal.

Pro­fes­sor Tim Spec­tor, direc­tor of the UK Twins Registry at King’s Col­lege, Lon­don, puts them through a se­ries of tests, mea­sur­ing fa­cial fea­tures and us­ing three di­men­sional imag­ing.

Af­ter those hoops are jumped through, the dop­pel­ganger sets are dressed in the same clothes and given the same hair­styles as they are judged by 100 on­look­ers.

While the phys­i­cal ap­pear­ances are matched up, some of the pairs share un­canny sim­i­lar­i­ties in their per­sonal lives. A re­tired head­mas­ter and a vicar who ended up liv­ing in the same town, both went to the same train­ing col­lege, pro­posed to their wives af­ter know­ing them only briefly and ex­hibit the same body lan­guage.

It gets a lit­tle creepy when you meet 30-some­things Dar­ren and David who work in sim­i­lar jobs in the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try, have the same beard length and dis­tri­bu­tion, and are both gay. The more vain one of the two ad­mits he’d al­ways won­dered what it would be like to meet an iden­ti­cal. And what it would be like to sleep with him.

It does sound like the stuff of sci­ence fic­tion but so­cial me­dia has made it en­tirely pos­si­ble to find the dead spit of you. At times the re­search pro­fes­sor be­comes con­fused about who’s who dur­ing dop­pel­ganger in­ter­views. And the 2-year-old daugh­ter of one pair mis­takes her mother for her par­ent’s twin stranger.

Talk about do­ing your head in. It’s like watch­ing The Patty Duke Show, where iden­ti­cal cousins were “two of a kind”, or that episode of Ba­nanas in Py­ja­mas when B1 and B2 dreamt they had mul­ti­plied them­selves.

Fi­nally, Zac la­bo­ri­ously dishes out the last rose to ei­ther Lily or Viarni on The Bach­e­lor NZ (Three, Sun­day, 7pm).

The win­ner of Zac’s heart is im­ma­te­rial. Lily, the happy-go-lucky hoy­den of the se­ries has saved the show from dullsville while be­com­ing the na­tion’s sweet­heart, even if she is Aus­tralian. (You can have our pavlova and Phar Lap, we’ll take your Di­a­mond Lil).

When asked by Zac what the cou­ple might do on a chill-out day, Lily said she’d like to drive for hours be­fore find­ing a mo­tel, get­ting smashed and wind­ing up at the pub where they’d get down with the lo­cals.

Ac­tors Claire Chitham and Karl Bur­nett aka Nick and Waver­ley Har­ri­son from Shorty Street turn up at Chris Warner’s (Michael Galvin) 50th birth­day on Thurs­day night’s spe­cial fea­ture-length Short­land Street, 7pm, TVNZ 2. Warner’s birth­day bash dou­bles as a ve­hi­cle for Short­land Street’s 25th year in the soap sad­dle.

The doc­u­men­tary Short­land Street: In­side an Icon fol­lows di­rectly af­ter­ward at 8.30pm, with the street cel­e­bra­tions cul­mi­nat­ing on Fri­day with Naughty Shorty (TVNZ 2, 7pm).

We’’ree’re back from the US, and un­sur­pris­ingly, the first quue ques­tion we’ve been asked is, “How dif­fer­ent is it unnd un­der Pres­i­dent Trump?” Well, at least­leea for peo­ple who look and sound like me, not very. The top­ic­c­topic c cer­tainly came up, with many Amer­i­cans ask­ing, af­ter the repet­i­tive,repet­i­tivve “What’s New Zealand like?”, a newer ques­tion – “What do y you think of our new pres­i­dent?” They gen­uinely seemed as coc con­fused and be­wil­dered by him as we are.

Only a hand­ful­haan ex­pressed out­right sup­port for Trump. Some were predic­cta pre­dictable; the cou­ple from a small town in Alabama who hope that bub busi­nesses might re­turn, and were clearly no fans of Obama. Othhe Oth­ers were more sur­pris­ing: a 28-year-old His­panic Uber driver with a de­gree in po­lit­i­cal sci­ence who ar­gued, elo­quently, his three reaas rea­sons for vot­ing Trump – be­ing a con­ser­va­tive Chris­tian, a huge fan ofo of The Ap­pren­tice and not trust­ing Hi­lary Clin­ton.

He wasn’t wasn’tt t the first who said that if the Democrats had put up a dif­fer­ent can­di­date (usu­ally Bernie San­ders) they would have voted fo for him rather than Trump – they wanted change, and they reaal re­ally didn’t care too much what form it took. So, Trump Trumpp hasn’t de­stroyed the US, at least not yet. How­ever, h he also hasn’t fixed the on­go­ing prob­lems that plagued hisshis p pre­de­ces­sor. The boarded-up shops. The fact that you can­not o open a lo­cal news­pa­per with­out find­ing a story about a shoot­ing by page three. The over­whelm­ing home­less pop­u­la­tion, the vast ma­jor­ity of which are African Amer­i­can.

I was par­tic­u­larly sur­prised at how buried those par­tic­u­lar di­vi­sions are. With the ex­cep­tion of a pas­sion­ate on-stage speech by Ste­vie Won­der (who has earned the right to say what­ever the hell he wants) dis­cus­sions of on­go­ing race is­sues were con­spic­u­ous by their ab­sence.

That was all the more star­tling af­ter our most emo­tion­ally pow­er­ful day of the trip, one spent at the Na­tional Civil Rights Mu­seum, housed at the Lor­raine Mo­tel in Mem­phis, Ten­nessee, the site of the as­sas­si­na­tion of Martin Luther King Jr.

This ab­so­lute must-see mu­seum takes an un­flinch­ing look at the ter­ri­ble, and all too re­cent, his­tory of racism and ha­tred that still bub­bles away just be­low the sur­face.

Across the South, there is an on­go­ing stand­off over the re­moval of Civil War-era mon­u­ments. We were think­ing of go­ing down to one, out of cu­rios­ity, un­til we read that the pro-mon­u­ment groups were also tak­ing ad­van­tage of their right to openly carry as­sault ri­fles, at which point we changed our mind. Since we’ve been back, they’ve added burn­ing torches to their ar­se­nal.

Be­neath the bizarre dis­trac­tions of Trump’s first months in of­fice, there re­main deeper di­vi­sions that are writ­ten in blood and tears, and refuse to go away. Not all walls are phys­i­cal. with em­bar­rass­ment about who they’ve put in charge.

Trump is wrong to call it “fake news” but he’s right that the main­stream me­dia is full of crit­i­cism of his gov­er­nance – and we’re talk­ing the Hous­ton Chron­i­cle and New Or­leans’ Times-picayune, not just the dailies from tra­di­tion­ally lib­eral states.

Oc­ca­sion­ally we met peo­ple who “voted Trump” or “against Clin­ton” or “for change” but al­most no “Trump sup­port­ers”. But these were city folk, out­side of the Rust Belt – from Chicago, not Detroit.

Then at Faulkner House – New Or­leans’ icon­icc book­store at the ad­dress where young Wil­liam wrote and drank on the cusp of fame in 1925 – I pickedd up the lat­est re­lease from Joan Did­ion.

Did­ion trav­elled through the South in the 1970s,0s, in­ter­view­ing lo­cals and mak­ing ob­ser­va­tions aboutout class, race and gen­der – and how markedly un­en­light­ened and un­evolved at­ti­tudes were from those where she lived in Cal­i­for­nia. And herr re­al­i­sa­tion that, while much of the coun­try was em­brac­ing de­seg­re­ga­tion and women’s re­pro­duc­tivec­tive rights – and ex­pect­ing that even­tu­ally the rest off the coun­try would “catch up” – they had not.

It made Did­ion de­spon­dent 45 years ago. Andd read­ing her notes in 2017 makes me fear­ful – no­tot about Amer­ica, but about all of us.

The world isn’t dif­fer­ent un­der Trump, it’s whatt parts of it have al­ways been.

These dop­pel­gangers have never met be­fore.

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