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This Week On TVNZ 7

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Fuseworks Media
This Week On TVNZ 7

WEEK 9: Saturday 27 February - Friday 5 March 2010

Local - The Good Word, Saturday 27 February, 9.10pm: New Zealand's exciting television book show, The Good Word, treats viewers with its lively mix of reviews, views and stories from the world of books.

The series stars novelist Emily Perkins (in the studio) and columnist Finlay Macdonald (in the field), along with an almost all-new all-star panel. Joining comic Te Radar, on The Good Word panel are newcomers, actor Jennifer Ward-Lealand, columnist Steve Braunias, One News presenter Miriama Kamo, journalist Gordon McLauchlan and - in what may be a worldwide book show first - the country's Chief Censor, Bill Hastings.

The Good Word is an innovative mix of both studio and documentary elements. In the studio, the award-winning Perkins leads the panel in reviewing a book of the week, then brings in a special guest to talk about his or her favourite book.

Filmed in the field each week is a visit with a real-life book club, and Macdonald's documentary series Under the Covers which, in each show, uncovers the story behind a famous New Zealand book. Tonight, presenter Emily Perkins and panellists Bill Hastings, Miriama Kamo and Steve Braunias discuss book of the week, Magpie Hall, by Rachael King.

TVNZ presenter Tim Wilson (based in New York) talks about his favourite book, and reporter Finlay Macdonald investigates the story behind New Zealand classic, A Good Keen Man. If you have missed an episode, check your guide for extra opportunities to view. Full episodes of The Good Word will also be available free online at

Local - The Gravy, Saturday 27 February, 9.35pm: Musician Warren Maxwell, playwright Gabe McDonnell, and graphic artist Ross Liew present Aotearoa's creative culture show, The Gravy.

From words to bodies to technology, each episode is a journey of discovery into the hearts and minds of inspirational New Zealanders. The show continues its successful tradition while bringing in a contextual element born from a deep respect and engagement with the creative culture of the nation. Extraordinary stories continue to explode in your face in the weekly animated segment, The Truth. This week, Gabe McDonnell, meets three filmmakers all coming at the craft of film from different directions. Grant and Bryce Campbell are anarchists, folk artists, brothers and collaborators of home movies to docos, and are currently working on the script, Mountain Oyster. Self taught filmmaker, Jason Stutter, who made Tongan Ninja) on weekends with friends now has feature film funding and is in post production with Predicament. Gabe also meets Zoe McIntosh, director of the Rob Moody doco/drama Lost in Wonderland and short film Day Trip. If you have missed an episode, check your guide for extra opportunities to view. Full episodes of The Gravy will also be available free online at

WORLD'S BEST: Doco Of The Week - Aravani Girl, Wednesday 3 March, 7.10pm: TVNZ 7's Doco Of The Week, Aravani Girl, is a powerful documentary about the struggle for acceptance, as sixteen-year-olds Palani and Karthik want to become ladyboys.

They're bullied in school and beaten by their families. Their parents would like to see them grow up as normal boys, but they're falling deeper and deeper into the world of the Aravanis. Loved as dance performers, but hated as homosexuals, their stories emblazon the inner conflicts of India's gender culture today. The boys spend much time with the local Aravani dance troupe, fascinated by their marginalised lifestyle. Like many boys before him, Palani is shunned by his family for visiting the Aravanis, and Karthik's future decisions may be taken from him altogether. "If my family arrange my marriage, I'll marry, if not, I'll be a ladyboy," says Karthik. Forced to leave school to work, and ostracised by his family, Palani hangs around the market with fellow Aravanis who as women, and as beautiful dancers, are admired. At the village festival, the dance troupe's saris light up the skies and, for a short while, the dancers feel accepted. Completely rejected by his family, Palani has turned to posing as a female prostitute to make a living. "Now I know how hard life is," says Palani on his way to yet another dangerous encounter. "I don't want that life, I'm good at dancing," he continues. This is a compelling story of the loss of innocence in a culture struggling to come to terms with homosexuality.

WORLD'S BEST: NOW, Thursday 4 March, 7.10pm: In this week's NOW, America's new wounded warriors are returning from war with brain injuries ranging in severity from concussion, to paralysis and coma.

Why, as their primary caregivers, are their families overworked and under-supported? This area of growing concern for US servicemen and their families and the efforts to change the situation for those wounded is investigated in this incisive documentary. Advances in battlefield medicine and better troop armour mean the chances of surviving bombs and Improvised Explosive Device (IEDs) are greater than in past wars, but the Pentagon estimates that as many as one in five American soldiers are coming home from war zones with traumatic brain injuries, many of which require round-the-clock attention. But lost in the reports of these returning soldiers are the stories of family members who often sacrifice everything to care for them. NOW reveals how little has been done to help these family caregivers, and reports on dedicated efforts to support them.

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