The Go-Go’s: A fascinating look at the most successful female rock band of all time

The Go-Gos

Twenty years before the Spice Girls claimed Girl Power; The Go-Gos lived it.

Born out of the late 1970s LA punk scene, the all-female quintet played their own instruments, wrote their own music, and are still the most successful female rock band of all time.

In New Zealand, We got the beat and Holidays were their biggest hits, and most people will recognize singer Belinda Carlisle for her later solo work (circle in the sand, Heaven is a place on earth, I get weak).

Veteran music documentary maker Alison Ellwood (Eagles History Part 1 & Part 2, Spring Broke, Magic Trip) was the perfect choice as the director for it, putting together a complete story of The Go-Go from the beginning to the bitter – and I mean bitter – end.

All the band members and the management are there, and they don’t hesitate to discuss sex, alcohol and drugs. Money is also discussed, including rights and royalties split among the band members, which ultimately broke up the band.

Excellent use of archival footage and new interviews creates a snapshot of a group of young women making music history, unaware of the impact they would have on future generations.

The Go-Gos will take you back to the 80s, and it won’t bother you at all. Listen to my essential Go-Go picks here.

Before telling us that Heaven Was a Place on Earth, Belinda Carlisle was the lead singer of The Go-Gos.


Before telling us that Heaven Was a Place on Earth, Belinda Carlisle was the lead singer of The Go-Gos.

* Bel-Air: A fresh, more dramatic take on Will Smith’s beloved 90s sitcom hits TVNZ
* Starstruck: Rose Matafeo’s charming and clever sitcom returns to TVNZ
* Wellington Paranormal: TVNZ’s hilarious police mockumentary set to release in style
* CSI: Vegas: TVNZ hosts the surprisingly clever and intriguing reboot of the hit crime drama
* CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Remembering the best episodes of all time

Alphas is now available to stream on TVNZ OnDemand.


Created by SyFy, the most obvious comparison for this series is Hero Where The boys.

People discover that they have “abilities”. A respected doctor thinks they are the next step in human evolution and calls them Alphas. Some Alphas use their powers for good and join the Doctor in a government-aligned task force that weeds out Alphas who use their abilities for evil from the streets. Called Red Flag, the villainous Alphas go to a special Alpha prison to be studied.

The difference between Alphas and other shows is that Alphas really leans into the idea that abilities come in non-typical ways. Alpha abilities aren’t things like flight or laser eyes; these are enhanced senses, which lead to social phobias and migraines. One of the team members can see the electrical frequencies; he is also autistic.

Throughout both seasons, other characters appear who have severe disabilities, but are also Alphas.

The idea that what society considers “normal” to be incorrect and offensive is expressed quite clearly (and then taken to the extreme, as befits a sci-fi based TV series.)

It certainly got me thinking, but most of all, I enjoyed watching it. Especially season 2. This end!

Dog Squad has been entertaining Kiwi audiences for 12 seasons.

dog squad

Turn on the TV these days, and you’ll practically stumble upon shows about the police. Sometimes that can be a bit too much. thank god for Canine squad.

Now in its 12th season, it sticks to its tried-and-true formula of (mostly) lovable dogs with jobs working with their handlers for the New Zealand Police. But it’s not just police dogs stalking vandals or drunken men using the toilets at 2 a.m. without permission. They are also dogs that check parcels at the mail center, dogs that sniff out pests for council inspections, and even dogs that find penguins.

It’s always exciting to see sniffer dogs identify suspicious packages, because we want to know if they’re right. The fact that illicit drugs and biohazards are seized are merry little accidents. Me, I just want to see Fidget the beagle get his treat and his stuffed animal.

It was interesting to see a scruffy little dog called Rosie help do a biosecurity pre-check on a new home heading to Great Barrier Island. Trained to detect pests, including rats, mice and Argentine ants, she inspected the subfloor insulation and the interior of the house. On moving day, she inspected the trucks and barge carrying the house; it wasn’t until she gave the go-ahead that they were good to go. Good job, Rose!

Resident Alien Season 2 is streaming now on TVNZ OnDemand.

Foreign resident

I was late on the bandwagon for this show. I had heard the rave reviews, but just hadn’t found the time. (I watch a lot of things.)

That’s hilarious. Alan Tudyk was made for this role. His rubber face rivals Jim Carey, and his innate ability to merge physical comedy with clever script work is unmatched.

Tudyk plays an alien sent to earth to exterminate humanity. Unfortunately, he finds himself stuck here in the body of the local doctor, helping to solve a murder mystery.

It turns out that head injuries in aliens can also cause amnesia. And when you come from another planet with genocide as your initial plan, that can be a big problem.

It’s hard to watch this second season without giving anything away, so I’ll say I’m glad the characters continue to develop – this series is ahead of most written comedies in that regard. This season isn’t full of zingers like the first one was, but it’s still very, very funny.

Corina C. Butler