Television The Man Doesn't Want YOU To See (And How To See It)

  • 2/28/2008 12:30:00 am
  • By Mark Gibbings-Jones

Listeners to BrokenTV may remember our commenting on Shaun Micallef's long-awaited return to antipodean screens late last year. A show some lazy commentators might refer to as "The Day Today meets The Daily Show meets The Micallef P(r)ogram(me)", especially if they're as lazy as we are, going by the name of Newstopia. For those that don't remember, we'd mentioned that it was largely disappointing as far as we were concerned, being roundly overshadowed by the similarly Australasian satire show The Chaser's War On Everything.

Welp, the second series of Newstopia has just started in the former colony, and by Lucy Robinson's transmogrifying face, it's very much improved. And splendidly, it's available to be viewed for seven days after each episode on the website of the show's broadcaster, SBS. Everyone's a winner, surely?

Sadly, nope. Despite the show being (a) largely topical, and (b) in part based on the viewers having at least a cursory knowledge of Australian current affairs, the stream is blocked to anyone not currently residing in Oz. Not that it's likely to make it to any other broadcaster in other nations, or likely to ever get a full release on DVD. Clearly, SBS are the most flaming of galahs.

Fortuitously, BrokenTV is able to come galloping to the rescue, like a computer nerd somehow finding itself strapped to a horse. With any luck, the following steps should see you right.

1) Go to this website and select a likely looking Australia-based proxy (transparent should be fine, as it won't really matter if it gets traced back to your ISP. Probably).

2) Put the proxy into your browser. On Firefox, that would be via Tools > Options > Advanced > Connection settings > Manual proxy configuration. On Internet Explorer, it would probably be a lot more complicated that that, so you should use a proper browser instead*. Don't forget to include the port. We used, port 3128, although we can't be sure how long that'll last.

(*Hey, we're explaining someone to do with proxy servers here, we're practically obliged to get pathetically snooty about web browsers as if it matters.)

3) Go to the Newstopia streaming video website. With luck and a benevolent god on your side, you'll be enjoying Newstopia.

3a) Don't forget to change your proxy settings back to "Direct connection the internet" after you're done, or it might have an impact on your download speed.

Spoddishness to one side, this new episode was much tighter that what we'd seen previously, with more of the delicious Micallef wordplay that a disappointingly small number of comedy fans over here have come to know and love. Also: spoof adverts and trailers (slipped in without fanfare at the end of the 'proper' commercials, to be noticed only by viewers paying attention, just like The Goodies used to make), which are always welcome, especially when they're done as well as that. Given the quality of Yasser's Heroes, let's hope Shaun is given another sketch show at some point in the future.

And before any Chris Morris fanboys pipe up with something along the lines of "Waah! It's not as good as The Day Today", that's because it isn't the Day Today. Do you complain that your breakfast cereal isn't as good as The Day Today? No, you don't. So shut up.

"There's nothing Australians like more than having themselves refracted back to them through the prism of overseas news services."

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