Local series The Pretender is a fly-on-the-wall look at the inner workings of a typical New Zealand MP’s office. It follows the highs and lows, backroom machinations, and desperate measures of MP Dennis Plant (Bob MacLaren) and his team as they attempt to navigate the dog-eat-dog world of governmental politics. Disgruntled with his ineffectual back bench position with the National Party, Dennis joins forces with defecting Labour MP Joanne Williams to form the new political party, Future New Zealand, and hold the balance of power. Dennis suddenly finds himself launched from virtual obscurity into the spotlight of the national media, though whether he’ll survive it remains to be seen.
Behind every politician is his team: Johnny Green (Andre King), his jaded and cynical strategist and policy advisor; Ed Hamilton-Smith (Mark Neilson), Dennis’ hapless press secretary: under-paid, under-valued and over-worked; and Joanne Williams (Lucy Schmidt), a career politician, and Future New Zealand’s co-leader: idealistic, intelligent, conscientious, and uncharismatic to the point of invisibility.
Broadcast Sunday 21 September 2008, 10:00pm on TV One