Shortland Street’s ‘penis-gate’ episode has gone global thanks to its unlikely cliffhanger.
The long running New Zealand soap opera shocked fans when it ended on a cliffhanger with the words uttered by Dr Chris Warner: “Please tell me that is not your penis.”
Shortland Steet took an unexpected turn when teenager Harry Warner’s dad, Chris, played by Michael Galvin, showed his son his computer tablet which had synced with Harry’s mobile.
The Independent in the UK featured a the clip under the heading: “New Zealand soap goes viral thanks to its epic cliffhanger”, while a Daily Mail story said: “New Zealand soap opera has fans in stitches with bizarre ‘cliffhanger’ ending to an episode”.
An article on the cliffhanger also appeared online on Mirror.co.uk.
The storyline actually involves more serious themes of sexting among younger generations.
Harry, played by Reid Walker, appears to have taken the explicit pictures on his smartphone which were then synced to the rest of the computers in the house.
When Harry arrives home with his girlfriend, his dad hurries her from the house so he can talk to his son.
Revealing the iPad he confronts his son and says: “Tell me that is not your penis?” before the credits roll
Maxine Fleming, a producer on the show, was thrilled with the response to the cliff hanger.
“When I read the script, I was like, that is the cliffhanger of the year for me. It is a comedy story, but like all good comedy there’s a truth at the core of it, and it is social commentary, that story.
“Many teens are doing stuff like this, and many parents are worried about it,” she told Fairfax.
She also admitted that Galvin would now likely have the line shouted at him in the street everywhere he goes.
“Sorry about that, Michael!” she joked.
Social media users took to Twitter to express their shock at the cliffhanger.
One said the show was hilarious telling Hollywood to take note.
While another said she would have to start watching the show to find out whether it was his penis or not.