New to Sky Box Sets in December

   Next month Sky Box Sets will screen the first two seasons of True Detective as a curtain-raiser to season three’s January 14 premiere on SoHo. Says Esquire of S3: “With Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali in the lead role, the first trailer for new season appears to deliver everything that made the first season such a […]

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New to Neon in December

Neon will premiere in HD season two of Marvel’s Runaways within three days of its Hulu return. The superhero series will stream from December 24, the same week Sky 5 screens in SD the DC crossover event, Elseworlds (The Flash, December 17; Arrow, December 18; Supergirl, December 19). Also new to Neon next month will […]

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New to SoHo and SoHo2 in December

The Woman in White | SoHo, 8.30 Sundays from December 16. The Daily Telegraph dubbed this bold adaptation of the Wilkie Collins’ best-seller set in English country houses and a Victorian madhouse “a feminist battle-cry for the #MeToo generation”. Featuring an all-star cast (Jessie Buckley, Charles Dance, Ben Hardy, Kerry Fox), it retains the creeping atmosphere while bringing a […]

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TVNZ 2 Ditches Will & Grace

TVNZ 2 is dropping Will & Grace from its vulnerable Wednesday night comedy block and bringing forward an improving Australian Survivor. The changeover will occur November 28, when Survivor will air at 8.30, a re-run of Hotel Hell at 9.30, and reinstated re-runs of Two and a Half Men and 2 Broke Girls from 10.30. […]

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HD Ratings: Music to Three’s Ears

Jono and Ben’s final broadcast didn’t win its slot on Thursday but Three’s live telecast of the Vodafone NZ Music Awards was top of the pops. The ceremony won its two-hour slot in all of the core commercial demographics, proving vulnerable to only TVNZ 2’s Seven Year Switch (UK) in its opening half-hour because of spillover […]

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Critical Condition: My Brilliant Friend

My Brilliant Friend | TVNZ OnDemand, from Monday ☆☆☆☆ “Admirers of Elena Ferrante’s novel My Brilliant Friend — the first in her smash series of four books about a pair of Neapolitan women moving through life — likely have two questions about the Italian-language TV adaptation. The first is how faithful it is to the source […]

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Critical Condition: Escape at Dannemora

Escape at Dannemora | SoHo, 8.30 Monday ☆☆☆☆ “In 2015, two men tunneled out of Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York. They had the help of a civilian woman who worked there, with whom both had sex. A multimillion-dollar manhunt followed. One inmate was shot and killed, the other was captured. The seedy sexual details and Shawshank Redemption-style escape […]

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Critical Condition: Sally4Ever

Sally4Ever | SoHo2, 9.30 Sunday ☆☆☆☆ Julia Davis, the English comedian, actor, writer and director who created the original (and better) version of Camping, brings a new cringe-comedy fest to HBO with Sally4Ever and it needs to be your new Brit-com obsession … Imbued with the muted, knowing style of humour the Brits love so […]

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Network Movies in HD: November 16 – 22

   Saturday     Police Academy 3: Back In Training | TVNZ 2, 7.00    Interstellar | TVNZ 2, 8.40 The Green Mile | Three, 8.55 Godzilla | Duke, 9.30 300: Rise of an Empire | TVNZ 2, 11.55   Sunday    The Fifth Estate | TVNZ 2, 1.50am       John Wick | TVNZ 2, 8.30    Hell or High Water | […]

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Critical Condition: The Kominsky Method

The Kominsky Method | Netflix, from Friday ☆☆☆☆ “In the third episode of Netflix’s charming new silver-haired comedy The Kominsky Method, Michael Douglas pees in the hedges outside the home of the woman he’s dating. This could merely be an easy joke at the expense of a senior citizen with less control over his bodily […]

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Critical Condition: Narcos: Mexico

Narcos: Mexico | Netflix, from Friday ☆☆☆☆ “The fourth season, given the expanded title Narcos: Mexico, gets what amounts to a total surface reboot. The action may move to Mexico and the specific law enforcement and criminal figures may be new, but the conflicts and structure and overall feel are of a piece. The result […]

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HD Ratings: Bake Off Takes the Cake

TVNZ 2’s The Great Kiwi Bake Off out-rated Three’s Australian Ninja Warrior for the first time in the 25-54 demographic on Tuesday. The cooking show averaged 5.6% vs 4.9% for the first hour of ANW, although the latter averaged 5.3% for its 100-minute broadcast. Bake Off also won the 18-39 demo and was competitive with […]

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Critical Condition: Sweetbitter

Sweetbitter | SoHo2, 8.00 Thursday ☆☆☆☆ “Based on the novel by Stephanie Danler (who also serves as an executive producer and writer), Sweetbitter follows 22-year-old Tess (Ella Purnell) after she spontaneously moves to New York City, alone and without a real plan. Despite being an English major and only having experience in a small coffee shop, […]

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Critical Condition: Vida

Vida | SoHo2, 7.30 Thursday ☆☆☆☆ “The rare drama series to focus on Latino characters — who are female and/or queer, no less — Vida only somewhat lives up to the colour, richness and excitement maybe promised by its title (the Spanish feminine noun for ‘life’) … Sporting vibrant East La La Land locations and piquant touches of magical […]

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HD Heads-Up: November 24 – 30

➢➢ Duke will refresh Wednesdays from November 28 with a new doco double-bill: Warship (8.30) and The Vertical Mile (9.30). The latter is a two-part account of Deadly 60’s Steve Blackshall’s attempt to climb the North Face of the Eiger, or “The Ogre”. It should be worth a look in HD because he used special shoulder-mounted […]

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