HD Heads-Up: June 1-7

TV One will premiere in HD at Queen’s Birthday Weekend the visually stunning Victorian drama, The Crimson Petal and the White.

Nominated for a best mini-series BAFTA in 2012, it was adapted from Michael Faber’s 2002 novel and will screen in four 90-minute episodes 10.30 Sundays from June 2.

The psychological thriller’s exceptional cast includes The Hour’s Romoloa Garai (who was BAFTA nominated for best actress), The Sapphires’ Chris O’Dowd, Green Wing’s Katie Lyon, The Way We Live Now’s Shirley Henderson, Bleak House’s Tom Georgeson, Richard E Grant and Gillian Anderson (pictured).

When it screened two years ago on BBC2, The Independent said “it looks fabulous, as if a Vogue art director had decided that Victorian underbelly was going to be this season’s big thing,” while The Guardian concluded: “This was an adult drama in every sense, and as complex and rewarding as anything the BBC has produced. In a nutshell: cor.”

While The Daily Telegraph thought Faber’s “glorious, horrible, penetrative novel has been not only condensed, but reduced”, the author himself praised the adaptation: “They’ve been very clever. I think they’ve done an extraordinary job with it.”

From the sublime to the ridiculous: TV2 will reinstate its Wednesday HD comedy block on June 5 with new episodes of Two and a Half Men and the premiere of The Neighbors.

About city slickers looking for the good life who wind up living among ETs in a gated community, the latter overcame less-than-stellar reviews to gain enough viewers for renewal.

The Washington Post praised it as “buoyant, slightly creepy entertainment for anybody who doesn’t take sci-fi or satire too seriously” and the Los Angeles Times thought it “enjoyable if not impressive–not bad, and almost good“.

But USA Today recommended you slam the door on these neighbours — “nothing rises above mediocrity, and too much falls beneath it” — while The Hollywood Reporter dubbed it “one of the least funny things to air on television since the last Hitler documentary on History”.

To give it as strong a launch as possible, TV2 is hammocking The Neighbors at 8.00 between Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory.

TV2 also will add another night of BBT re-runs when it double-bills season four episodes (which will be in HD) from 7.30-8.30 Tuesday to try to boost viewership of the struggling Go Girls.

That means BBT will screen four nights in a row: re-runs of season one (SD) on Sundays and of season four on Mondays and Tuesdays, with new season-six eps on Wednesday.

Other HD programming news of note for the week starting June 1 includes:

❑ The season three premiere of Showtime’s Shameless in a slot that’s an hour earlier than season two’s (TV2, 10.40 Monday) — said The Detroit News of its return: “Essentially, Shameless is still Shameless: A raucous, shocking, moral battleground, a family comedy taken to twisted extremes, boosted by a uniformly fine cast, and consistently entertaining”

❑ The network premiere of the Hilary Swank movie, Conviction (TV3, 11.05 Sunday), and re-runs of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (TV2, 1.20am Sunday), Old School (TV3, 9.05 Sunday), and Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer (TV3, 9.05 Monday)

❑ The season finales of MasterChef MasterClass (TV One, 7.30 Saturday) and MasterChef NZ (TV One, 7.30 Sunday)

❑ Michael Bolton will guest star on the season 10 premiere of Two and a Half Men (TV2, 7.30 Wednesday), Matt Bomer (Chuck, White Collar) on The New Normal (TV3, 8.00 Friday), and Will Smith and Jaden Smith, Michael Douglas, Bradley Cooper, Heather Graham and Selena Gomez on The Graham Norton Show (TV3, 8.30 Friday).

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2 Responses to “HD Heads-Up: June 1-7”

  1. If you want some light relief then The Neighbors is for you. Way better than the reality crap currently on these days.

  2. I think my neighbours are aliens, too.

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