HD Heads-Up: November 16-22

TV3 will be hoping Hamish and Andy’s latest gap year can plug a gap in its schedule post-The Block NZ.

Hamish & Andy’s Gap Year Asia, which will screen 7.30 Mondays, topped the ratings when it aired four months ago in Australia and apparently is the pair’s most “dangerous” and “edgiest” series yet, from their eating a fertilised duck egg to being served beer by a monkey bartender.

Said the Sydney Morning Herald of the premiere: “Hamish Blake and Andy Lee are tackling Asia as they go to places no sane human would consider visiting, such as a dead fish and sewage-filled lake in China’s Jinjiang where Andy attempts to replicate a Shaolin monk’s ability to run on water.

“The monk has trained for 15 years to do this and takes it very seriously.

“It’s gross, funny and, as always, the joke is on Hamish and Andy. This is part of their appeal.

“Also look out for Herbert Chavez, a pageant dressmaker in Manila who fancies himself as Superman and has gone under the knife 13 times to replicate his hero.”

But not everyone was amused: animal rights group PETA accused the pair of staging a “gruesome and cold-blooded stunt” when when they killed a snake and Lee swallowed the animal’s still-beating heart in a glass of blood.

Also new are two TV One dramas: Red Widow (9.30 Mondays) and Inside Men (10.55 Wednesdays).

The former stars Radha Mitchell as a mobster’s wife who avenges her husband’s murder and  lasted only eight weeks in the US, which makes it perfect filler fodder for TV One until Christmas.

Reviews were mixed. The kinder critiques ranged from “entertaining and engrossing” (Miami Herald) to “Mitchell’s coolly understated performance makes it all slightly more believable and worth a few episodes to see where it leads” (The Washington Post).

On the other side of the ledger: “another Mob drama that doesn’t even make an effort to make sense” (USA Today) and “a formula series trying desperately not to be a formula series” (The Hollywood Reporter).

Inside Men is a four-part BBC drama about three security depot employees who plan and execute a multi-million pound cash heist.

“I can’t imagine anyone watching Inside Men felt in the slightest bit short-changed,” said The Telegraph but The Guardian pondered after the premiere: “Can there really be three more episodes?”

Across the Atlantic, the New York Times called it “a British heist drama that goes on for too long (four hours) and, perhaps as a result, keeps wandering away from the story of the prodigious armed robbery — a haul of more than $250 million — at its core.

“It’s held together by a couple of things: its icy tone, which it maintains even as it detours needlessly into the personal lives of the robbers, and a twitchy, absorbing performance by Steven Mackintosh as the ringleader, a milquetoast who blossoms in the role of criminal mastermind.”

In other HD programming news of note for the week starting November 16:

❑ Season one of Arrow (TV2, 10.55 Monday) will be repeated back-to-back with season two of Once Upon a Time (TV2, 11.55 Monday)

Cougar Town (TV2, 9.00 Wednesday), Supernatural (TV2, 10.25 Wednesday) and George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces’ (TV One, 8.30 Friday) will end their seasons

What’s Your Number? will have its network movie premiere (TV3, 9.00 Sunday) and The Bourne Identity will screen free-to-air in HD for the first time (TV3, 8.30 Monday)

❑ Jude Law and Lady Gaga will guest on Friday’s The Graham Norton Show (TV3, 8.30 Friday).

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2 Responses to “HD Heads-Up: November 16-22”

  1. I know What’s Your Number? has got lukewarm reviews but I actually quite like it … just thought I would mention 🙂

  2. Bad luck, Trevor. What’s Your Number? is a casualty of MediaWorks no longer have exclusive Fox content. It’s since been replaced by Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

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