HD Heads-Up: November 9-15

TV One at last dusts off the HBO comedy, Life’s Too Short, for a late-night Friday run the same week TV2 launches two high-profile movie slots to plug holes in its schedule.

The network HD premiere of The Help will open Monday Night at the Movies on November 11 while the network HD premiere of The Expendables will launch Blockbuster Friday on November 15.

Gone from the schedule are $#*! My Dad Says and Happy Endings; re-runs of The Big Bang Theory shift to 8.00.

The same night TV One will premiere Life’s Too Short at 11.05.

The Ricky Gervais-Stephen Merchant comedy was made two years ago and probably bought as part of the HBO package deal TVNZ did for The Pacific.

The faux documentary follows Britain’s “go-to dwarf,” Warwick Davis (the Harry Potter and Star Wars movies).

He plays a fictionalised version of himself out of work, undergoing divorce and deep in debt to the taxman.

The eight-week series “attracted substantial opprobrium” in the UK, suffered a “critical mauling” in the US and ran for only one season.

“For fans of Ricky Gervais’ brilliant HBO series Extras, Life’s Too Short feels like a rehash, with about half the laughs,” Variety said.

Time thought it “just an excuse for a string of set pieces about how ridiculous stars, and non-stars, are”.

Nonetheless, it singled out as highlights Johnny Depp (left) confronting Gervais over his Golden Globes routine and a too-serious Liam Neeson trying to do comedy.

The Hollywood Reporter tipped it to be “another vein of gold” for Gervais and Merchant while the Wall Street Journal argued they “haven’t lost their touch with self-humiliating characters”.

In Britain, The Telegraph praised its “belly laughs and cringe-making moments” but The Guardian suspected Gervais and Merchant were “on autopilot” and The Independent accused them of being “shoddily derivative”.

In other HD programming news of note for the week starting November 9:

❑ The low-rating Mistresses is being dumped for another SD run of Embarrassing Bodies (TV2, 8.30 Thursday)

❑ Season finales of Castle (TV One, 9.30 Monday), Private Practice (TV2, 11.30 Monday) and Street Hospital (TV2, 8.00 Thursday) – could Castle be replaced by season two of Unforgettable, which ends its season one re-runs on Wednesday (TV One, 11.00)?

❑ Re-runs of Sons of Anarchy from season four (TV3, 11.40 Monday), and from season one Pretty Little Liars (TV2, overnight) and Suburgatory (TV2, 3.00 weekdays) — expect season two of Suburgatory to resume in primetime within the next couple of months

❑ Sir Elton John and Dame Judi Dench guest on The Graham Norton Show (TV3, 8.30 Friday).

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One Response to “HD Heads-Up: November 9-15”

  1. Life’s Too Short is plain nasty and mean spirited. A few belly laughs but not the best from Gervais/Merchant.

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