Doomsday Looms for The Zone’s Cinema Z

   The end is ‘nigh for The Zone’s Cinema Z slot. The shlock-horror movie showcase winds up its 2017 run next month with a 2008 direct-to-DVD variation on Journey to the Center of the Earth starring Greg Evigan (My Two Dads, BJ and the Bear) and Michelle Pfeiffer’s sister, Dedee. “Asylum’s version owes next to nothing to its source […]

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Critical Condition: Dear White People

Dear White People (Netflix, from Friday) “Retaining all of its razor-sharp wit and then some, Dear White People, Justin Simien’s acclaimed 2014 big-screen satire of racial relations and identity set at a fictional Ivy League college, has transferred impressively to TV …  Although there have been casting changes, most of the memorable characters are back […]

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HD Heads-Up: April 27

Prime continues to frustrate Top Gear fans by screening a mix of re-runs and compilation specials ahead of the latest season going to air. There’s still no word on when it will start but on May 6 Prime will premiere Top Gear: The Races, in which Matt LeBlanc steers us through the most memorable racing moments from the first […]

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TVNZ to Roll Out New Post-Survivor Comedies

  TVNZ 2 will use the May 7 launch of Survivor NZ to promote two new comedy series and resurrect a third. Survivor NZ will air 7.00 Sundays and 7.30 Mondays, with the former displacing new episodes of The Simpsons. Premiering 7.30 Tuesday on May 9 will be American Housewife while the 7.30 Wednesday lead-in to the return of Dr […]

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New to Blu: April 26 – May 3

  Best picture Oscar-winner Moonlight leads a heavyweight Blu-ray slate that’s notable for the number of 4K-UHD releases: Sing, Assassin’s Creed, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter and Allied. “This is a breathtaking presentation from beginning to end that adds more power and artistry to an already illustrious film,” High-Def Digest said of Moonlight while DVD Talk reckoned the “gorgeous cinematography looks as vibrant […]

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Critical Condition: Bates Motel

Bates Motel (SoHo, 8.30 Wednesdays) “The new season picks up some time after the fourth-season episodes, which climaxed with Norman killing Norma … Norman is nuts, and, as in Hitchcock’s movie, imagines that she’s still alive. And so we are treated to [Vera] Farmiga’s wonderful performance as a pushy, sarcastic, sexy, needy, and ferally strong woman imposing […]

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Critical Condition: Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley (SoHo, 8.30 Thursdays) “As the fourth, astute-as-ever season of Silicon Valley begins … for the first time, the Pied Piper team’s focus is divided … The splintering of the group enables the series to open new channels of competitiveness between the principal characters while also continuing to do what it does best: develop admirably intricate […]

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MediaWorks Factors Out X Factor NZ

MediaWorks won’t be commissioning another series of X Factor NZ or even screening the UK version. Following comments by readers of this site, I asked the broadcaster if another series of the talent quest format was on the radar. And if not a local version, would it be picking up new episodes of the UK […]

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New to Netflix in May

   Sense8: Season 2 (5/5/2017) Scandals and celebrations deepen the Sensates’ bond as they rebuild their lives and try to outsmart Whispers. Master of None: Season 2 (12/5/2017) Dev pursues a new passion in Italy, dives back into the New York dating scene and wrestles with big questions as he seeks to reboot his life. […]

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Critical Condition: Bill Nye Saves the World

Bill Nye Saves the World (Netflix, from Friday) “Can Bill Nye really save the world? Probably not by preaching to the choir, which doesn’t make his half-hour Netflix show any less noteworthy as a breezy blow struck on behalf of science, despite a few structural miscalculations. The title alone speaks volumes: Premiering more than 20 […]

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