HD Heads-Up: August 12-18

➢➢ Three’s launch of flagship local drama Far North (8.30 Monday), which stars Robyn Malcolm and Temuera Morrison in “the (mostly) true story” of two ordinary Kiwis ensnared in one of NZ’s biggest drug busts, faces fierce competition from its major rivals. TVNZ 1 premieres World’s Most Dangerous Roads, which teams comedy stars and celebrities on “extraordinary journeys through some of the most breathtakingly beautiful and remote parts of the world”, while TVNZ 2 rolls out the season premiere of Taskmaster NZ an hour earlier to try to hook viewers for the rest of the night (ep 2 airs 7.30 Tuesday) …

➢➢ And Prime is redesigning Monday nights with new seasons of the Matthew Ridge-fronted architectural series Designing Dreams (8.30) and comedy American Auto (10.00) sandwiching the debut of the reboot of Night Court (9.30). The courtroom comedy stars The Big Bang Theory’s Melissa Rauch, who also was behind its resurrection, and original cast member John Laroquette. Rotten Tomatoes’ verdict? “This revival retains enough of the original Night Court‘s spirit to ward off objections from fans while offering a somewhat stale sitcom format to newcomers, but it ought to sustain interest when judged alongside its own peers” …

➢➢ Appearing on S4 of Taskmaster are actor and comedian Sieni Leo’o Olo (aka Bubbah), light-ent vet Dai Henwood, “accidental actor” Karen O’Leary, comedian/writer Ray O’Leary and Wellington Paranormal’s Melanie Bracewell …

➢➢ Stephen Mangan, Ed Gamble, Keith Lemon, Lou Sanders, Joe Wilkinson and Derry Girls’ Jamie-Lee O’Donnell and Saoirse-Monica Jackson are among the talent getting into top gear for S4 of World’s Most Dangerous Roads. It’s the first season to hit the road in 11 years and ventures as far afield as Iceland, Albania, South Africa and Australia …

➢➢ There’s more derring-do in Naked, Alone and Racing to Get Home (TVNZ 2,  8.40 Thursday), in which two teams of amateur survivalists are literally stripped of everything they own to tough it out in some of Yorkshire’s harshest terrain. The Guardian said it’s not particularly novel: “It steals its biggest ideas from Naked and Afraid, in that people are stripped, dropped into the middle of nowhere and tasked with returning to a set point. In fact, the only real differences are how cheap it is, how drab the locations are and how unforgiving the British countryside is to the average naked body” …

➢➢ And premiering overnight Wednesday is the TVNZ+ seriesThe Resort (TVNZ 2, 12.25am Thursday), a comedic thriller about a couple who are flung into mysterious circumstances while holidaying in Mexico to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary. Reviews ranged from “like The White Lotus, with added menace” (The Guardian) to “profoundly tedious” (RogerEbert.com) …

➢➢ Also new to Thursday night are The Great Aussie Bake Off (TVNZ 1, 7.30) and the return of Would I Lie To You?  (TVNZ, 9.00). Also back for new episodes is Tipping Point Lucky Stars (TVNZ 1, 7.00 Saturday) while ending their runs are Ice Cold Catch and Hightown

➢➢ HD coming attractions include the misjudged off-peak network movie premiere of The Invisible Man (TVNZ 2, 11.30 Sunday) and:

  • My Best Friend’s Wedding (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Saturday)
  • Lassie Come Home (Whakaata Māori, 7.00 Saturday)
  • Space Jam (Three, 7.00 Saturday)
  • Young Ones (Eden, 8.30 Saturday)
  • Brazil (Whakaata Māori, 8.40 Saturday)
  • 50/50 (Three, 8.45 Saturday)
  • Paranormal Activity 2 (Duke, 9.30 Saturday)
  • Jackass Number Two (TVNZ 2, 10.05 Saturday)
  • Jackass 2.5 (TVNZ 2, 11.50 Saturday)
  • Dirt Music (TVNZ 2, 1am Sunday)
  • Justice League Dark: Apokolips War (TVNZ 2, 2.45am Sunday)
  • Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang (TVNZ 2, 4.05 Sunday)
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Sunday)
  • Men In Black II (Three, 8.20 Sunday)
  • Dark Waters (Eden, 8.25 Sunday)
  • Heroic Losers (Whakaata Māori, 8.30 Sunday)
  • Untouchable (Whakaata Māori, 8.30 Monday)
  • Aeon Flux (Duke, 8.30 Tuesday)
  • At Eternity’s Gate (Whakaata Māori, 8.30 Wednesday)
  • One for the Money (Three, 7.30 Friday)
  • Inferno (TVNZ 2, 8.55 Friday)
  • Johnny English Reborn (Duke, 9.30 Friday).
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