HD Heads-Up: August 15 – 21

➢➢ Kiwi premieres dominate the third week of August, ranging from the return of 7 Days for a severely curtailed run to a new 15-minute drama series about COVID-19 and a centennial tribute to Kiwi Olympians. INSiDE (Prime, 8.30 Sundays-Wednesdays from August 16) is a comedy-thriller about life in a one-woman bubble for a reclusive tech expert during a second wave of coronavirus starring Neighbours’ Morgana O’Reilly. Reads the blurb: “Taking tech-support calls for a video chat company and hacking into strangers’ video calls is her only source of human interaction, barely even talking to her flatmate. But when she unexpectedly reconnects with an old school bully, Rose suddenly finds herself sharing a bubble with a haunting vision from her past.” Prime will repeat each week’s four episodes in an hour-long compilation on Saturday nights …

➢➢ One Fern (Prime, 8.40 Saturday) celebrates 100 years of NZ Olympic athletes wearing the silver fern while 7 Days (Three, 8.30 Thursdays) is being double-billed with The Stand Up Sketch Show, in which established and up-and-coming comedians perform a surreal reconstruction of their own material. The premiere includes Catherine Bohart’s mother’s weird reaction to her coming out as gay, Alex Edelman overhearing an epic break-up in a restaurant and Brennan Reece’s violent grandmother. As a result of the new-look 8.30 hour, re-runs of the low-rating Graham Norton Show will shift to 9.30 …

➢➢ TVNZ 2’s sole series premiere of the week, Motherland: Fort Salem, will screen 11.25 Mondays. The concept sounds dire: “Three witches join basic training at Fort Salem where they’ll prepare for the front lines, fighting looming terrorist threats with supernatural tactics and weapons.” Even so, it was renewed for a second season and achieved a 67% Rotten Tomatoes rating, where the critical consensus was: “Despite a fine cast and impressive set up, Motherland: Fort Salem‘s ambitious ideas are overwhelmed by the sheer too-muchness of it all” …

➢➢ Despite undeservedly low ratings, Prime is persevering with its outstanding Agatha Christie season, with the free-to-air premiere of The Pale Horse (8.40 Tuesdays from August 18). When a mysterious list of names is found in the shoe of a dead woman, one man begins an investigation into how and why his name came to be there. Rufus Sewell stars in a two-part series The Times said “starts as a murder, but swiftly becomes a horror … real Wicker Man territory” …

➢➢ Ending their runs that week will be Jamie: Keep Cooking and Carry On, Landscape Artist of the YearLiar, Normal People, The Dog House, First Dates Hotel, Towies and Robbie Coltrane’s Critical Evidence 

➢➢ T2 Trainspotting (TVNZ 2, 10.30 Saturday) is the only network movie premiere in the week starting August 15. Other HD coming attractions will include:

  • Zootopia (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Saturday)
  • Jaws: The Revenge (Three, 8.3e0 Saturday)
  •  Final Destination 3 (Duke, 8.30 Saturday)
  • Jumper (TVNZ 2, 8.45 Saturday)
  • I Am Paul Walker (Three, 10.20 Saturday)
  • A Walk Among the Tombstones (TVNZ 2, 12.40am Sunday)
  • Baby Driver (TVNZ 2, 8.25 Sunday)
  • Water (Maori TV, 8.30 Sunday)
  • Death Race (Three, 8.40 Sunday)
  • I Spy (Duke, 10.00 Sunday)
  • Orphan (TVNZ 2, 10.35 Sunday)
  • Adventures In Babysitting (TVNZ 2, 1.35am Monday)
  • The Devil and Daniel Johnston (Maori TV, 8.30 Monday)
  • Above the Law (Prime, 8.40 Monday)
  •  Next (Three, 7.30 Friday)
  • The A-Team (Duke, 8.30 Friday).
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