HD Heads-Up: December 9-15

➢➢ Leavening the onslaught of festive programming are the free-to-air premieres of series that have streamed here on AVOD or SVOD platforms. The pick of these is Blue Lights (Eden, 9.30 Wednesday), a thrilling Belfast police drama that first lit up ThreeNow. The Guardian dubbed it “one of TV’s best shows … Gripping, nuanced, almost unbearably tense.” Radio Times said it “somehow manages to break new ground for police dramas” while The Telegraph declared: “A rare gem among TV’s never ending barrage of police procedurals, this has characters you’ll actually care about – and a sense of realism” …

➢➢ Shining Vale (Sky Open, 10.35 Sunday) is a Starz series starring Courteney Cox and Greg Kinnear as a couple trying to rescue their marriage amid the creepy goings-on of their haunted new home. It was generally well reviewed, with Rotten Tomatoes summing it up thus: “Shining Vale‘s uneasy mix of comedy and horror can be transparently try-hard, but Courteney Cox’s saucy performance gives this genre mashup a glitter of promise.” But the Wall Street Journal thought it “a remarkably solid tale, notwithstanding its considerable population of deranged characters and nonhuman conspirators” …

➢➢ Teen drama Consent (TVNZ 1, 12.25am Monday) sounds better than its scheduling suggests, although why it’s not on TVNZ 2 is baffling given the scenario: Archie and Natalie’s lives are changed forever after a boozy private school party. Natalie claims assault, but the lines are blurred and it’s her word against his, who will everyone believe? “A searing commentary that couldn’t come at a more opportune moment – miss it at your peril,” urged the Evening Standard …

➢➢ Tulsa King (Duke, 8.30 Saturday) is a Christmas turkey that should have been much better given its creative credentials (Boardwalk Empire’s Terence Winter, Yellowstone’s Taylor Sheridan) and the potential for Sylvester Stallone to poke fun at his image — as a New York mafia capo who, after 25 years in prison, is unceremoniously exiled by his boss to set up shop in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It opens with promise but is too heavy-handed and clumsy to sustain appeal — although most US critics found it fun …

➢➢ It’s a big week for free-to-air sport, from the NZ Rugby Awards (Sky Open, 8.30 Thursday) to Live NBL: Breakers v Jackjumpers (Sky Open, 7.30 Saturday) and Taipans v Breakers (Sky Open, 9.30 Friday) as well as live coverage of the three-match series between the White Ferns and Pakistan (TVNZ 1, 12.30 Saturday; Duke, 10.30am Tuesday; Duke, 1.45 Friday) …

➢➢ The irony of the title of festive special Back in Time for Christmas (Sky Open, 7.30 Wednesday) is it really was made back in time — or at least as long ago as 2015. The two-parter revolves around a UK family celebrating Christmas in the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s …

➢➢ Also new are Comedy Central Roasts David Hasselhoff (Duke, 9.25 Monday), George Clarke’s Alaskan Adventure (TVNZ 1, 7.30 Wednesday), Parental Guidance Australia (Three, 7.30 Friday), Our DNA Journey (Eden, 8.30 Friday), Territory Cops (Sky Open, 8.35 Friday), and the third and final season of Kung Fu (TVNZ 2, 12.35am Saturday) …

➢➢ Ending their runs are Gone FishingBecoming ElizabethThe Long SongHyundai Country CalendarSEAL TeamBorder SecurityWonders of the World I Can’t SeeGem Hunters Down Under, FrasierCatastropheGrand Designs New ZealandGrand Designs: The StreetsDublin NarcosCooks on FireDeep Water SalvageRFDS: Royal Flying Doctor ServiceSaving Lives at SeaSeven SharpGood With WoodRush and Dinner Date 

➢➢ HD coming attractions include: *

  • Heidi (Whakaata Māori, 7.00 Saturday)
  • Awake (Eden, 8.30 Saturday)
  • Yes Man (TVNZ 2, 8.35 Saturday)
  • Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (Whakaata Māori, 8.40 Saturday)
  • Deep Blue Sea (Three, 9.00 Saturday)
  • Within (Duke, 9.25 Saturday)
  • Sisters (TVNZ 2, 10.35 Saturday)
  • Monster-In-Law (TVNZ 2, 12.45am Sunday)
  • Jackie (TVNZ 2, 2.30am Sunday)
  • The LEGO Ninjago Movie  (TVNZ 2, 4.05 Sunday)
  • The Whale (TVNZ 1, 8.30 Sunday)
  • Clash of the Titans (Three, 8.30 Sunday)
  • Shattered Glass (Eden, 8.30 Sunday)
  • Breathe (Whakaata Māori, 8.30 Sunday)
  • John Wick (TVNZ 2, 8.35 Sunday)
  • Split (TVNZ 2, 11.20 Sunday)
  • London Has Fallen (Sky Open 8.30 Monday)
  • A Star is Born (TVNZ 2, 8.35 Monday)
  • Cliffhanger (Duke, 8.30 Tuesday)
  • The Killing Fields (Duke, 10.30 Tuesday)
  • The Man Who Invented Christmas (Whakaata Māori, 8.30 Wednesday)
  • Red Dog: True Blue (Sky Open, 7.00 Friday)
  • Batman Forever (Three, 9.00 Friday)
  • Police Academy 5 (Duke, 9.30 Friday).

*  These have been amended since the original post.

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6 Responses to “HD Heads-Up: December 9-15”

  1. Have you gotten any more comment on when TV Three’s slate will be released?

  2. AW, I love You’ve Got Mail, it’s such a sweet movie. The first time I saw it at the movies the technology was up to date which goes to show how long ago it was 😂

  3. Hopefully in the first or second week of December, Jack.

  4. Any idea what happened to the Christmas in the Park airing tipped here, Phil?

  5. D’oh!!! I jumped the gun a week early and meant to re-post it in the Dec 16-22 overview (which I have just done). Thanks for the reminder, Clint.

  6. Thanks Philip! Couldn’t find it on the planner and I usually record it for family to watch over Christmas if they want.

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