HD Heads-Up: February 11-17

➢➢ Prime is fast becoming the go-to free-to-air channel for premium fare hitherto on pay-TV. It’s following the launch of House of the Dragon with the first FTA runs of two Sky UK comedies and HBO’s hilariously nuanced hitman award-winner, Barry. Of course, a brutally black romp about a disillusioned assassin who aspires to be an actor may not be to everyone’s taste, the universal acclaim of critics notwithstanding, hence Prime scheduling the first season in double-episodes 11.00 Sundays from February 12. But it’s given two other adult comedies streaming on Neon primetime slots: Romantic Getaway (8.35 Thursdays from February 16) and Rosie Molloy Gives Up Everything (9.05 Thursdays) …

➢➢ Romantic Getaway stars Katherine Ryan and Romesh Rangathan as a couple so desperate for a baby they can’t afford through IVF treatments that they steal the money from their dodgy boss (Johnny Vegas). The Guardian thought it “daft fun” but was more impressed with Rosie Molloy, in which a recovering addict tries to change her life for the better: “Sheridan Smith plays Rosie Molloy as Penelope Keith would play an entitled toff, as if to the manner born, in a performance that may well channel Kaley Cuoco as the eponymous Flight Attendant, with alcoholism played for laughs, but could readily turn into a homage to Meryl Streep’s red-eyed rummy from Ironweed” …

➢➢ Three also will recharge Thursday nights, first with the 7.30 premiere of Guy Montgomery’s Guy Mont Spelling Bee, which includes contestants Josh Thomson, Matt Heath, Hayley Sproull and Abby Howells, and then the 9.35 launch of the latest in the Deadliest Catch franchise, Dungeon Cove, which is set in an Oregon crab-fishing town on the edge of the “Graveyard of the Pacific” …

➢➢ The pick of TVNZ 1’s premieres is season two of Bloodlands (9.10 Sunday), which stars James Nesbitt as a Belfast cop with a grim secret identity: a serial killer who’s been hibernating for 20 years. Said The Telegraph: “The white-knuckle drama, focused on a Northern Irish detective with a murky IRA history, returned in full-throttle.” But The Times thought it “unrelentingly dour with few likeable characters”. Strangely, the dark sequel is being paired with S2 of the frothy, underwhelming Central Otago odd-couple comedy, Under the Vines (8.10 Sunday) …

➢➢ More promising is TVNZ 1’s new four-part documentary series, Passengers (8.30 Tuesday). It explores the history of Pacific, Chinese, Pan Asian and European immigration through the stories of the first passengers. Hopefully it will be more rigorous than the woke-sounding synopsis suggests: “This is the story of New Zealand’s first boat people, our first refugees, our first migrants; the story of how our multi-cultural identity was born, and how these courageous pioneers changed the shape of Aotearoa today often with the welcomed help from local iwi” …

➢➢ Kiwi pet shows abound in mid-February, with the debuts of The Dog House NZ (TVNZ 2, 7.30 Thursday) and SPCA Rescue (TVNZ 1, 7.30 Tuesday) on a double-bill with S2 of Barkley Manor. TVNZ 2 will team Dog House with the latest blind-date variation, Love Triangle (8.35), which is being matched with S5 of First Dates Australia (10.00) …

➢➢ Michelle Yeoh, Austin Butler, Jack Lowden, Ashley Banjo and Mimi Webb will guest on the February 10 broadcast of The Graham Norton Show (Three, 8.30) …

➢➢ Back for new seasons will be Q+A With Jack Tame (TVNZ 1, 9am Sunday), Rurangi: Rising Lights (Prime, 9.30 Sunday) and Kings of Pain (Duke, 8.30 Wednesday) while ending their runs will be Happy ValleyNurses Down Under and Kid Sister …

➢➢ Other highlights that week will include: Marlon Wayans Presents: The Headliners (Prime, 9.30 Saturday), the first in a series of HBO comedy specials in which five up-and-coming comics join the comedy legend for an hour of no-holds-barred stand-up; Sik Fan Lah! (TVNZ 1, 10am Sunday), a new “culinary adventure” about Kiwi-Chinese cuisine and culture; and Halberg Awards Live (Prime, 8.30 Wednesday) …

➢➢ TVNZ 2 is rejigging its weeknight line-up by demoting Pictionary from 6.00 to 5.00, a move that will see it switch slots with re-runs of The Simpsons from February 13 …

➢➢ HD coming attractions for the week starting February 11 include two FTA premieres — Greed (TVNZ 2, 10.30 Saturday) and The Kid Detective (TVNZ 2, 12.30am Sunday) — as well as:

  • Jurassic Park III (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Saturday)
  • Early Man (Whakaata Māori, 7.00 Saturday)
  • City of Angels (Eden, 8.30 Saturday)
  • Four Weddings and a Funeral (Whakaata Māori, 8.30 Saturday)
  • The Guilt Trip (TVNZ 2, 8.40 Saturday)
  • The Mummy (Duke, 9.25 Saturday)
  • The Bank Job (Three, 9.30 Saturday)
  • Babe (TVNZ 2, 4.15 Sunday)
  • Voyagers (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Sunday)
  • Magic Mike XXL (Three, 8.30 Sunday)
  • Black Mass (Eden, 8.30 Sunday)
  • Lucky (Whakaata Māori, 8.30 Sunday)
  • Oblivion (TVNZ 2, 9.00 Sunday)
  • Apollo 13 (Prime, 8.30 Monday)
  • The Exorcist (TVNZ 2, 11.25 Sunday)
  • McLaren (Whakaata Māori, 8.30 Monday)
  • Another Year (Whakaata Māori, 8.30 Wednesday)
  • Road Trip – Beer Pong (Duke, 9.20 Friday)
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9 Responses to “HD Heads-Up: February 11-17”

  1. I see 3Now have now added 5 seasons of Falling Skies. I don’t think I have seen that one 🤔

  2. I see Falling Skies is a HBO Max show so is the beginning of the new streaming service 🤔

  3. I know Philip and I do remember watching the odd episode 😁

  4. Trevor, you’ll enjoy Falling Skies but it was fairly formulaic. And will probably look pretty dated given its age.

  5. Hey Phillip do you have any idea who will be narrating Dog House NZ. Thanks, Jack

  6. No, I don’t know, Jack. Here’s the link to the show’s producer: https://southpacificpictures.com/productions/details/3630/The-Dog-House-NZ

  7. Hi Philip, any reason why Prime is moving to channel 15 on Freeview. Seems odd they would push the channel further down the Freeview list.

  8. Hey, Leo, apologies for belated reply but it’s because Freeview stakeholder Whakaata Māori wants to promote its Te Reo channel to a wider audience. Here’s the post.

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