HD Heads-Up: January 5 – 11

➢➢ After one of the dreariest Christmas schedules ever across all of the free-to-air channels, TVNZ 1 is the first to spring forth in to the new year with a fresh look. It will premiere as a curtain raiser to the January 20 premiere of Dynasties the two-part series, Big Cats, on January 6 (7.00 Sundays) and will follow it with new seasons of Extreme Cake Makers (7.00 weeknights), Underbelly: Chopper (8.30 Monday and Tuesday) and Our Shirley Valentine Summer (8.30 Thursdays) …

➢➢ The Telegraph dubbed Big Cats “a nature series that keeps pace with Blue Planet II” while The Guardian said: “Modern filming techniques have finally allowed film-makers to capture the habits of seldom-seen felines, from super prides of lions in Tanzania to the competitively tiny Sri Lankan rusty-spotted cat. An enthralling insight into these bewhiskered beasts” …

➢➢ The Guardian was less generous towards Underbelly: Chopper, dismissing it as a “phoney-baloney depiction of the famous earless criminal”, but TV Tonight thought this sequel to the 2000 Chopper movie worth seeing for Aaron Jeffrey’s lead turn: “It’s the best thing he’s done” …

➢➢ Our Shirley Valentine Summer is a widely panned reality newcomer about eight women who dream of starting over while living together under one roof for a month. Said The Times: “TV repeatedly sends celebrities on free holidays and tells us it’s entertaining when it’s tosh. It’s a shame because the serious point here was that many people, after divorce or failed relationships, find it hard to re-mount the horse and are lonely. There is genuine sadness behind the clinking wine glasses and loud ‘woohoos’. But I fear none of that will change if they act like a horny hen party on tour” …

➢➢ Also new that week will be:

  • the latest seasons of NCIS: New Orleans (Prime, 9.30 Sundays) and The Blacklist (Three, 11.00 Tuesdays)
  • Naughty Toddlers Make You Laugh Out Loud (TVNZ 2, 7.30 Wednesday)
  • Under the Influence, which investigates the sudden deaths of George Michael and Prince (TVNZ 1, 8.30 Wednesday)
  • Concorde, which chronicles the creation of the world’s first supersonic airline (Duke, 8.30 Wednesdays), and
  • John Bishop: Rollercoaster Tour (Duke, 8.30 Thursdays) …

➢➢ “Mad Men meets real-life X-Files” is how TVNZ OnDemand dubs Project Blue Book (streams from January 9). From Oscar-winning winning director Robert Zemeckis, the History Channel series stars Aidan Gillen (Game of Thrones) and dramatises the US Air Force’s 1952-1970 investigations into the UFO phenomenon. “Those involved insist on the show’s timeliness in today’s troubled, Trumpian, truth-challenged times,” reports Variety …

➢➢ The only network movie premiere in the week starting January 5 will be Suicide Squad (TVNZ 2, 9.00 Sunday). Other coming attractions in HD will include:

  • RV (TVNZ 2., 7.00 Saturday)
  • King Kong (Three, 7.00 Saturday)
  • Fool’s Gold (TVNZ 2, 8.45 Saturday)
  • Signs (Duke, 9.20 Saturday)
  • Lincoln (Three, 10.30 Saturday)
  • Addicted to Love (TVNZ 2, 10.55 Saturday)
  • Cradle 2 the Grave (TVNZ 2, 12.45am Sunday)
  • Zootopia (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Sunday)
  • The Bourne Identity (Three, 8.30 Sunday)
  • Changeling (Maori YTV, 8.35 Sunday)
  • Carrie (TVNZ 2, 12.10am Monday)
  • Spider-Man (Prime. 7.30 Monday)
  • The Intern (TVNZ 2, 8.00 Monday)
  • Sherlock Holmes (Three, 8.30 Monday)
  • Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Dangerous (TVNZ 2, 7.30 Tuesday)
  • Wild Things (Duke, 8.30 Tuesday)
  • Step-Brothers (Prime, 8.30 Tuesday)
  • Killers (TVNZ 2, 8.30 Wednesday)
  • The Heartbreak Kid (Three, 8.35 Wednesday)
  • Quantum of Solace (Three, 7.00 Thursday)
  • Iron Man 2 (TVNZ 2, 8.30 Thursday)
  • Van Helsing (Three, 9.05 Thursday)
  • The Karate Kid Part II (Three, 7.00 Friday)
  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (TVNZ , 7.30 Friday)
  • Waiting (Duke, 8.30 Friday).
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