HD Heads-Up: July 16 – 22

➢➢ TVNZ 1 continues to offer a premium alternative to Saturday night movies with the July 16 premieres of Screw (9.35) and Pact of Silence (10.35). The former is one of this year’s most acclaimed drama series: “Dryly comic prison drama worth doing time for” (The Guardian); “balances horror and humour without diluting either of them” (The Times); “a mix of the mundane and the blackly comic, where blow-ups occur over the smallest of things” (The Telegraph); “fast moving and deftly drawn” (Daily Mail). Written by Rob Williams (Killing Eve, The Victim), it stars Nina Sosanya (Teachers) and Jamie-Lee O’Donnell (Derry Girls) as two guards — the vet and the rookie — in a men’s prison. Channel 4 last month commissioned a second season …

➢➢ Pact of Silence is a lesser but still recommended drama series about four women who agree to keep quiet about the mysterious death of their boss. “The Pact starts slowly, but builds into an engaging thriller that will keep viewers guessing,” was Rotten Tomatoes’ verdict on the series, which scored a 92% critics’ rating. Concurred The Times: “The big problem with The Pact is that the first episode was mainly rubbish, meaning that quite a few people might not have stuck around until episode two, when the show found its groove.” The six-part series stars Laura Fraser (The Missing), Julie Hesmondhalgh (Coronation Street) and Eddie Marsan (Ray Donovan) …

➢➢  Prime’s premium drama slots on Tuesday are being replaced by movies, with the latest casualty, Succession, shifting to late-night Tuesday midway through its S2 run from July 19. Offering premium cable dramas that already have screened on SoHo or streamed on Neon was always a risky proposition, with only And Just Like That … breaking through, partly because it screened free-to-air so quickly whereas Succession and Your Honor lagged years or months behind …

➢➢ Ghosts (TVNZ 2, 6.00 Mondays from July 18) is a CBS version of the BBC comedy that first aired here on TVNZ 1. It stars Kiwi Rose McIver and Utkarsh Ambudkar as a couple who try to convert a haunted country estate into a B&B. It premieres two months ahead of its S2 launch in the US, where S1 was favourably reviewed. The biggest boos came from Stuff’s review of its TVNZ+ run: “The original UK show’s charms come from the banter between the spirits, fast-paced visual and verbal humour … Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for this new version from the other side of the Atlantic … The ghosts seem less well-formed and more disconnected from each other, reduced to fart and poop gags, rather than character-driven humour” …

➢➢ Shop Well for the Planet (TVNZ 1, 8.00 Mondays from July 18) is a collaboration between the Shop Well for Less and Eat Well for Less teams that asks: Can you live a greener lifestyle and save money? …

➢➢ Tourette’s Teacher (Three, 9.30 Thursday) is a documentary about an “inspirational” teacher with Tourette’s whose lessons can include bouts of uncontrollable swearing. …

➢➢ Mega Metro (Duke, 9.40 Thursdays from July 21) documents over five years the building of Sydney’s “super tunnel”, a state-of-the-art metro system …

➢➢ Returning for new seasons will be The Block NZ: Redemption (Three, 7.30 Monday-Wednesday), Dream Kitchens & Bathrooms (TVNZ 1, 7.30 Thursday), Top Gear (UK) (Duke, 8.30 Thursday) and The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes (TVNZ 1, 9.30 Friday) while ending their seasons will be MasterChef NZ, Yellowstone, American Pickers, Law & Order: Organized Crime and Laughs Unleashed

➢➢ Screening for the first time on FTA TV will be Storm Boy (Three, 7.00 Saturday),1917 (Three, 8.30 Sunday), Stardust (Eden, 8.30 Sunday), My Life as a Zucchini (Whakaata Māori, 8.30 Sunday) and Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist (Whakaata Māori, 8.30 Monday). Other HD coming attractions will include:

  • Beetlejuice (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Saturday)
  • Jungle Bunch (Whakaata Māori, 7.00 Saturday)
  • Five Feet Apart (Eden, 8.30 Saturday)
  • Jirga (Whakaata Māori, 8.40 Saturday)
  • The Layover (Three, 8.50 Saturday)
  • Going the Distance (TVNZ 2, 8.45 Saturday)
  • Elektra (Duke,9.30 Saturday)
  • 24 Hours to Live (Three, 10.40 Saturday)
  • Jumper (TVNZ 2, 10.40 Saturday)
  • Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (TVNZ 2, 4.15 Sunday)
  • John Wick: Chapter 2 (TVNZ 2, 8.30 Sunday)
  • The Enforcer (Prime, 9.30 Monday)
  • Bridget Jones’s Diary (Prime, 8.30 Tuesday)
  • Cobra (Duke, 8.30 Tuesday)
  • Marshall (Whakaata Māori, 8.30 Wednesday)
  • Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (Three, 7.30 Friday)
  • Batman Returns (Duke, 8.30 Friday).
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2 Responses to “HD Heads-Up: July 16 – 22”

  1. Prime will have a refresh of schedules after the Commonwealth Games because having them on FTA is actually unnecessary since most people would stream it on Neon anyway

  2. Who would even stream Neon when it’s only 2 channels? Or even other NZ streaming services? It’s a major deal breaker.

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