HD Heads-Up: June 15-21

Enjoy the latest camouflaged-camera natural history series in HD on TV One as it appears Penguins: Spy in the Huddle won’t be getting a Blu-ray release here.

It premieres on June 18 and is out on Blu-ray in the UK but will be DVD-only in NZ and Australia.

The Times called the footage “astonishing … As we got up close and personal with the penguin-cams, there was a perfect balance between emotional depth and comedy.”

“As fascinating as penguins are, the logistics in ensuring the penguin-cams are in the right place at the right time in this series is every bit as impressive,” the Daily Mirror observed.

The Daily Mail thought the three-part series “an amusing and fascinating insight into some of nature’s most devoted parents” while The Sun quipped: “Your heart can’t help but melt.”

However, that wasn’t true of all critics. “I like penguins (who doesn’t?),” asked The Guardian. “And there are some lovely ones in Penguins – Spy in the Huddle

“Some of the footage is filmed from extraordinarily close range, by cameras disguised as rocks, eggs, penguins. Robot-camera penguins – brilliant.

“But David Tennant’s narration is infuriating, full of anthropomorphism and puns .. And then the music – comedy plinky-plonky rockhopper music for the rockhoppers, soaring strings for the Emperors in the storm …

“Stop it! I don’t need music, or David Tennant, telling me when something’s funny or sad or anything.”

Complained The Independent: “The penguin, of course, is challenged only by the meerkat as the most typecast animal on the small screen, and Spy in the Huddle did nothing to challenge that.”

Also of note in HD for the week starting June 15:

❑ Benjamin Bratt guest stars on Tuesday’s Modern Family (TV3, 7.30), Cougar Town’s Courteney Cox reunites with Friends co-star Matthew Perry on Tuesday’s Go On (TV3, 8.00), Colin Hanks turns up on Tuesday’s NCIS (TV3, 8.30), soap opera stars John Stamos and Mark Consuelos double-date on Friday’s The New Normal (TV3, 8.00), and Heroes’ Hayden Panettiere and Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens drop in on Friday’s Graham Norton Show (TV3, 8.30)

Supernatural has its season premiere on a new night – Wednesday (TV2, 10.30)

❑ The network HD premiere of Arthur on Sunday (TV2, 8.30) and HD re-runs of Brothers on Saturday (TV2, 8.35) and, on Sunday, of Pay It Forward (TV2, 12.00) and Die Hard 4.0 (TV3, 9.05).

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