HD Heads-Up: June 17-23

➢➢ Secret depressive Ruby Wax follows in the footsteps of Joanna Lumley to isolate herself on a desert island for 10 days in Ruby Wax: Castaway (TVNZ 1, 8.30 Monday). The Daily Mail thought it “downright inexplicable. At first, this celeb-on-a-desert-island format seems to be nothing more than an excuse for the 70-year-old comedienne to rabbit on about her favourite subject — herself. But the raw and shocking extracts from her memoir of treatment for depression make it plain that her mental illness is severe” …

➢➢ The paper’s readers were impressed, dubbing her utterly brilliant and brave, while Wax told The Guardian, “I’ve spent a lifetime giving the illusion all is well. It wasn’t and it isn’t” …

➢➢ As well as taking a break from true-crime on Monday nights, TVNZ 1 is replacing Grand Designs with local docuseries The Restaurant That Makes Mistakes (8.30 Sunday), in which eight volunteers with some form of dementia open a restaurant under the guidance of top chef and restaurateur Ben Bayly as part of a groundbreaking experiment …

➢➢ Hugh’s Huge Homes (TVNZ 1, 8.45 Tuesday) has Outnumbered star Hugh Dennis discovering what it’s like to live in some of the UK’s biggest homes, including an ancient Scottish castle, a wild Welsh island fortress and a Jacobean stately pile that’s haunted. “Gently enjoyable, this was Grand Designs on a grand scale,” said The Telegraph …

➢➢ TVNZ 1 does have one new drama series premiere but is burying it overnight Saturday. Barracuda (2.05am Sunday) is a four-part adaptation of the Christos Tsiolkas novel about a gay teenage swimmer whose dreams of winning a golf medal are threatened by the elitism and racism he encounters at an exclusive Melbourne school that he attends on a swimming scholarship. “It might be a slow burn but you’d do well to stick with it,” urged The Guardian …

➢➢ The season-two premiere of NCIS: Hawai’i (TVNZ 2, 8.35 Tuesday) is being paired with another debut, Lifetime’s disturbing true-crime docuseries Phrogging: Hider in My House, which investigates the phenomenon of people secretly living inside someone else’s home …

➢➢ Three is replacing Tracked with Million Dollar Island Australia (7.30 Mondays and Tuesdays), in which 100 strangers try to survive two months on a desert island to win $1 million …

➢➢ It’s also premiering showbiz expose The Price of Glee (9.30 Wednesday), which reveals the pressures on the young stars of the hit series. Among the critics who gave the three-part series the thumbs-down was Entertainment Weekly: “a cheap rehash of other people’s tragedy” …

➢➢ Prime is breaking up its Sunday night premium drama double-bill to launch a Channel 4 reality newcomer Rescue: Extreme Medics (9.00) …

➢➢ S34 of The Amazing Race (TVNZ 2, 6.00 Saturday) premieres the same week these shows end their runs: Booze PatrolFatal Attraction20/20BransonOne Of Us is LyingHell’s KitchenDinner DatesMonarch and Six 

➢➢ New to Whakaata Māori are the ADHD documentary Kids Don’t Come With a Manual (7.30 Monday), natural history series Animal Instincts (8.00 Tuesday) and Inky Pinky Ponky (8.00 Friday), in which a young fakaleiti experiences intolerance and bigotry when she falls in love with the captain of the First XV …

➢➢ Whakaata Māori also is running a week-long festival of NZ short films that opens with Daddy’s Girl (Kotiro) (10.10 Sunday) and continues weekdays with Liliu (2.10 Monday), Aitu (2.10 Tuesday), Money Honey (2.20 Tuesday), Night Shift (2.30 Thursday) and The Lawnmower Men of Kapu (2.45 Thursday) …

➢➢ HD coming attractions for the week starting May 17 range from a nightly Fast & Furious marathon on Duke to several network movie premieres, including Oscar-winner The Father:

  • Ride Like a Girl (Whakaata Māori, 7.00 Saturday)
  • Jason Bourne (TVNZ 2, 7.30 Saturday)
  • The Public (Eden, 8.30 Saturday)
  • Radioactive (Whakaata Māori, 8.30 Saturday)
  • Underworld (Duke, 8.30 Saturday)
  • Stealth (TVNZ 2, 9.45 Saturday)
  • A Simple Favour (TVNZ 2, 12.10am Sunday)
  • Before Midnight (TVNZ 2, 2.20am Sunday)
  • Despicable Me 3 (TVNZ 2, 4.15 Sunday)
  • Jack Reacher (Three, 8.10 Sunday)
  • Clash of the Titans (TVNZ 2, 8.30 Sunday)
  • The Fast & The Furious (Duke, 8.30 Sunday)
  • The Post (Eden, 8.30 Sunday)
  • The Father (Whakaata Māori, 8.30 Sunday)
  • Little Monsters (TVNZ 2, 11.25 Sunday)
  • 2 Fast 2 Furious (Duke, 8.30 Monday)
  • The Jackal (Prime, 8.30 Monday)
  • A Band Called Death (Whakaata Māori, 8.30 Monday)
  • The Fast & The Furious – Tokyo Drift (Duke, 8.30 Tuesday)
  • Fast & Furious (Duke, 8.30 Wednesday)
  • Lion (Whakaata Māori, 8.30 Wednesday)
  • Fast 5 (Duke, 8.30 Thursday)
  • Snakes on a Plane (Three, 7.30 Friday)
  • Fast & Furious 6 (Duke, 8.30 Friday)
  • American Pie 2 (Duke, 10.55 Friday)
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