HD Heads-Up: March 25-31

➢➢ The Kevin McCloud-fronted Grand Designs returns for its 23rd season (TVNZ 1, 8.30 Sunday) with a classic budget blow-out disaster when a couple in south Manchester takes eight years to build a curved glass-and-wood Swedish design that the Manchester Evening News reports left Channel 4 viewers “gob smacked” — and the middle-aged owners with a 20-year-mortgage. Said one critic: “The first episode of this new run was awash with everything on your Grand Designs bingo card – financial troubles, pandemic setbacks, a Mancunian builder called Dave – and of course McCloud was consistently wearing a hard hat in situations that absolutely did not require it … It was, in the end, a vintage episode of the show, and proved once again that maybe more than any other programme on TV, you can map the entirety of human existence onto Grand Designs. Failure, loss, success, euphoria, and the wonder inherent in having created something truly lasting” …

➢➢ Jamie Vs. Britney (Three, 9.00 Wednesday) is a Discovery+ take on Britney Spears’ controversial conservatorship that for the first time tells the story from her father’s perspective while RottenTomatoes said What Happened, Brittany Murphy (Prime, 8.35 Thursday), which investigates the mysterious 2009 death of the actor, “asks big questions about a beloved star, but without the grace and humanity necessary to do right by its subject’s legacy” …

➢➢ The Guardian dubbed ‘toon newcomer Crossing Swords (Duke, 9.25 Monday) “Game of Thrones but with toys and dick jokes … a puerile new stop-motion comedy from the makers of Robot Chicken [that] relies too heavily on repetitive and unimaginative toilet humour“. It was the harshest of the Hulu  show’s critics while the more sympathetic IndieWire praised the “fascinating character design and stellar voice work” …

➢➢ Louis Theroux Interviews … (Prime, 9.30 Wednesday) opens with platinum-selling rapper Stormzy detailing everything from his childhood to the pressures of being a celebrity. The Independent thought it “a surprisingly flat and unengaging portrait” whereas The The Telegraph thought the “old-fashioned format” revealed “a humble man who cherishes family and community above all”. The six-part series also will interview Dame Judi Dench, Bear Grylls, Yungblud, Katherine Ryan and Rita Ora …

➢➢ Whakaata Māori will use the live fundraising concert, #Maranga – Rise Up (midday-7.00 Saturday), to launch a week of high-profile indigenous programming, including the documentary about the history of te reo Māori, Speak No Māori (7.00 Saturday), the channel premiere of small-town reality series East Coast Rising (9.00 Tuesday), which first aired on TVNZ 2, and the return of award-winning bilingual drama Ahikāroa for its fifth season (9.30 Thursday) …

➢➢ Ending their runs are Murder in ProvenceHere Come the GypsiesEducatorsHouse of the DragonOutcryFirst Dates AustraliaI Don’t Like CricketBeauty and the GeekSo Dumb It’s Criminal and Dinner Date 

➢➢ HD coming attractions for the last week of March include:

  • Fast Five (TVNZ 2, 7.30 Saturday)
  • Herbs – Songs of Freedom (Whakaata Māori, 8.00 Saturday)
  • The Age of Adaline (Eden, 8.30 Saturday)
  • Bellbird (Whakaata Māori, 9.00 Saturday)
  • The Divergent Series – Insurgent (TVNZ 2, 9.45 Saturday)
  • Bachelorette (Three, 10.30 Saturday)
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (TVNZ 2, midnight Saturday)
  • Getaway (TVNZ 2, 2.55am Sunday)
  • Stuart Little (TVNZ 2, 3.55 Sunday)
  • Wanted (TVNZ 2, 8.30 Sunday)
  • John Wick (Three, 8.30 Sunday)
  • First Man (Eden, 8.30 Sunday)
  • Buoyancy (Whakaata Māori, 8.30 Sunday)
  • Paranormal Activity 4 (TVNZ 2, 10.40 Sunday)
  • Dawn of the Dead (Prime, 8.30 Monday)
  • Under Siege 2 (Duke, 8.30 Tuesday)
  • The Wait (Whakaata Māori, 8.30 Wednesday)
  • Jupiter Ascending (Three, 7.30 Friday)
  • My Super Ex-Girlfriend (Duke, 9.25 Friday).
Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email

3 Responses to “HD Heads-Up: March 25-31”

  1. Caught the Judi Dench interview with Louis Theroux while I was in the UK last year. Was superbly entertaining. Can’t speak to the other editions though.

  2. Off topic but I see Aljazeera is now available on Freeview Satellite. No word yet from Freeview if this is official. Has Freeview issued a release about this Philip?

  3. Thanks for the update, Leo. Freeview’s issued nothing about the addition.

Leave a Reply