HD Heads-Up: September 13

➢➢ TVNZ 1 is so determined to make Vanity Fair a hit that it will screen the first two episodes on consecutive nights and repeat them late-night. The costume drama will premiere on September 23, in an 8.30 Sunday slot, continue 8.30 Monday and repeat in a two-hour block after Deep State on September 29. In the UK, the ITV production has been out-rated by another ITV series (for the BBC), Bodyguard, and TVNZ wants to maximise its prospects here after months of running Kiwi documentaries and dramas in a slot that’s long since stopped being synonymous with prestigious costume dramas (save for the lightweight Victoria) …

➢➢ Speaking of which: “This latest version [of Vanity Fair], from the makers of Poldark and Victoria, attempts to recast the protagonist as a woman ahead of her time, but comes up short,” reckons The Independent while The Times observed:

The writer Gwyneth Hughes’s intention was apparently to bring a contemporary, gossipy feel to William Makepeace Thackeray’s novel for the Love Island generation. And what sums up Love Island better than the narrator Michael Palin’s précis of Vanity Fair society as a false world where “everyone is striving for what is not worth having”? It could almost be a Love Island slogan.

➢➢ While Vanity Fair will screen here in HD, Kiwis miss out on the 4K version that Amazon Prime Video will stream in other countries. Said The Guardian: “This seven-part series has been made with Amazon money, and it looks and feels wildly expensive – CGI London, including the great hedonistic spectacle of the Vauxhall party, is a treat, and it’s almost worth tuning in for the set designers’ selection of sumptuous wallpaper alone” …

➢➢ Duke’s newest superhero series, Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger (9.30 Sundays from September 23), concerns two teenagers from different background who acquire superpowers mysteriously linked to one another. Variety likened the favourably reviewed ABC series to the grittiness of a Netflix Marvel show — “but it has an immediate leg up thanks to judicious editing, careful characterisation, and downright surreal storytelling” …

➢➢ Three will upend its schedule for a week-long showcase of Kiwi comedy pilots, one or more of which could spawn a series. The novel strategy will use heightening interest in the September 23-26 countdown to the season finale of The Block NZ to maximise sampling, with the first half-hour set for 8.30 Sunday, the second and third for 8.30/9.00 Monday, the fourth for 8.30 Tuesday and the fifth for 8.30 Wednesday …

➢➢ The Guardian says TVNZ 2’s Bride and Prejudice (8.30 Thursdays from September 27), a new series about couples defying their families to marry, is “guaranteed to expose your inner bigot” while Radio Times dubbed it “a troubling portrait of modern love that reveals the struggle some couples endure to win their families’ blessing” …

➢➢ The same week sees the launch of two UK travel shows with a twist: Secret Life of the Holiday Resort (Prime, 7.30 September 23) observes how staff at the largest resort on the Costa del Sol in Spain cater to the quirks of the British holidaymaker; and My Big Fat Summer (TVNZ 2, 9.20 September 24) is set in the world’s only plus size-friendly hotel …

➢➢ Coming soon to TVNZ OnDemand: the premiere of Start Me Up (from September 25), a Country Calendar take on classic cars; and new seasons of Anita Moa Unleashed (from September 26), Lethal Weapon, with Sean William Scott as Damon Wayans’ new sidekick (from September 26), and Grey’s Anatomy (from September 28) …

➢➢ Returning for new seasons in the week starting September 22 will be Claws (TVNZ 2, post-11.20 Mondays and Tuesdays) and Rich House, Poor House (TVNZ 1, 8.30 Tuesdays) while ending their runs will be The 100, Code Black, Ultimate Fishing, Booze Patrol and People of Earth

➢➢ The same week Prime Rocks (Prime, 8.30 Wednesday) will premiere XTC – This Is Pop, which will explore the British band through animation, archive footage and new interviews …

➢➢ Two free-to-air movie premieres will overlap on September 23: Zoolander 2 (TVNZ 2, 7.30 Sunday) and Keeping Up With the Joneses (Three, 9.00). The rest of the week’s HD coming attractions will include:

  • Sky High (TVNZ 2, 7.10 Saturday)
  • Love Punch (Prime, 8.30 Saturday)
  • 21 & Over (TVNZ 2, 9.00 Saturday)
  • RoboCop (Three, 9.00 Saturday)
  • Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo (Three, 11.05 Saturday)
  • The Last Stand (TVNZ 2, 1.55am Sunday)
  • Grimsby (TVNZ 2, 9.20 Sunday)
  • Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (TVNZ 2, 7.30 Monday)
  • The Fast & the Furious (Prime, 8.30 Monday)
  • Devil’s Own (Duke, 8.30 Tuesday)
  • The Hangover Part II (TVNZ 2, 8.30 Wednesday)
  • The Transporter (Three, 8.30 Thursday)
  • Wild Hogs (TVNZ 2, 7.30 Friday)
  • The Mask of Zorro (Duke, 8.30 Friday)
  • Focus (TVNZ 2, 9.30 Friday).
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9 Responses to “HD Heads-Up: September 13”

  1. Hi Phil. Your article mentions Bodyguard, there are some good reviews around this show online. Any Kiwi networks grabbed this one yet? Also: any takers for the upcoming NBC drama Manifest?

  2. Phil, any word on who has got the rights to Bodyguard here? Like the viewers in the UK, I find that more intriguing than Vanity Fair.

  3. Hey, Rosco and Clint. You both pipped my next post. All soon will be revealed re Bodyguard

  4. Just download it. No point in asking and waiting for it when you can watch it now.

  5. Btw, Rosco, Manifest is a Warner Bros production so unless there’s a distribution quirk, it should be TVNZ-bound.

  6. I do TRY and do the right thing and not download. Exceptions being if NZ networks, either don’t show the programme at all or don’t show it in HD. Deadliest Catch on Discovery is a case in point. It looks fantastic in HD and I’ve watched every season … the SD that’s shown here … yeah, that’s just not worth watching.

  7. Rosco, Phil: Saw TVNZ OnDemand advertising Manifest as premiering there from 8pm on Tuesday September 25.

  8. Thanks, Clint. Appreciate the heads-up.

  9. Completely agree with your frustration, Rosco. I did the same thing with Turn, a great period drama that Sky never picked up for SoHo and wastes in SD on its Neon service. Surprised Prime hasn’t opted for a FTA run of Deadiest Catch given its recent move towards more programming of this ilk.

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