HD Heads-Up: September 23-29

➢➢ Three experiments with its primetime programming in the last week of September by stripping the “lively” Paramount+ docuseries Con Girl 8.30 Sunday-Wednesday. “This documentary unravels the mind-boggling exploits of one of Australia’s most prolific scammers … whose lies were so extreme they still defy belief,” The Guardian said. “This is an odd, grimly fascinating story that has to be seen to be believed.” However, The Telegraph wasn’t as convinced of its must-see merits: “A brilliant, open-ended essay could have been written about this case. A podcast might have worked, too. But as television it suffered from the hole at its heart” …

➢➢ Con Girl pre-empts Three’s Sunday movie because it’s being double-billed with Britain’s Child Drug Runners (9.35), which already streams on ThreeNow. Moreover, it’s nearly four years since this “chilling” look at the rise of gangs grooming kids to be drug mules first aired on Channel 4 in the UK …

➢➢ Duke refreshes its weekend schedule with the premiere of the middling TVNZ+ Arthurian drama, The Winter King (8.30 Saturday), and the new Sunday night double-bill of Freddie’s Field of Dreams (7.30) and Trawlermen – Hunting The Catch (8.45). Stuff recommended the former, in which the ex-England all-rounder and ex-Top Gear frontman tries to turn teenagers from his home town into competitive cricketers, as “an enjoyable series that’s well worth seeking out” when it first streamed on TVNZ+ …

➢➢ Saturday night binge Big Boys (TVNZ 1, 8.35) is a queer coming-of-age dramedy staring Dylan Llewellyn (Derry Girls), Jon Pointing (Starstruck), Camille Coduri (Doctor Who), Izuka Hoyle (The Wheel Of Time) and Olisa Odele (Am I Being Unreasonable?). The Channel 4 series was richly acclaimed, from “truly funny, humble and clever” (The Times) to “I galloped through all six episodes in a single sitting and could easily have done more” (The Mail on Sunday) …

➢➢ The Newshub Decision 2023 Leaders Debate (Three, 7.30 Wednesday) has Patrick Gower moderating Chris Hipkins and Christopher Luxon. It screens opposite another live telecast, the 2nd test between NZ and England in the Taini Jamison Trophy 2023 (Sky Open, 7.00) …

➢➢ New to Whakaata Māori are First Wars (7.30 Sunday), a documentary about Sydney’s origins as “the first battleground in the First Wars”; Te Ōhākī (8.30 Monday), in which Māori artist Whirimako Black illustrates cultural reclamation and identity issues as she recreates her classic waiata ‘Kei Hea taku Reo’; and the Mike Roberts profile, Kia Ora, Good Evening (9.30 Monday) …

➢➢ Returning for new seasons are Down syndrome dating show Down for Love (TVNZ 2, 8.35 Thursday) and Aussie road trip dramedy Upright (TVNZ 2, 11.20 Wednesday) while ending their runs are Tipping Point Lucky StarsMega Mansion HuntersChannel Patrol and The Last Movie Stars 

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

  • Jurassic Park III (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Saturday)
  • The Angry Birds Movie 2 (Three, 7.00 Saturday)
  • Frozen – Reo Māori (Whakaata Māori, 7.00 Saturday)
  • Self/Less (Eden, 8.30 Saturday)
  • Misbehaviour (Whakaata Māori, 8.40 Saturday)
  • Buddy Games (Three, 8.45 Saturday)
  • Mars Attacks! (TVNZ 2, 8.50 Saturday)
  • The Grudge (Duke, 10.45 Saturday)
  • Da Kath & Kim Code (TVNZ 2, 10.55 Saturday)
  • Couples Retreat (TVNZ 2, 12.30am Sunday)
  • Shaun the Sheep – Farmageddon (TVNZ 2, 4.15 Sunday)
  • Fantastic Beasts – The Crimes of Grindelwald (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Sunday) 
  • All the Money in the World (Eden, 8.25 Sunday)
  • Pain & Gain (Duke, 8.30 Tuesday)
  • Language Lessons (Whakaata Māori, 8.30 Sunday)
  • Dunkirk (TVNZ 2, 9.30 Sunday)
  • Jaws: The Revenge (TVNZ 2, 12.25am Monday)
  • Mabo (Whakaata Māori, 8.30 Wednesday)
  • The Expendables (Three, 8.45 Friday)
  • Days of Thunder (TVNZ 2, 9.00 Friday)
  • Once Upon a Time in Venice (Duke, 9.30 Friday).
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