New to Neon in December

TV’s newest post-apocalyptic saga, Station Eleven, leads a strong December slate on Neon that includes the Sex and the City revival, a Dan Brown adaptation and HBO Max comedy The Sex Lives of College Girls.

Station Eleven spans multiple timelines as it dramatises the rebuilding of the world after a flu epidemic decimates mankind.

It may sound eerily familiar but it’s based on a 2014 novel and production started before COVID-19 spread globally.

Star Mackenzie Davis (Halt and Catch Fire) likens it to a cross between The Road and a fairy tale:

There’s danger in the woods, but there’s also beauty and rebirth in the woods. I’m glad that it’s neither a cautionary tale nor is it idealising trauma and mass loss.

However, ArsTechnica wonders: “With COVID-19 cases still sporadically surging around the world and fatigue and frustration mounting, has the taste for apocalyptic pandemic scenarios (other than zombie movies) run its course?”

Station Eleven will stream from December 17, within hours of its HBO premiere.

Also going live soon after its HBO Max debut will be And Just Like That (December 10), which reunites most of the Sex ands the City crew in their 50s still dating and gabbing.

The Sex Lives of College Girls (December 15) sounds like a next-gen Sex and the City, revolving around four roommates in a prestigious New England university.

The Guardian said the the latest production from Mindy Kaling “aims for universal feelings of the transition years through a narrow and ego-inflated slice of college, with middling, uneven results”.

But the show scored highly on Metacritic, where it earned the thumbs-up from the likes of The Hollywood Reporter, Time and Rolling Stone.

Brown’s The Lost Symbol (December 6) is the first TV series to feature the author’s Harvard symbiologist hero Robert Langdon as tries to solve his mentor’s kidnapping and thwart a global conspiracy.

Ashley Zukerman (Succession), Eddie Izzard (Hannibal) and Valorie Curry (The Following) star win a series that’s bene streaming on US service Peacock since September.

It’s averaged a 55% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which summed it up thus:

With a promising premise, handsome locations, and a well-known character, The Lost Symbol has all the pieces necessary to be an addictive addition to Robert Langdon’s story – if only the show’s flat writing and strange pace didn’t undermine all that potential.

How it wound up on Neon and not TVNZ OnDemand, which has a deal for NBCUniversal content, can only be part down to another vagary of international distribution in the age of streaming.

Two seasons of This Way Up will belatedly land on December 20. It stars creator Aisling Bea and Catastrophe’s Sharon Horgan as sisters, one of whom has just emerged from a stint in rehab after suffering a nervous breakdown.

Critics loved the series, with the Sydney Morning Herald describing the stars as “uproariously funny together and apart, and the writing is a mordant delight throughout”.

Also new on Neon will be three of Louis Theroux’s Altered States documentaries, a Young Rock Christmas special, S8 of The Goldbergs, SoHo crime drama Wolfe, Law & Order spin-off Disorganized Crime, jewellers’ competition All That Glitters and S1-5 of First Dates UK (S6-8 will stream in January).

There also will be selection of school holiday fare Tyler Perry’s Young Dylan, The Substitute, Monster Beach and Avatar: The Last Airbender (S1-3).

Movie premieres will include Nobody, The Last Duel and Godzilla vs King Kong.

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2 Responses to “New to Neon in December”

  1. Is the Law and Order spinoff not a NBCUniversal property too? With most of the Dick Wolf franchises appearing on UniversalTV (including NZ premieres) how does Disorganised Crime (and Organised Crime) end up on Neon but SVU/Chicago Fire/PD/Law not?

  2. Yes, it is Mike, but Sky/Prime acquired it under their ViacomCBS before TVNZ’s pact. But why it remains a Sky/Prime property and SEAL Team doesn’t is beyond my understanding of contractural relationships.

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