New to TVNZ+: April 20-26

TVNZ+ enlivens its slate next week with the prompt premiere of Oscar-winning French thriller Anatomy of a Fall, exclusive live Professional Fighters League coverage and the debuts of several notable series.

About a woman accused of killing her husband, and whose half-blind son is the key witness, Anatomy of a Fall (April 24) was a 2024 best picture-nominee, won for best original screenplay and streams for free just two weeks after its release on Blu-ray and DVD.

The Spiderwick Chronicles (April 20) is a TV series adaptation of the children’s fantasy books about the Grace family’s move to their ancestral home, where a parallel faerie world is under threat from the murderous ogre Mulgareth (Christian Slater).

The Hollywood Reporter thought it “rarely magical” but the Rotten Tomatoes consensus was “an entertaining children’s adventure, with heart and imagination to spare”.

Knuckles (April 26) is a live-action Paramount+ spin-off from the Sonic the Hedgehog movies, in which the spiky-fisted Echidna warrior (Idris Elba) agrees to train Wade Whipple (Adam Pally) as his protégé.

“This solo adventure is six episodes long, taking place between the second and third film, which is set to release later this year, and takes fans of the franchise on a wild ride of self-discovery as Knuckles adapts to his new life on Earth among the Whipple family,” reports Collider.

Boat Story (April 26) stars Daisy Haggard, Paterson Joseph and Joanna Scanlan in a thriller about two strangers who become the targets of a vengeful mob boss, his hitman and the police after discovering a haul of illegal drugs on a washed-up boat along the Yorkshire coastline.

UK critics thought it just as rocky, with the Independent summing it up as “too ambitious, too inconsistent, and too insincere”.

Also new are the latest season of Irish comedy The Dry (April 23), every season of Star Trek: Picard (April 20) and The Great Climate Fight (April 22), in which Kevin McCloud, Mary Portas and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall fiercely advocate how the government they detest could unlock a greener economy to deliver cheaper energy and lower utility bills.

The Guardian warned it’s “filled with horrifying stats and graphs … impressively angry TV” while The Times thought it “punchy, pugnacious stuff“.

PFL 3: Welterweight & Featherweight (April 20, 10.30am-4.30) is live from the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, where undefeated Welterweight Magomed Umalatov takes on former Bellator Welterweight Champion Andrey Koreshkov in the main event.

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