New to TVNZ OnDemand in August
The latest Peacock series to stream on TVNZ OnDemand will be the acclaimed 2019-20 Canadian thriller, Departure.
Premiering August 28, It stars The Good Wife’s Archie Panjabi and the late Christopher Plummer as airline investigators whose enquiry into why a jetliner with 256 passengers has vanished over the Atlantic Ocean is blocked by conspiratorial forces..
Variety dubbed it “a thrilling Departure … a drama that will hook those who seek from their viewing a charge of adrenaline, if not always the most rigorously challenging of mysteries.”
Decider likened it to “a little bit of Manifest, a touch of Lost, a little bit of The Blacklist, and a sprinkle of Homeland” before concluding: “There’s lots about Departure that’s really silly, but Panjabi and Plummer carry the series into the realm of respectability.”
But The Hollywood Reporter’s bottom line was: “Similar enough to 24 to be intriguing, but not similar enough to be good.”
Another Peacock commission, Brave New World (from August 23), is a nine-part drama set in a utopia where perfection hinges upon control of monogamy and privacy.
When members of the collective begin to question the rules, they put their regimented society on “a collision course with forbidden love and revolution”.
“Brave New World is sleek and seductive, but not very daring, only skimming the surface of Aldous Huxley’s dystopian epic without plumbing its philosophical,” was the consensus on Rotten Tomatoes.
It stars Alden Ehrenreich (Solo: A Star Wars Story), Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey) and Harry Lloyd (Marcella).
Also new from TVNZ’s NBCUniversal deal will be the full season of limited series Debris (August 9). Reads the blurb:
When wreckage from a destroyed alien spacecraft scatters across the Western Hemisphere, it soon becomes apparent the pieces are messing with the laws of physics, changing lives in ways we can’t comprehend. Two agents from different continents, and different mindsets, are tasked to work together to recover the debris, whose mysteries humankind is not quite ready for.
“If it can find a happy medium between the worlds established by Fringe and The X-Files, and enhance the banter between its leads, it could be something really special,” IndieWire said in its review of the early episodes.
But Reason Online thought the opposite: “The X-Files is finally dead, a stake pounded through its throbbing space-alien heart by its dozenth or so television clone. The killer was Debris, a mumbly and mindless sci-fi drama.”
Six-part BBC murder mystery Smother (from August 1) stars Dervla Kirwan as a widow investigating the possibility that one of her own kin might have killed her husband.
The Guardian declared this “Maeve Binchy-esque thriller is entirely addictive” while The Times thought the rugged Irish scenery breathtaking but the script rocky: “melodramatic tale of family skulduggery falls flat”.
Also new next month will be S7 of Bachelor in Paradise (fast-tracked weekly from August 17), the controversial Anne Boleyn drama (August 14), S2 of Nurses (August 31) and The Panthers (August 15), the upcoming TVNZ 1 drama about a group of young street gangsters and university students who form The Polynesian Panthers to revolutionise their community.
For the kids, there will be Trollstopia (August 2), S2 of K-Pop Academy (August 9) and new seasons of Darwin & Newts: I’m On It and Let’s Science It (August 2).