New to View: April 18 – 24

A weekly guide to what’s new of note on air and online

Monday


Vegas TVNZ 2, 8.30

“Filmed entirely in Rotorua, the $6.4m budgeted, six-part series is … a potent cocktail of a tale involving debts, drugs, gangs and two disparate brothers [that] revolves around the build up to and fallout from the life-changing events of a single night … Smart, engaging direction helps hook you into the story and perfectly paces the action, leaving you wanting to know more about the characters’ fate.” — Stuff. (Repeats 9.30 Tuesday, and 11.05 Friday on TVNZ 1.)

Creamerie TVNZ 2, 9.30/TVNZ OnDemand

Can this dystopian Kiwi black comedy about three women and the last man on Earth be, as co-creator and co-star Pauline Lau told The Spinoff, “a silly TV show that is also deep, scary and means something”? Precedes the on-air debut of TVNZ OnDemand’s Frickin Dangerous Bro on the Road.

Mare of Easttown SoHo, 9.30/Neon

Mare of Easttown sounds like it’s going to be a YA equestrian novel or a Masterpiece miniseries set on a Victorian farm. In fact, deceptively stodgy title notwithstanding, it is a poignant, richly observed, if occasionally over-the-top HBO crime drama starring Kate Winslet, in her first big TV role since winning an Emmy in 2011 for Todd Haynes’ Mildred Pierce miniseries.” — Time.

America’s Great Divide: From Obama to Trump DocPlay

“Each dense and detailed episode runs just under two hours, the first focusing on Obama and the second on Trump. Although it’s punctuated by news footage and evocative black-and-white photos of the leaders, the chronology resembles a procession of talking heads.” — Sydney Morning Herald.

Tuesday


➢ Red Light Rialto, 8.30

“The Dutch/Belgian series Red Light has debuted in Europe and has won rave reviews. The 10-episode series starring Carice van Houten and Maaike Neuville (who you may recognise from De Twaalf) portrays three women with completely different background whose lives unexpectedly intertwine.” — The Killing Times.

Wednesday


 Bradley Walsh and Son: Breaking Dad TVNZ 1, 7.30

Season three premieres opposites Prime launch of Sewer Squad and spearheads a new TVNZ 1 line-up that includes game show The Million Pound Cube and Alan Carr-narrated Secrets of the Driving Test. “Every cell in my body wants to hate this show, apart from my heart, which finds itself oddly warmed. Bradley Walsh’s pure charisma transcends international boundary lines, with Austrian dairy farmers and Swiss yodellers alike all giggling with glee when he goofs around in front of them.” — The Guardian.

➢ Zero Netflix

Italy’s “first TV show with a majority black cast” revolves around a shy teen who use his extraordinary power to turn invisible to defend his poor neighbourhood despite wanting to escape to pursue his dream. “Explores the metaphorical invisibility felt by many young people facing an uncertain future.” — New York Times.

➢ The End TVNZ OnDemand

Australian series that stars Harriet Walter and Frances O’Connor as a mother and daughter with polar opposite views on euthanasia. “Spiky, witty drama on death that sometimes shifts into the absurd”.” — The Guardian.

Thursday


Young Rock Prime, 7.30

“A new series inspired by the life of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. No less than four Rocks appear in the first episode, including the wrestler-turned-movie star himself, who narrates stories from three different timelines of his life … The show made me laugh, and a few times it even dropkicked me right in the feels. Future me may regret this, but I’m giving Young Rock my endorsement.” — Entertainment Weekly.

➢ The Equalizer Prime, 8.30

Procedural reboot of the ’80s Edward Woodward hit starring Queen Latifah as an ex-CIA troubleshooter is being double-billed with S2 of Forensics NZ. “CBS is really good at this sort of by-the-numbers genre offering – and, in this case, that should give The Equalizer a fighting chance to make its mark.” — New York Post.

➢ City on a Hill SoHo, 9.30

“’90s Boston remains a shining cesspool, and Kevin Bacon is once again a multi-layered treat as heavy-drinking, coke-snorting FBI agent Jackie Rohr. This socially aware, high-end crime drama begins its second season with Rohr causing chaos and tragedy, and corruptly covering up his involvement as best he can.” — Sydney Morning Herald.

➢ Life in Colour With David Attenborough Netflix

Using innovative technology, this docuseries explores nature from a fresh perspective as animals use colour to survive and thrive in the wild. “Life in Colour marks a return to the simple wildlife shows of old, before climate change hung doomily over everything. Attenborough made reference to this in an interview this week. ‘This series is about what it says it’s about, which is colour and, yes, just being able to rejoice in it. I’m doing plenty of ‘woe is me’ programmes at the moment,’ he said. So there was absolutely nothing glum about this episode.” — The Telegraph.

➢ Oliver Sacks: His Own Life DocPlay

“Director Ric Burns (brother of Ken – and a very fine filmmaker himself) weaves together interviews, archive material, still photographs and audio to build up an insightful, affectionate and satisfying portrait of an immensely inspiring figure.” — Stuff.

Friday


➢ Shadow and Bone Netflix

Dark forces conspire against an orphan mapmaker when she unleashes an extraordinary power that could change the fate of her war-torn world. “Netflix’s TV show adaptation of Leigh Bardugo’s bestselling fantasy novels walks a fine line between honouring its source material and retconning certain outdated elements.” — TechRadar.

Saturday


➢ Call the Midwife TVNZ 1, 8.50

Call the Midwife is a reliable old workhorse. Even as it reaches its 10th series – with the BBC recently announcing that there are at least two more to come – it continues to be a solid drama that spins its many plates with expert skill. It is often seen as cosy television, and, in many respects, that is a fair assessment … But, as always, it is steely, too, with a strong moral backbone. It rarely shies away from asking difficult questions, even if it asks them in a quiet, sweet voice.” — The Guardian.

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3 Responses to “New to View: April 18 – 24”

  1. Hi Phil. Just wondering if your sources had any intel on the South African Netflix paranormal chiller Dark Places? Will Netflix NZ audiences get to binge? Initial Googling suggests this isn’t looking promising…!? 🙁

  2. Hi Phil. You you have any info when The Blacklist may return to NZ as Netflix only showed the first two episode of season 8 and that was it?

  3. I wouldn’t expect it to resurface until closer to mid-year, Paul W. Because of COVD-19 disruptions to its production, Three opted to hold back the latest season until all the episodes had been delivered rather than interrupt its run. (Originally 13 eps were commissioned but I see ep 15 is due to air on NBC on April 30.) I would imagine Three’s deal would preclude Netflix NZ from being able to stream new eps until they had gone to air here but that’s only speculation.

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