New to View: April 25 – May 1

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


 93rd Annual Academy Awards TVNZ 2, 12.00

Live coverage of the glitterati gabfest in which the merits of the movies typically get lost amid the insufferable celebrity sermonising. Expect as much a Biden lovefest as self-congratulatory backslapping. The fawning starts early, with red carpet coverage from 10.30am and continues with the ceremony from midday (which will be repeated 8.30 on Duke and overnight Saturday on TVNZ 2).

Framing Britney Spears Three, 9.00

Broadcast premiere of the documentary that’s been streaming on ThreeNow. “It’s an uncomfortable watch that forces us to consider our own complicity in Spears’ suffering.” — The Spinoff.

 Keeping Faith BBC UKTV, 9.35

Season three of the drama series set in small-town Wales. “While Keeping Faith is always watchable and can boast numerous strong performances, its problem is that it has never managed to surpass the central mystery of the first series … Now, the show looks more like a conventional domestic drama with a side order of social concern.” — The Arts Desk.


➢ Eat Well for Less NZ/David Lomas Investigates TVNZ 1/Three, 7.30

The top-rating rivals face off against each other in new seasons that spearhead a fresh line-up on each network, with TVNZ 1 resuming the irresistible The Dog House at 8.30 and NCIS: LA returning at 9.30 to Three.

➢ Michael Palin: Travels of a Lifetime Prime, 7.30

New five-part series in which the Monty Python favourite reflects on his world tours.  The Times dubbed it “a masterclass in travelogue charm” but reminded us it was Palin’s Around the World in 80 Days that “unleashed upon us a heaven and a hell. A heaven because this was everything Lord Reith said television should be — educational, informative, entertaining — and a hell because it spawned the celebrity travel documentary monster, which serves us an unceasing cycle of pampered hasbeens being sent around the globe on the production company’s dollar to tell us about their menopauses, their egos and their bowels.”


➢ Starstruck TVNZ 2, 9.30

“Post Fleabag, it’s a brave actress who ventures into the arena of an eccentric drunken young female having one-night stands. It is a rare one who can make it funny and fresh … Yet Rose Matafeo in Starstruck managed it, and with ease … Matafeo has funny bones. She’s worth watching.” — The Times.


 The Handmaid’s Tale Neon

The dystopian drama belatedly returns for its fourth season. The wait will have been worth it if the extra time has been used to reverse the creative decline of the previous two seasons. As The Conversation observed, “The Handmaid’s Tale is at a crossroads. Four years on from its critically acclaimed debut, and well past the bounds of its literary source material, the series faces challenges that relate to violence, representation and narrative … Season 4 walks a fine line between dystopia and torture porn.”

➢ Things Heard & Seen Netflix

A Manhattan couple discovers their marriage has a sinister darkness that rivals their new rural home’s history. “Things Heard and Seen is part domestic drama, part thriller, part horror film, and entirely unexpected, featuring a truly all-star cast and plot twists that will keep you guessing until the very, very end. You may think you know where Things Heard and Seen is going, but trust us. You have absolutely no idea.” — Looper.


➢ The Mosquito Coast Apple TV+

“Justin Theroux and Melissa George star as a couple on the run in this tense adaptation of the bestselling 1981 novel of the same name, written by Justin’s uncle Paul Theroux. Justin plays Allie Fox, an idealist and inventor who uproots his family, including two confused teenagers, to Mexico after he’s suddenly tracked down by the US government.” — The Guardian.

➢ Nurses TVNZ OnDemand

“We’ve seen all this stuff a million times, except treated with more subtlety and a bit more character development … Nurses is a Frankenstein monster’s mess of piece-parts from other, better medical dramas. You’re better off revisiting those dramas (or Transplant, the far better — but not great — [TVNZ 1] series) than watching this disaster.” — Decider.

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5 Responses to “New to View: April 25 – May 1”

  1. Warning: preg_replace(): Unknown modifier '/' in /home/customer/www/ on line 66
    April 26, 2021 at 10:06 am

    I hope Husavik wins Best Original Song at the Oscars today. It’s such a beautiful song and deserves to win 🙂

  2. Are the rumours true, Philip, that Three is set to axe Newshub Late?

  3. Quite possibly, Leo, although it would run counter to Discovery’s claim that it was committed to maintaining a local news service. I have yet to receive confirmation or clarification from the network.

  4. This just in, Leo: a Three spokeswoman says “absolutely incorrect – Newshub Late is very much part of the schedule.”

  5. I was thinking the exact same thing when after they launched the 11:30am bulletin, but I’m glad they are sticking with Newshub Late. Cheers for getting back to me on this one. On a side note I see Three’s ex-property Big Brother has made its way to TVNZ OnDemand, a natural place for a show like this rather than primetime.

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