New to View: April 26 – May 2

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


The Last Kingdom (S4) | Netflix

“Season four of The Last Kingdom is widely expected to cover books seven and eight of Bernard Cornwell’s saga, The Pagan Lord and The Empty Throne. Alfred the Great is dead, as is his ever-conniving nephew Aethelwold; Alfred’s son Edward the Elder sits on the throne of Wessex; his daughter Aethelflaedis wed to the ruler of Mercia; and the Danes, led by Haesten and Cnut (not Cnut the Great – he won’t be born for another hundred years), sense opportunity. Uhtred, meanwhile, realises now might be the time to challenge his uncle Aelfric for his birthright, the lordship of Bebbanburg in Northumbria.” — HistoryExtra.

Cobra | SoHo, 8.30

“Ironically, scheming politicians are the saviours of Cobra, an environmental disaster thriller that might otherwise have been a spectacular yawn. Written by Ben Richards (Spooks, Party Animals), the six-part drama is set amid the public and domestic mayhem that ensues when Britain is struck by a solar storm that plunges the nation into blackout and blind panic. Civilisation starts to disintegrate and, before long, the only life forms that thrive are creatures of the night: scavengers and looters, conniving ministers and their spin doctors.” — The Times.

Prime Rocks: Chuck Berry | Prime, 8.30

“Chuck Berry, who died in 2017, is often hailed as one of the founders of rock’n’roll, and he was still playing up to 100 shows per year well into his 70s. This documentary focuses on his musical legacy through interviews with the likes of Keith Richards and Alice Cooper and footage from Berry’s estate. However, it veers well clear of his controversies – such as allegations of domestic abuse in the 1980s – making it more of a hagiography than an objective analysis.” — The Guardian.

The Case Against Adnan Syed | TVNZ 1, 12.10am (Monday)

“HBO’s four-part docuseries from Amy Berg serves as an informative appendix to Sarah Koenig’s hit podcast … less stylish than Serial but offers more answers.” — Vanity Fair.


Never Have I Ever | Netflix

“Mindy Kaling does teen comedy right … High school hijinks meet a tenderly-told story in the writer’s sweet new Netflix comedy … It’s a very kind, warm, smart show to visit, and each half-hour episode breezed right by. ” — Rolling Stone.

Penny Dreadful: City of Angels | Neon

“An engaging and finely-tuned story set in Hollywood in 1938, its so-called Golden Age. The presence of the supernatural, bleeding into the lives of the hapless mortal Angelenos we meet, feels from the start fairly natural — what’s Hollywood if not haunted? In setting, tone, and several fine and evocative performances, City of Angels cements itself as a fine entrant in the horror-on-TV genre.” — Variety.


Eat Well for Less NZ | TVNZ 1, 7.30

“Viewers are in for some jaw dropping reality when household shopping goes under the microscope. The show, based on a UK series, is hosted by chefs Mike van de Elzen (TVNZ’s The Food Truck, and Kiwi Living) and restaurateur Ganesh Raj (owner of The Tasting Shed, co-owner of The Māori Kitchen). In each episode, the pair will meet a Kiwi family, and share their knowledge on how to save money, sort food facts from food fiction and eat well for less.” — NZ Herald.

Unbreakable | TVNZ 1, 8.30

“A seven-part documentary series following a group of New Zealanders with physical or intellectual disabilities as they set out to achieve their dreams. It’s somewhat ironic that those ‘dreams’ – things like looking for love, finding a job, playing sport, going flatting or to university – are things most of us take for granted.” — Stuff.


Have You Been Paying Attention? At Home | TVNZ 2, 8.30

The “bubble” version in its new, later slot follows a re-run of 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown and precedes the season 10 premiere of Selling Houses Australia at 9.20.


You Got This! | TVNZ 2, 7.00

Like another Thursday night newcomer, Dai’s Party House (Three, 8.30), You Got This! has been fast-tracked to air following NZ On Air’s greenlighting of a raft of low-budget productions to keep local content humming during the lockdown. According to the publicity, this “hilarious family competition sees four ‘at home’ whānau teams take on a quirky challenge – from baking cakes to magic tricks”.

Gordon, Gino and Fred’s Road Trip | TVNZ 1, 8.40

Follows a new season of Your Home Made Perfect. “The cooking-based larks might be a tad silly and a wee bit contrived. They might also borrow heavily from a certain BBC motoring show. I don’t mind admitting that … these three culinary clowns have really helped get me through the first few weeks of lockdown. ITV must be kicking themselves that they only made four episodes – not least because the proposed trip to Nepal … probably won’t happen until well into next year, if at all.” — The Mirror.

Pennyworth | TVNZ 2, 11.55

Part one of 10. “While intriguing characters and impressive set-pieces make for an engaging spy-thriller, Pennyworth doesn’t add much to the greater Batman mythos.” — Rotten Tomatoes.

The Victims’ Game | Netflix

After discovering his estranged daughter’s link to mysterious murders, a forensic detective with Asperger’s syndrome risks everything to solve the case in this Taiwanese thriller.

The Forest of Love: Deep Cut | Netflix

Japanese drama about what happens when a charismatic conman and an aspiring film crew delve into the lives of two emotionally scarred women.


My Life is Murder | TVNZ 1, 8.30

Lucy Lawless plays Melbourne’s answer to Columbo. “There’s nothing about My Life Is Murder that’s going to make you think you’re watching something revolutionary. It’s a traditional case-of-the-week mystery that only reveals details about its main characters when it needs to … a show that’s fun and light entertainment, enhanced by well-written mysteries and performances that don’t take themselves seriously.” — Decider.


Britain’s Got Talent | TVNZ 1, 7.00

“While Cowell’s singing contests are in decline, BGT remains buoyant. It’s more wholesome, heartwarming and less beholden to pop trends, while the eclectic nature of the acts prevents it becoming too stale. Sure, it’s formulaic – there’s an over-reliance on children, pets and Walliams’s camp teasing of Cowell – but it’s watchable in a way that The X Factor hasn’t been for years.” — The Telegraph.

The Victim | TVNZ 1, 9.45 Saturday

“This is a nuanced and well-crafted legal drama by writer Rob Williams, who has previously worked on Killing Eve and The Man in the High Castle. It opens at the Edinburgh High Court, where a woman has been accused of outing, in a Facebook post, the man who murdered her child 15 years ago. Alternating mainly between courtroom scenes and interviews, the script mainly stays the right side of bombast, while the city provides a suitably weighty backdrop.” — Independent.

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