New to View: December 13 – 19

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


Ed Stafford: First Man Out Discovery, 8.30

Kiwi bushman Josh James is among those who try to outlast the titular hero in the wild. “Stafford is the survivalist antidote to Bear Grylls; less polished, less pleased with himself, and far more likeable because of it. In First Man Out, now into its second series, he is dropped into a suitably remote and inhospitable terrain – be it jungle, mountain, desert or archipelago – with another survival specialist, who is equally capable of fashioning a rudimentary bungalow from a banana plant. … The magnitude of the landscapes on show is itself a reason to watch right now.” — Esquire.


➢ The Rise of the Murdoch Dynasty TVNZ OnDemand

“This documentary tells a familiar story, but it’s an enthralling portrait of a man for whom the world is never enough. Still, there was plenty of fresh material in the first of the three episodes of biography, including candid contributions from his various editors, including Andrew Neil, Piers Morgan, and David Yelland, plus other accomplished raconteurs who encountered him along the way.” — Independent.


 Your Honor SoHo, 8.30/Neon

Given the shortage of fresh content on the SoHo channels, you’d have thought Sky would have screened this within 24 hours of the US, especially given it broke Showtime viewership records (even if critics weren’t as enthusiastic). It stars Bryan Cranston as a judge whose integrity and family are compromised when his son flees the scene of a fatal accident he caused. “The ambitious new limited series takes on privilege, race and the lengths you’d go to for your family, with mixed results.” — Variety.

➢ Rose West and Myra Hindley: The Untold Story TVNZ 1, 8.25

“This was a schlocky hour of television for true crime fans, which rehashed details of the women’s crimes and made a cursory attempt to link their behaviour to their troubled childhoods.” — The Telegraph.

Putin: A Russian Spy Story TVNZ 1, 11.00

Meanwhile, the same broadcaster has buried this three-part account of the Russian President’s rise that earned a 100% critics’ endorsement on Rotten Tomatoes: “Putin: A Russian Spy Story illuminates the dark corners of the Kremlin’s past to bone-chilling effect, painting a compelling – and terrifying – portrait of the lengths some leaders take to amass and maintain power.”

➢ Tin Star Three, 11.10

For season three, the scene of this Rockies crime drama shifts to Liverpool’s underworld. “I gave up on series two because, as I said at the time, it was so off its head that watching it was like urinary tract infection-induced delirium. And it is still off its head, but it seems to have been injected with new energy, spiky northern wit and a lean, lively script.” — The Times.


The Expanse Amazon Prime Video

“Those who’ve lost track of this richly imagined, expensively rendered sci-fi based on the novels of James S. A. Corey might be startled to learn that it’s now coming into its fifth season. On one hand everything about it seems even more expansive, with the discovery of an ancient alien portal network giving humanity the chance to spread beyond our solar system and explore other eerily abandoned worlds. At the same time, though, the microgravity of the space stations and asteroid-mining colonies in our own solar system keep things kind of earthy.” — Sydney Morning Herald.

Tide BBC Earth., 9.35

Part one of three about one of the most powerful and mysterious natural forces on Earth. The BBC’s first major co-production with Chinese investment was shot across four continents and is said to boast spectacular imagery. The first episode interviews George Orwell’s son Richard Blair, who revisits the famous Corryvreckan whirlpool in Scotland, where his family almost drowned in 1947. “Unfortunately my father misread the timetable coming out of Glengarrisdale and we arrived at Corryvreckan not at slack water, but when the tide was still running on the flood and we got ourselves into all sorts of trouble on the edge of the whirlpool area.”


Britain’s Most Expensive Home: Building for a Billionaire TVNZ 1, 8.30

“This was a supersize-me Grand Designs, as we watched a renovation project go wildly over budget. How far over budget? Oh, just £58 million. For that kind of money, though, you get some special features. A swimming pool with ‘bespoke installation designed to look like a wall of lava’.” — The Telegraph.


➢ The Grand Tour Presents A Massive Hunt Amazon Prime Video

“In 2020, a year which has been distinctively lacking travel, adventures and silliness, the latest special from The Grand Tour feels like essential viewing. This time around, our familiar trio head to the French island of Réunion before being tasked by producer, Andy Wilman to go on a treasure hunt to Madagascar (which, according to the Amazon Prime Video show, features the worst roads known to man) to find pirate La Buse’s hidden goodies.” — Radio Times.

➢ Sweet Home Netflix

“It’s pretty incredible how much international horror Netflix brings to the table every year, much of it (unfortunately) dropped onto the streaming service with little fanfare. But one upcoming horror series that should most definitely be on your radar, if the official trailer is any indication, is the Korean Sweet Home, an adaptation of the same-titled Webtoon.” — Bloody Disgusting.

On Pointe Disney +

This six-part series about a season in the School of American Ballet  in New York City features unprecedented access follows the lives of the students ages 8 to 18 pursuing their dreams to become ballet dancers. “Like a real-life Center Stage.” — Entertainment Weekly.

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One Response to “New to View: December 13 – 19”

  1. Warning: preg_replace(): Unknown modifier '/' in /home/customer/www/ on line 66
    December 16, 2020 at 4:58 pm

    Some fine quotes above! Tin Star – off its head. The Expanse – even more expansive. Gold! 😀

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