New to View: February 14 – 20

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


When a City Rises – The People’s Story TVNZ 1, 8.30

Sequel to When a City Falls, about the rebuilding of post-quake Christchurch. “When a City Rises is a crucial document of the last nine years in the life of Aotearoa’s most resilient city … The film might not be perfect – no film about events still unfolding can be – but it is a warm-hearted, involved and non-partisan piece of work that I think captures a moment extremely well.” — Stuff.


The Trump Show Special: Downfall TVNZ 1, 8.30

“The final months of Donald Trump’s presidency are so familiar that this documentary wasn’t so much the ‘inside story’ than just the ‘story’ … Would probably fascinate audiences 20 years from now. But for viewers who watched this all unfold on the news a few short weeks ago, it felt surplus to requirements.” — The Telegraph.

The Walkers TVNZ 2, 8.30

Australian Idol winner Stan Walker promises he and his clan won’t be trying to keep up with the Kardashians in their new reality series. ‘Everybody knows that no family is perfect, but I hope that they can learn from us – they can laugh with us. Even maybe for some people, they can heal with us.'” — The TV Guide.

London Zoo: An Extraordinary Year Three, 9.00

“A routine look behind the gates of the locked-down ZSL London and Whipsnade zoos during the pandemic … The pandemic loomed large, but we also saw the quirky side of zoo life (you don’t hire Stephen Fry as a narrator if it’s all doom and gloom), including jolly scenes as the elephants at Whipsnade tucked into a giant ice lolly made in a wheelie bin during the April heatwave.” — The Times.

Framing Britney Spears ThreeNow

“The idea of Britney Spears as a kind of performer savant—someone who can do the work, but accidentally, incidentally, oopstastically—is at the heart of Framing Britney Spears. The documentary, produced for FX and Hulu by the New York Times, lays out the misogyny and tabloid cruelty that has dogged Spears’ entire career and resulted in her current predicament: She’s a 39-year-old woman and high-functioning professional who is nonetheless still bound by a legal conservatorship curtailing her freedom, which a judge upheld in court Thursday.” — Slate.

The Crew Netflix

Kevin James plays a NASCAR boss whose daughter’s also on the team in this standard family sitcom. “The Crew is designed to be an easy watch that doesn’t demand too much of the audience — it’s essentially Netflix’s Monday night CBS sitcom — and James’s comedy won’t alienate anybody.” — National Review.

15 Days Acorn TV

A Channel 5 variation on the Welsh series 35 Days that opens with a murder, then rewinds 15 days to reveal the killer. “A deeply satisfying Welsh farmhouse murder mystery … A splendidly wrought mass of poisonous secrets and lies festering within a family.” — The Guardian.


➢ The Great British Bake Off Prime, 7.30

Season 11, and the first to be shot under lockdown, premieres opposite TVNZ 1’s return of Dog Squad: Puppy School and Dog Squad. “Cast and crew have bravely bubbled their way through the social distancing restrictions, the latest dozen contestants, banged up together under virtual house arrest for seven weeks … Matt Lucas is an excellent choice to replace Sandi Toksvig, adding a pinch of wit and surrealism to the usual mix of weak puns and painful innuendo.” — Independent.

➢ Have You Been Paying Attention? TVNZ 2, 8.30

New night for the Kiwi panel hit that launches opposite TVNZ 1’s luxury lodge series, Lap of Luxury.

FBI: Most Wanted Prime, 9.55

The spin-off that first screened on Sky 5 is being double-billed with the S3 debut of the original, FBI (8.55); both overlap the return of Three’s veteran procedural, NCIS (9.00). Despite derisive reviews, it’s been renewed for a third season. Kiwi Keisha Castle-Hughes stars.

Men in Kilts Neon

A Scottish road trip series featuring Outlander actors Sam Heughan (Jamie) and Graham McTavish (Dougal MacKenzie). “Men in Kilts probably didn’t need a hook past ‘two of the actors from one of the most popular shows on TV goof off around their home country together,’ but the pandemic has given it one. What would have been a perfectly enjoyable travel series featuring the rich culture and gorgeous landscape of a popular tourist destination has become even more of an escapist delight in the midst of a pandemic.” — Den of Geek.


➢ Behind Her Eyes Netflix

Psychological thriller from the producers of The Crown, about a solo mum who has an affair with her psychiatrist boss while bonding with his mysterious wife. It’s a six-part adaptation of the Sarah Pinborough best-seller that was promoted with a “#WTFthatending” hashtag.

Big Fat Quiz of Everything 2020 TVNZ 2, 8.30

“What was a ‘bag o’mystery’ in Victorian slang? What could you buy down Del Boy’s Hooky Street? Who did Johnny Cash have a fight with in 1981? And what American attraction once went by the name ‘Rebel Railroad’? All of these questions and more will be answered in the biggest quiz of them all.” — Channel 4.

The Rookie Three, 9.00

Creator Alexi Hawley told Entertainment Weekly the Covid-19 pandemic and the repercussions of George Floyd’s death have had a “huge impact” on S3 of her LA street cops drama. “Obviously, the first episode back is a cliffhanger and so we needed to honour paying off that story, which I think we did with a great amount of intensity. But there were definitely some adjustments we made based on the conversations that were going on.”


Travel Guides NZ TVNZ 2, 8.00

“The producers hope the show will inspire Kiwi viewers to go out and see their country … But you’d be wrong in thinking the show is just an extended ad for Destination NZ. Just like their Australian counterparts, the Kiwi travel guides – a diverse group which reflects New Zealand’s melting pot of cultures – are not at all shy in sharing their opinions.” — The TV Guide.


Tribes of Europa Netflix

“Fans of The 100 rejoice: it looks like your replacement post-apocalyptic young adult tribal sci-fi thriller is almost here! Netflix’s The Tribes of Europa could be the answer to what The 100 fans are missing. But some fans are a little concerned by the similarities.” — PostApocaylpticMedia.

Tell Me Your Secrets Amazon Prime Video

American Horror Story’s Lily Rabe, Legion’s Hamish Linklater and The Leftovers’ Amy Brenneman play protagonists with mysterious and troubling pasts. “Could Tell Me Your Secrets be our next crime show obsession? We’ll keep tight-lipped about that for now. But there’s no secret about the fact that this upcoming thriller from Amazon Prime has an intriguing and encouraging cast.” — Entertainment Weekly.

For All Mankind Apple TV+

“The space-race alternate history from Apple TV+ improves solidly on its first season, with a slow but steady liftoff into satisfying dramatic territory.” — Rolling Stone.


We Are Who We Are TVNZ OnDemand

“The coming-of-age story of a group of teenagers on an American airbase in Italy is so clearly a slow burner. It has been described by those in the US as exquisite, lyrical, poetic and in many other terms that loosely translate as ‘admirable, a talent showcase and yet ever so slightly boring at first sight’.” — The Guardian.

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