New to View: July 4 – 10

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


➢ B Positive TVNZ 2, 4.25 / TVNZ OnDemand

New Chuck Lorre comedy starring Silicon Valley’s Thomas Middleditch as a single father facing renal failure whose salvation could be an old high-school classmate (Masters of Sex’s Annaleigh Ashford). “Ashford … is a comedy delinquent of constant delight. The writing sparkles; so does Ms. Ashford. The edginess of the dialogue, the rather outré subject matter and a seeming disregard for what has long constituted the stuff of network sitcoms are, in a word, refreshing.” — Wall Street Journal.


Shark Beach With Chris Hemsworth National Geographic, 7.30

Chris Hemsworth takes a deep dive into how humans and the ocean’s top predator can safely coexist. He told TV Insider: “I found such beauty in the animal. I’m aware of what they can do, but I’m far more intimidated by what can happen to me driving a car or walking across the street.” The documentary spearheads NatGeo’s annual SharkFest Week and will stream on Disney+ from Friday.


Happy Birthday Mr Bean TVNZ 1, 8.45

“This celebration of Rowan Atkinson’s beloved man-child was more than just a clip show … Atkinson takes his comedy seriously, and the programme treated its audience with intelligence as it dissected what made Mr Bean great … Even if you loathe Mr Bean – and there are plenty who do – you can appreciate the work that went into it.” — The Telegraph.


➢ Taskmaster TVNZ 2, 8.30

Jeremy Wells is still in the chair for season two, alongside Paul Williams, but making their Taskmaster debuts will be Radio Hauraki host Matt Heath, comedian Urzila Carlson, podcaster and comedian Guy Montgomery, and Fred Award finalists David Correos and Laura Daniel.

➢ Domina SoHo, 9.30

Linear premiere of Neon’s Ancient Rome romp that’s recommended only if you have a bent for tawdry toga hi-jinks. “This Italian-made series for Sky Atlantic was shot at the renowned Cinecittà Studios in Rome, where Visconti, Leone, Scorsese and Bertolucci have all worked, but sadly none of that old-time movie magic has rubbed off on it … Although much effort has gone into period clothing, sets and décor, the dialogue is little better than functional, and the cast speak it as if they’re in Skins or The Inbetweeners rather than a weighty historical epic.” — The Arts Desk.

Louis Theroux: Shooting Joe Exotic Prime, 9.45

In part one of two, Theroux revisits the Tiger King he met a decade earlier on America’s Most Dangerous Pets. “[He] tries to work out what has happened, examining his own experience with Exotic and wondering whether he could have done more … This unrepeatable confluence of subject, phenomenon and previous access will stand as a career highlight. It’s the documentary this extraordinary story deserves.” — Independent.

➢ Monsters at Work Disney +

Monsters at Work and the fictional company at the centre of the new series on Disney+ are both under new management. If the city of Monstropolis is relying on the power of laughter to run their city, Monsters at Work may result in rolling blackouts with only polite laughter permeating this diet, zero sugar, caffeine free version of Monsters Inc. But it’s not all bad.” — SlashFilm.


Young And … TVNZ OnDemand

Reads the blurb: “A range of young voices offer a unique and fresh perspective on what it’s really like to be in your 20s in 21st-century Aotearoa in this collection of compelling, stand-alone documentaries.” In the premiere, runaway teens who were filmed in 2015 on the streets of Auckland share their experiences.


We Are Lady Parts Neon/Sky Go

“Channel 4’s sweet, silly sitcom offers something we’ve never seen before on mainstream television: Muslim women being themselves, and rocking out to rowdy punk anthems … an assured mix of second-generation cultural confusion and millennial feminism, one part Chewing Gum to two parts Wayne’s World. Its silliness is its strength, and young and older me are thankful for it.” — The Guardian.

➢ The Cook of Castamar Netflix

“A Spanish period drama television series adapting the novel of the same name by Fernando J. Muñez starring Michelle Jenner and Roberto Enríquez. Set in early 18th-century Madrid, the plot follows the love story between an agoraphobic cook and a widowed nobleman … The weekly free-to-air broadcasting run on Antena 3 lasted from 8 April to 24 June 2021, attaining good audience ratings after adding up catch-up viewership figures to the regular linear TV figures (11.8% audience share).” — Wikipedia.

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