New to View: March 28 – April 3

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


➢ The Gloaming TVNZ OnDemand

“Every once in a while a film or television series comes around with an aesthetic so eye-watering it makes plaudits such as ‘evocative’ or ‘painterly’ seem manifestly inadequate. Occasionally – as is the case with [the] eight-part mystery-drama The Gloaming, from creator and writer Vicki Madden – the visual oomph of the production seems to manifest as a kind of viscous residue, sticking to your psyche the way a sweat patch clings to your armpit … moody and noirish.” — The Guardian.


Top Gear TVNZ 1, 8.30

“’The most important car in your life isn’t the one you learnt to drive in, or the first car you bought – no it’s your dad’s car, the one you sat in the back of as a kid.’ That’s how Freddie Flintoff introduced this latest series of Top Gear – the fourth he has co-presented with Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris. It saw the trio venture to the Lake District to take a spin in the cars their fathers drove – or the closest things the show’s producers could find, at least … The premise made for an unexpectedly heartfelt programme which proved emotional depth and boisterous antics can go hand in hand.” — inews.

Defending the Guilty TVNZ OnDemand

“Harry Potter has nothing on the legal profession when it comes to silly gowns and arcane lingo. These and other juridical absurdities are lampooned with zeal by Defending the Guilty. The new comedy gets its horsehair in a twist as it seeks answers to the pressing question of what Rumpole of the Bailey might resemble if remade in the scatological spirit of the Inbetweeners.” — The Telegraph.


➢ Home, Land and Sea Maori TV, 8.00

A 13-part documentary series showcasing indigenous success across NZ’s farming and agricultural sector. It will highlight how whānau, hapū and iwi are abandoning mainstream farming practices for less damaging ‘whenua-friendly’ ways. In the premiere, dancer and choreographer Taiaroa Royal takes over the family farm after the death of his brother in 2016.

Wild City Singapore Maori TV, 8.30

“With the latest film-making technology, Sir David Attenborough uncovers the unseen natural treasures of Singapore and explores how the wildlife has adapted to the human world.” That was how this three-part BBC series was billed in 2015 — so don’t expect anything too cutting-edge six years later.


The Diana Interview: The Truth Behind the Scandal TVNZ 1, 7.30

This four-month-old documentary is billed as “a deep look at the fallout from the inquiry into Martin Bashir’s 1995 BBC Panorama special with Diana, Princess of Wales, with new revelations and reflections”. But The Telegraph thought it “pointless” save for “a compelling interview with the Princess’s former private secretary, Patrick Jephson”.

➢ Supergirl Neon

“With the series headed into its sixth and final season, Supergirl will continue to deal with real-world issues as part of the show’s theme and according to series showrunners Jessica Queller and Robert Rovner, this year the series will focus on power.” —


➢ The Undoing Prime, 8.30

Free-to-air premiere of the glossy HBO thriller, starring Nicole Kidman as a therapist who suspects husband Hugh Grant of murder, that will screen in multi-episode instalments back-to-back over the long weekend. Teasingly ambiguous but so absurdly contrived that it undoes itself long before the “D’oh!” denouement.

➢ The Serpent Netflix

“In the crowded true-crime genre on streaming services, The Serpent offers more than your standard podcast-style doco; this BBC-Netflix co-production is a lavishly produced dramatisation following the criminal and those who worked to catch him. Set largely in the mid-1970s, it’s the story of a handsome, charming serial killer who drugged and murdered at least a dozen backpackers on the south-east Asian ‘hippie trail.'” — The Age.

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