New to View: May 9 – 15
A weekly guide to what’s new of note on air and online
➢ The Masked Singer NZ Three, 7.00
➢ The Apprentice Aotearoa TVNZ 1, 8.30
A more apt title could be The Anti-Trump Apprentice: despite being synonymous with the former president, TVNZ executives “don’t want people to think Trump when they think The Apprentice.” Instead, they’ve opted for a kinder, gentler approach, which risks eliminating energy and tension — and turning TVNZ’s second Kiwi Apprentice into as big a flop as the first in 2010 (which was so forgettable I’d forgotten about it).
➢ Amber Acorn TV
2014 Irish drama about an estranged couple’s missing teenage daughter. “Amber has been billed as a crime thriller, but there wasn’t much in the way of thrills in this first episode … What Amber did offer was a promising format: each of the four episodes is named after a different character and will look at the girl’s disappearance from a different perspective. The intended effect is presumably to build a picture of how a missing person impacts upon families and whole communities.” — Independent.
➢ Pose Neon/Sky Go
“Though it’s entirely too short, Pose‘s final season is a joyously entertaining celebration of life that is not to be missed.” — Rotten Tomatoes.
➢ The Upshaws Netflix
Reads the blurb: “A working-class Black family in Indiana strives for a better life and a happy home while juggling everyday struggles in this comedy series.” No sign of Jimmy Walker but with comedians Wanda Sykes (Curb Your enthusiasm) as star and co-showrunner with Regina Hicks (Insecure), there should be good times.
➢ Your Garden Made Perfect TVNZ 1, 7.30
“Your Garden Made Perfect is a spin-off from Your Home Made Perfect, and it uses the same gimmick. Instead of studying artists’ impressions before picking a design, the homeowners don virtual-reality goggles and see the visions projected before their eyes. It’s effective and visually dramatic.” — Daily Mail.
➢ Lucky Dip Maori TV, 8.00
Luke Bird hosts what he dubs an “It’s in the Bag-meets-Sidewalk Karaoke” mix of local knowledge and Māori language quiz questions, and physical games and challenges.
➢ Teine Sā – The Ancient Ones Prime, 9.30
Kudos to Sky for commissioning this supernatural anthology that modernises six creepy tall tales of the Pacific Islands. “In the first one, a young artist (Frankie Adams) opens a spirit to portal world when she tramples an ancient heirloom; in another, a bullied teenager evokes an ancient Solomon Islands guardian spirit. There’s a cannibal in one of them, and some sort of shapeshifting reptilian lizard — but it’s unlikely any of it is quite like anything you’ve seen before.” — Herald on Sunday.
➢ Coroner TVNZ 1, 11.00
If you like the first season, you can stream the next two OnDemand. “This Canadian crime drama is based on a bestselling series of novels by the Keeping Faith creator Matthew Hall (credited here as MR Hall). It’s highly watchable, propelled by Serinda Swan’s unshowily intense performance as Jenny Cooper, a Toronto coroner who investigates suspicious deaths.” — The Times.
➢ The Underground Railroad Amazon Prime Video
Barry Jenkins tackles Colson Whitehead’s heralded novel about a slave’s literal and spiritual journey toward freedom in this 10-part Amazon limited series … A show that’s a challenging, binge-worthy interplay of standalone incidents, look-away unpleasantness that demands full immersion, denied emotional payoffs and unexpected catharsis.” — The Hollywood Reporter.
➢ Secret Bridesmaids’ Business TVNZ OnDemand
A bride’s perfect wedding turns deadly after one of her bridesmaids unknowingly invites a malevolent stranger into their lives. “I wonder if this is a show that’s been caught between competing impulses: on the one hand, the desire to build a well-crafted relationship drama about a group of friends in the vein of Cold Feet; on the other, the generic demands of a gender-flipped Fatal Attraction … The former might have yielded an altogether more rounded, complex and easy-on-the-palate experience than the rather fruity blend we’ve got.” — Sydney Morning Herald.
➢ Love, Death & Robots: Volume 2 Netflix
“Helmed by David Fincher and Tim Miller, season 1 was a genre-defying masterpiece, including elements of cyberpunk, steampunk, and even body horror … Some critics found fault in the show’s preoccupation with sex and violence. Season 2 will still include nudity and gore, but the trailer shows the series refocusing on humanity. Love, Death and Robots season 2 will likely take more time to explore complex moral conflicts and major political themes like climate change.” — ScreenRant.
➢ Fight for the Wild TVNZ 1, 7.30
This new four-part series about “the battle to save Aotearoa’s native species from an army of predators” will be complemented by a podcast.
➢ Cheetah Family & Me BBC Earth, 8.30
NZ premiere of a 2021 BBC series in which filmmaker Gordon Buchanan “walks” with the fastest land predators on Earth to try to understand their future. “The programme was at his best when he simply plonked down his camera to watch the cats, a reminder of David Attenborough’s skill of getting up close and personal with wildlife in the days before he became a prophet of doom … Soothing, transportative viewing.” — The Times.