New to View: May 3 – 9

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


Flesh and Blood | TVNZ 1, 8.30

Part one of two. “Anyone who made it through BBC’s Gold Digger might find this familiar: older woman, new lover, three troubled adult children sent into paroxysms of suspicion by their mother’s self-determination … But the writer Sarah Williams swerves windswept Gold Digger gothic for a more American Beauty-style dark comedy of manners.” — The Times.

Prime Rocks: The Chills: The Triumph & Tragedy of Martin Phillipps | Prime, 8.30

“This is a story of a musical genius, honest and insightful and beautifully told, and rounded off with stunning images of the local landscape. If you’re a fan of The Chills you’ll enjoy this jaunt down memory lane, for others, it’s both cautionary tale and great story.” — NZ Herald.

Real Time With Bill Maher | Neon/SoHo2, 9.30

Guest include NY Times columnist Bret Stephens and former attorney general Eric Holder. “Maher [slams] a microbe-obsessed nation, Joe Biden and even Quibi on his show … A bit Maher called ’24 things you don’t know about Joe Biden’ included: ‘He was asked to social distance before the virus.’” — Deadline.


Billions (S5) | Neon (SoHo, 8.30 Thursday)

Given the overkill of re-runs on SoHo this month, presumably because of COVID-19 delaying new content, it’s surprising Sky is making fans wait so long to catch up with one of the channel’s true gems for May (it debuts on-air three days after its HBO/Neon premiere). “Chuck (Paul Giamatti) and Wendy (Maggie Siff) are splitting up; Taylor (Asia Kate Dillon) and crew have rejoined Axe Capital; Bobby (Damian Lewis) has a new rival and he’s even richer — Michael Prince (Corey Stoll) — while Chuck has a new friend, Catherine Brant (Julianna Margulies, who joins in the 4th episode.) Meanwhile, Bobby’s interest in art grows, or one artist in particular: Nico Tanner (Frank Grillo — Captain America’s Brock Rumlow.) ‘Wags’ (David Costabile) is exploring his inner-dad. The only thing any Billions fan wants from this review is a coherent response to the following: Is the 5th better than the 4th? … I’m going with yes — the 5th’s better, or at least better when set in sharp relief opposite New York under COVID-19 lockdown.” — Newsday.


Ray Winstone’s Sicily | Prime, 8.35

“This is not Simon Schama and never was it intended to be. Ray is very entertaining, but at the same time there’s a lot of take-out – it covers everything from Greek temples to World War II landings, medieval torture chambers and ancient markets.” — Broadcast.


Spy Wars With Damian Lewis | Duke, 8.30

“A collection of one-hour episodes on some of the most torturously tangled tales of international spookery of the past six decades. Yet it’s not the sort of quickie mash-up of archival footage that dominates cable television’s weekday afternoons. Spy Wars uses old news footage, to be sure. (And, sometimes, fascinatingly, FBI surveillance tape.) But it’s intercut with a truly impressive collection of interviews of former CIA spymasters, ex-KGB men, FBI counterintelligence agents and dazed suburbanites who didn’t realise the cute couple next door were ruthless Soviet agents until a SWAT team came crashing into the neighbourhood.” — Reason.


Dispatches From Elsewhere | Amazon Prime Video

“Jason Segel’s weird and weirdly charming show plunges four characters into a scavenger hunt full of elaborate clues and borderline magic, presided over by a wolfish Richard E Grant.” — The Guardian.

The Eddy | Netflix

The story a struggling jazz club in Paris. “There is so much that is right with The Eddy: The Cinema Vérité handheld camerawork instigated by Damien Chazelle (Whiplash, La La Land), who directed the first two episodes. The excellent casting, the multilingual script, the honest depiction of contemporary life on the edgelands of Paris, the cinematography, the actors’s performances, the musicians for goodness sake. They’re all great. But the story isn’t. It is plodding at best: an all-too predictable sequence of events with as many twists and turns as a Roman road.” — BBC News.

Valeria | Netflix

A Spanish writer in a creative and marital crisis finds refuge and support in her three best friends. Based on the novels by Elisabet Benavent, who was a creative consultant for the eight-part adaptation. “Move over, Carrie Bradshaw! A new writer is taking over the small screen … and it’ll blow your mind just how similar to Sex and the City it is.” — Narcity.

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