The family television set has largely been replaced as people drift to their (often small) personal devices to watch shows specific to their tastes at times that suit them.
TVNZ ON DEMAND
Last Dad Standing
Entertainment television for the whole family or flat. Celebrity Dads and regular crack up Dads compete against each other to tell lame jokes that you can’t help but smile at some of the time. Everyone’s got a Dad or knows a Dad who takes delight in telling this kind of joke and this show puts them on a stage for all of us to collectively cringe or laugh at. Much of the fun in watching this with your kids is that they already know half of the punch lines and tell the jokes better. Charities are the real winners of this quite funny local show.
3 stars XXX
Based on a successful BBC formula this local series has something for just about everyone to enjoy. On the surface it’s an entertaining reality TV series with a lovely host (ZM’s Megan Papas) and highly entertaining make-up mentors, Gee Pikinga and Tane Tomoana. But dig a little deeper and it offers more than your average reality show. In an era when Instagram, TikTok and YouTube have made stars of many self-made make-up gurus, this show provides a stage to show them as the vulnerable and passionate artists they are.
Where other reality shows rely on personal conflict between contestants or extreme personalities for dramatic tension, so far (there’s only been 3 eps) Glow Up is a little different. It’s the contestants undeniable talent that provides the wow factor. Their work is truly impressive and is compelling because each of the challenges reveals a little of who they are as artists and why this is the artform they use to express themselves. Even if you don’t know an ‘eyebrow block’ from a ‘cut crease’ (I didn’t) this show offers so many impressive finished creations and fast paced challenges that no matter whether you are five years old or fifty years old it’s entertaining.
3 stars XXX
When an old testament style devil runs away from Hell, he brings with him a complicated history of emotional baggage and the weight of the world on his wings. The humour and theologically inspired storytelling of Neil Gaiman’s original Sandman comic comes through in this procedural crime drama with a twist. Each episode has a crime to solve but at the same time a bigger story of redemption unfolds as the characters explore the really big questions like love, good versus evil and faith.
Tom Ellis is a deliciously talented Lucifer; he sings, he smoulders and delivers great performances. A highlight in Season 4 has to be his version of Creep, sung full of raw emotion while playing a grand piano in the middle of a glitzy nightclub.
DB Woodside, as the angel Amenadiel, and Rachel Harris as the devil’s therapist, Dr Linda Martin, are just some of the great supporting cast who make this show an addictive watch. Season 5 has just dropped on Netflix so if you haven’t watched it yet you can have a devil of a binge.
FLASH (Season 1)
This series is great family viewing. Flash is the modern story of the DC character Barry Allen, aka the Flash. It’s not as dark and gritty as the likes of Gotham, Jessica Jones, or Arrow, making it the perfect series to watch with your tween. If you just watch one episode at a time you can enjoy discussing your own theories about who the real baddies are and what the real end game is.
Little Fires Everywhere
Set in 1990s Ohio, Little Fires Everywhere, based on Celeste Ng’s novel of the same name, is a gripping and confronting tale. This dramatic mini series is described by the NYT reviewer as a period piece, assiduously up-to-date in its racial and gender politics of today.
It explores universal ideas of motherhood against a backdrop of inequity and a restless desire for change. Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington give unbeatable performances and the series has received several Emmy nominations including Best Director in a Limited Series for Lyn Shelton, Best Female Lead for Kerry Washington and Best Limited Series.