20 Dec 2018

The best TV new to streaming this week

From Widescreen, 12:14 pm on 20 December 2018

Australia gets a turn at Netflix’s production billions with the supernatural thriller Tidelands, one of Dan Slevin’s picks of the week.

The Tidelanders confront an interloper in the new Australian Netflix show Tidelands.

The Tidelanders confront an interloper in the new Australian Netflix show Tidelands. Photo: Netflix

Christmas is approaching and many of us are already on holiday. For some, summer TV binges mean Test-match cricket but for others it’s a chance to gorge ourselves on virtual boxsets.

Netflix has just launched its first prestige Aussie series, Tidelands. Season One is eight episodes of supernatural mystery set on the remote Queensland coast. A struggling fishing trawler operation has become a cover for drug smuggling and their ‘connects’ (I think that’s the word) are a secretive commune on the other side of the bay. But there is something fishy about the Tidelanders and when the young successor to the fishing/drug business (Charlotte Best) returns to Calliope Bay from a stint in prison, bodies start washing up on the shore – without eyes.

We watched the first two episodes the other night and found it to be an awkward cross between True Blood and Home & Away but your mileage may vary. Everyone in it is very fetching and spends plenty of time with their shirts off.

Slightly closer to home, but also in that supernatural vein, the TV3 series The Almighty Johnsons has been resurrected on TVNZ On Demand. All three seasons (2011-2013) are now up and it’s a great chance to check out one of those rare Kiwi shows that tried to break the mould a little bit.

Patrick Dempsey in The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair on Lightbox.

Patrick Dempsey in The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair on Lightbox. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

Lightbox has a prestige offering this week called The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair. Why is it prestige? Well, it ain’t the clunky title. How about the fact that every episode is directed by Frenchman Jean-Jacques Annaud who has a resumé going back to 1976 and includes Quest for Fire (1981), The Name of the Rose with Sean Connery (1986) and Brad Pitt in Seven years in Tibet (1997). Patrick Dempsey (Grey’s Anatomy) stars in the 10 episode run as an author caught up in a real-life murder mystery.

Meanwhile, Neon has posted season five of the Holmes update Elementary and season four of the post-pandemic thriller The Last Ship.

If you can’t wait to binge, other TV streaming highlights this week include episode five of Escape at Dannemora (Neon), episode eight of the series of Outlander and episode 14 of season five of Vikings – both on Lightbox.

Every week around this time, Dan Slevin highlights some of the best and most interesting TV shows that are new to Kiwi streaming services.

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