All the TVNZ Goodness I Watched During Lockdown

Not all heroes wear capes and TVNZ OnDemand is the entertainment hero we needed during the COVID-19 lockdown. While others spent their time picking up new hobbies and clearing the supermarkets out of every speck of flour, I spent a lot of it on TVNZ OnDemand. I’ve always been a fan, but it took the level 4 lockdown to really appreciate the entertainment heroism of this completely free streaming platform. Yes, entertainment enthusiasts everywhere, TVNZ is completely free as long as you’re currently in New Zealand (they just want your email address). It’s the god-tier of streaming services in my eyes and no one can change my mind about it. So, here are some of the gems I’ve been watching during these trying times (TVNZ please sponsor me already). You can’t say you don’t have the time as the meaning of time has been proven to not exist anymore. Happy marathoning, everyone!  

Killing Eve

This show follows two incredible women: Eve Polastri, frustrated, bored, and brilliant M15 agent; and Villanelle, professional assassin and resident psychopath. Their paths cross when Villanelle’s flamboyant kills finally puts her on Eve’s radar. What starts as intrigue for Eve turns into an obsession with tracking down the mysterious Villanelle. When Villanelle finds out Eve’s onto her, she herself becomes fascinated in the agent that’s so determined to track her down and always seems just one step behind her. Everything is just *chefs kiss*, from the writing, humour, cinematography and, of course, acting, Killing Eve is some of the most nail-biting cinematic television I’ve ever watched. Watching the show for Villanelle’s wardrobe alone is worth it. So much pretty! 

Rating: 10 give me Villanelle’s wardrobe please and thank you out of 10. 

Secret Scotland 

Travel shows have taken a completely new appreciation in my eyes since COVID-19 and while I can’t travel right now, thankfully I can travel through the TV. Secret Scotland was recommended to me by TVNZ and I had my doubts before I started it, but I’m so glad I did because it’s one of the most SOOTHING things I’ve ever watched. Scottish comedian Susan Calman presents the series while travelling around Scotland and looking at all its weird and wild secrets that aren’t going to be found in the history books. It satisfied my inner history nerd and reminded me why Scotland is so high on my travel bucket list — it’s not just because of the fried mars bars. 

Rating: 8 deep fried mars bars out of 10. 

Flack 

I feel like I was more stressed after watching Flack then I was before I started watching it, which I DID NOT think was possible considering the current situation in the world right now. However, Flack is so addictive that it’s worth it. New Zealand royalty — Her Royal Highness, Anna Paquin — stars as Robyn, an American PR professional working in London (no idea why Paquin decided not to showcase the dazzling New Zealand accent, the mind boggles.) Robyn’s whole life revolves around clearing up her celebrity clients’ problems in terrifyingly efficient ways, while ignoring the train wreck her own life is becoming. It’s not one of those shows that you love because it’s good; you can’t stop watching it because it shows people making terrible life choices and you NEED to know what’s going to go wrong next. 

Rating: 8 train wrecks out of 10. 

Normal People 

Normally (ha, the comedy), I’m the first to shout from the rooftops that YOU NEED TO READ THE BOOK before you watch the adaptation of it, but I didn’t enjoy Normal People the book so that logic doesn’t work here. Normal People is about two Irish teens, Marianne and Connell, who are in their final year of high school and share nothing in common except that they’re both really smart and extremely lonely. The series chronicles the relationship they have with each other and follows them from high school to university, taking a deep look at how messy and complicated love can be along the way. It makes for some of the loveliest television I’ve ever seen although, my god, it tugs on the heartstrings. The parts I disliked about the book fell away on screen and everything good about the story is just amplified so visually that you want to cry even more than you are already. Find the nearest tissue box and settle in the watch this masterpiece.

Rating: 9 sobfests out of 10. 

By Ella Somers