It’s school holiday time again, and to help us survive the next two weeks of quality time with the fruits of our loins, we must turn to everything that is right and fair about the world: the television.
It’s the friend we’ve always needed, in good times and in bad, in sunshine and in rain. It’s there before that last minute rush to get everyone out the door on time, and it’s there when your kids have argued for ten days straight about who had the purple piece of Lego first.
I love you, television. You’re my favourite child.
There’s no shame in turning to the TV during moments of school holiday disaster, but it can be a challenge to watch something that tickles the fancy of everyone in the family. Luckily, our mates at Lightbox have us sorted. They’ve collated the perfect online survival kit of television shows to keep us going through the next fortnight, including shows you can watch together with your kids and actually enjoy them.
‘Tis a school holiday miracle, indeed. Let’s discover some of the best family friendly shows on Lightbox today.
Forget every other cave documentary you’ve seen, because this one features the soothing narration of Liam Neeson. Journey into Amazing Caves follows the adventures of two kick-ass scientists, Dr. Hazel Barton and Nancy Aulenbach, as they venture into unexplored caves in Mexico, Arizona and Greenland in the hope of finding cures to human diseases.
It’s a fascinating journey into some of the world’s most stunning landscapes, with cool people doing incredible work in the craziest of places. All it needs is Liam Neeson rappelling into shot wearing a harness and elbow pads shouting “I will find you, and I will kill you”, but then again that’s probably not the G-rated vibe that Amazing Caves is going for.
Hey Duggee is a rare treasure indeed, a cartoon for young kids that won’t send parents barmy when it’s played on repeat all holidays. This BAFTA and Emmy award winning animated series is about five animal friends who meet at the Squirrel Club to earn activity badges and solve problems, with the help of club leader Duggee.
It’s a delight from start to finish. With episodes like ‘The Hiccup Badge’ and ‘The Omelette Badge’, Hey Duggee is fresh and funny and will leave everyone feeling happier than when they started watching.
Puppies wrestling in a haybarn! Kittens using a laptop! Dogs kissing themselves in a mirror! Prepare for a cuteness overdose in Wonderful World of Puppies and Kittens, a charming series that follows the crazy antics of newborn animals in their first year of life.
It’s the feel-good show of the holidays, because watching these tiny creatures grow and learn will melt even the most cynical of hearts. You’ll see the world a little differently, you’ll feel all the things, and you’ll end up adopting three thousand cats because they’re so flipping adorable.
When Young Hercules landed on Lightbox, The Spinoff reckoned it was “the best history lesson you’ll ever have, as long as you don’t believe anything you see. The visual effects are incredible; lightning comes out of people’s fingertips, for crying out loud.” It’ll mesmerise older kids with its slightly-dodgy-but-amazing special effects, while adults will marvel at the glorious vision of a ’90s Ryan Gosling. See, fun for all the whānau!
If venomous snakes and giant lizards are more your jam, then Deadly 60: on a Mission is all your reptilian dreams come true.
Intrepid host Steve Backshall leaves no continent untouched his search for the world’s most lethal animals, leading us through jungles and into oceans on a series of extreme adventures. Whether Steve’s being trapped by a hippopotamus in South Africa or being strangled by a boa constrictor in Costa Rica, Deadly 60 is always educational, always entertaining.
Don’t forget! All existing customers can choose to Download & Go their fave shows and movies simply by upgrading to a Lightbox Premium plan. Spark customers on plans that include Lightbox can upgrade for $3 per month; other Lightbox customers will pay the total of $15.99 per month for Premium.
The Spinoff Weekly compiles the best stories of the week – an essential guide to modern life in New Zealand, emailed out on Monday evenings.