Woah, busy alert! I see you, shuffling papers and scrolling through your calendar with a furrowed brow. Life is crazy, life is hectic. TV? Forget about it! What a nightmare! Lucky for you, we have had a scan of the week ahead and have got your five essential television appointments booked. Sit back, relax and let the trusty Spinoff guide you through your television week.
Songs From the Inside, Monday 9.30pm on Maori TV
Returning for a third and final season, Songs From the Inside takes some of New Zealand’s most prominent musicians behind the walls of New Zealand prisons. Once there, they work with prisoners to write, perform and record their own original music. This season takes us into the prisons of Christchurch, with Scribe, Ladi6, Troy Kingi and Anika Moa as the musical mentors. Earlier this year I interviewed Anika Moa about her work on Songs From the Inside:
“It changed the way I perceived the prison system. It’s changed the way I perceive people in general. Because anyone that’s been in prison, they are generally there because their whole life has been tormented with drugs and alcohol and abuse. It’s all been carried on to them. You’ve got to learn to not judge people that are in prison. Look in your own backyard before you start judging other people.”
Kid Criminals, Tuesday 9.30pm on TV One
This two-part series debuts on TV One this week, taking viewers behind the bars of Indiana’s juvenile prisons. With inmates as young as 12, Kid Criminals profiles the kids themselves, prison guards and staff, as well as the backgrounds that have led them all to this point. What treatments will they receive? What skills will they need to re-join society? Will Anika Moa pop up with a guitar? Sadly, not for this time.
Struggle Street finale, Wednesday 8.30pm on TV One
The final part of Struggle Street, a documentary series examining extreme poverty in the western suburbs of Sydney, airs on Wednesday. Observational, impartial and absolutely relentless in its gaze, the camera takes us inside the homes of families gripped by unemployment, drugs and mental illness. It’s some of the most harrowing and eye-opening television of the year.
Home and Away, Thursday 5.30pm on TV2
Look, we all love it when Ed Sheeran pops up on a fictional television show. He’ll do it here. He’ll do it there. He’ll do it anywhere. This week he’s taking his luscious red locks to the sandy shores of Summer Bay, where he is guaranteed to be strumming a guitar in The Deli for no reason.
Dogs: Their Secret Lives, Friday 7.30pm on Prime
Finally, someone’s asking the big questions.
Bonus binge: Twin Peaks on Lightbox – With David Lynch finally locked in for a 2016 reboot after throwing a big tanty about money, it’s a great time to relive this piece of haunting, surreal, and damn good television.
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The Spinoff Weekly compiles the best stories of the week – an essential guide to modern life in New Zealand, emailed out on Monday evenings.