A bee-based riff on The Hunger Games, a remake of your favourite problematic 80s film, and The Spinoff’s very own new doco-series. This is what’s new to Lightbox in October!
Get It to Te Papa (weekly from October 16)
“Get It to Te Papa began in great and abiding failure,” says Hayden Donnell, host of The Spinoff’s first Lightbox exclusive documentary series. “It was a few months after the Waitangi Dildo had been flung, hitting Steven Joyce’s cheek and exploding into our national consciousness. I was at a morning news meeting at The Spinoff and a thought hit me. It was the closest I’d ever come to a Eureka moment – like a key clicking in a lock inside my brain.”
“In an instant I knew: the dildo should be tracked down and placed in Te Papa.” No pressure, but if you miss this you can’t call yourself a real New Zealander. / Alex Casey
Age Before Beauty (binge Season 1 from October 4)
Age Before Beauty is a prime example of what I call red wine television. It’s soothing, rich and a little bit tart – you feel like you’ve earned it, and it’s not going to punish you for watching it. This show is from the same woman who brought you mid-00s hairdresser soap-opera Cutting It, and stars Polly Walker, who you might remember from HBO’s Rome, if you’re the one other person in the world who remembers Rome. It’s good value – a little bit funny, a lot touching, and it’s not going to give you a hangover in the morning. Red wine television at its finest. / Sam Brooks
Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (stream from October 3)
Right on time for the spooky October school holidays, Hotel Transylvania 3 takes your favourite cohort of loveable monsters and puts them at sea. But who is captaining the ship? It’s only VAN BLOODY HELSING. Forget Titanic. Forget Ghost Ship. Forget the Interislander. Indie Wire calls Summer Vacation “a treat worth savoring and a reminder that if we can see past our differences, we’ll find we’re not that different after all.” Sounds like a better outcome than Jack and Rose, but you’ll have to watch to find out. / Alex Casey
Covert Affairs (binge Seasons 1 – 5 from October 10)
The short sell for Covert Affairs: It’s Alias but starring the girl from Coyote Ugly.
The long sell for Covert Affairs: It’s a sleek spy thriller-drama that won’t have you stressed out and clawing at the arm of your significant other/couch/foot-long Subway like say, Homeland does. It hews closer to Suits than it does to that dark series, and Piper Perabo’s chemistry with Christopher Gorham is one of those adorable will-they-won’t-they things that manages to sustain it for all five seasons of the show.
It’s a winner, is what I’m saying. / SB
Loudermilk (binge Season 2 from 18 October)
Loudermilk season one had me at this inspirational quote: “Life is about fucking things up and then unfucking the things that you fucked up. That’s what makes you less of a fuck-up.” Like the sullen younger stepbrother of agitation epicentre Curb Your Enthusiasm, Loudermilk is a comedy about a recovering alcoholic who is trying to help others without helping himself. Created by Peter Farrelly (There’s Something About Mary, Dumb and Dumber) and Bobby Mort (The Colbert Report), here’s a critical quote I prepared earlier: “For all its genuine laughs, Loudermilk knows exactly when to slap you with the hard stuff.” / AC
Maya the Bee: The Honey Games (stream from October 10)
I’m going to level with y’all, I had to google Maya The Bee and do some journalistic research, because I’m about 20 years too old to be/bee in this film’s target demographic.
And what a fascinating lineage, you guys! Turns out this film is based on both the anime series Maya The Bee and the German novel Maya the Bee, and it also appears to be a bee-based riff on The Hunger Games, a modern A Bug’s Life, if you will. And, after watching the trailer, it looks to be a fairly delightful, brightly coloured Australian-accented romp through bee puns, and also bees that look uncannily like humans. Your kids will enjoy it, and it’s a safe way to introduce them to the Jennifer Lawrence Hunger Games, which is what you should be aiming for all your kids to enjoy. / SB
Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado (stream from October 10)
The original Sicario was a surprise hit of 2015, and was a tense, dark thriller that gave us one of Emily Blunt’s best performances. The sequel came out this year to similarly good reviews, and carries Academy Award winner Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin to continue this saga of the war on drugs, Mexican cartels and spooky night-vision shots. To carry my alcohol metaphor far further than it possibly has the legs for, if Age Before Beauty is red wine TV, then Sicario 2: Day of The Soldado is a straight-up Jägerbomb movie: It’ll jolt you awake and keep you up all night.
(You can also watch the first one on Lightbox right here, if you need to catch up!) / Sam Brooks
Overboard (stream from October 17)
Two things straight up: Anna Faris is one of our most underrated comic actresses. Her performance in The House Bunny is better than anything Robert DeNiro has done in the past 20 years. The fact that she isn’t regarded as such is, frankly, crap. Even when the movie isn’t good, and let’s be honest, frequently they are not good, Faris goes hard for the jokes. (See also: Smiley Face, her cameo in Lost in Translation, the increasingly not-very-good Scary Movies, her sitcom Mom.)
The other thing: Overboard, from the 80s, is a problematic movie! How do you fix it? You flip the genders, which is what Overboard does in 2018. The concept remains a hell of a romp – a working class mother convinces a rich man with amnesia that they’re married – and the cast is rounded out by Eva Longoria, who is way funnier than a lot of people give her credit for, and Eugenio Derbez, who is probably not super familiar to you unless you’re into telenovelas, in which case, go you! Telenovelas rock.
But I digress: Overboard is a movie that’s worthy of Faris’ considerable talents, and a perfect weekend watch. / SB
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.