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Image by Archi Banal
Image by Archi Banal

Pop CultureOctober 20, 2023

What to watch this long weekend

Image by Archi Banal
Image by Archi Banal

No clue what to watch this long weekend? Allow us to make some suggestions. 

If you’re lucky enough to have a glorious three day weekend stretching out before you, now might be a good time to think about what you want to dedicate your eyeballs to watching. Whether you’re a savvy switcher, a reality hound or someone who simply doesn’t want to choose anymore, there’s an endless and overwhelming well of content to drink from into this Labour weekend. But how to know what to pick? Here’s what some of The Spinoff writers recommend. 

Warnie (Sunday and Monday 8.30pm, TVNZ1) 

Some may question why the biopic of Australian cricket legend Shane Warne needs to be spread over two nights, but I’m wondering if that will even be enough time to fit everything in. This is basically Australia’s version of The Crown, dramatising the spin king’s life and times and tabloid scandals, like when he got banned for a year after his mum gave him weight loss pills and the time he started going out with Austin Powers star Liz Hurley. Fair warning: Warnie is allegedly “very bad” – there’s a much better Shane Warne documentary on Prime Video if that’s how you’d prefer to remember the great Victorian. / Calum Henderson

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Netflix)

I’ve been stuck in the 70s for a while now. It started out as a quest for art that doesn’t hit you over the head with a moral message and which rewards sustained attention; a capacity I’m slowly rebuilding after years of frittering my attention span on the internet. But then I got pulled into the seedy underbelly of the Me decade, where the bellbottoms are wide, the Bowie is perfect, and the men openly call 14-year-old girls “jailbait”, and I’ve been mired here ever since. So when I logged into my boyfriend’s sister’s Netflix and saw One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, a classic I’ve somehow never seen, I was immediately pulled in. As I guess everyone except me already knows, Jack Nicholson plays a charismatic statutory rapist who shifts from prison to a mental institute and makes a nemesis out of a steamroller nurse. I’ll finish it this long weekend: I’ve been taking it in chunks and I’ve still got 30 minutes left, because it’s 2023 and my attention has been frittered by the internet. It’s great so far, though. / Madeleine Holden

Killers of the Flower Moon (in cinemas)

A three-hour movie for a three-day weekend. Martin Scorsese’s latest film feels every minute as long as it is – 206 in total – but it’s a masterpiece. The true story of a series of murders in the Osage Nation during the 1920s isn’t always an easy watch, but it’s buoyed by excellent performances from an all-star cast. My advice: avoid seeing this in Imax with the country’s most uncomfortable seats and splash out on a Gold Class ticket. Nestle into a recliner, grab a bucket of popcorn and watch the long weekend slip away. / Stewart Sowman-Lund

The Kardashians (Disney+)

Am I a hypocrite for writing a furious thinkpiece about how the Kardashians are hypocrites, only to turn around in a floor length platinum blond wig and a tiny diamante bag, and publicly admit that I am going watch season four of The Kardashians this weekend? Yes. But has this series evolved into a Marina Abramović endurance piece exploring just how long two women can argue about the 90s Dolce archive without access to food or water? Also yes. / Alex Casey

Fleishman is in Trouble (Disney+)

I keep asserting to my friends that I’m going to “start watching prestige TV”, which means I buy a lot of subscriptions to streaming services then stop paying when I remember that watching TV is harder for me than reading a book – I can only think of two TV shows I’ve watched in their entirety ever. Nevertheless, my enthusiasm for reading about television means I persist – I’ve just forked out for a Disney+ subscription for a month in the hope that it will result in me watching Fleishman is in Trouble. I go on and on about wanting to free myself from American cultural dominance but the thing is I quite enjoy stories about middle-aged New Yorkers questioning their marriages, especially if I can be self aware while watching it. See also: You Hurt My Feelings, which came out earlier this year. I’ve got a sewing project to complete this weekend which might just be the perfect time to watch this show and see if I’m any closer to finishing TV show number three. / Shanti Mathias

Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour (in cinemas)

For those of us whose ticket-buying experience ended in burning flames rather than paradise, here is a guaranteed good seat at the Eras tour that won’t max out your credit card or cause your hair to fall out in stress. Captured over three nights at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, this 2 hour 49 minute concert film will take you closer to all the sequinned Swift action than you’d ever get IRL. If you’re able to flash your cash on recliners, you might even find yourself lying down for the entirety of the most ambitious, highest-grossing, record-shattering pop concert in human history. Isn’t that what we all want for our long weekend? / AC

Friends (Netflix)

Yes, I mean that Friends. The day after the election, I remembered that every single season of this show was on Netflix and made my way through two seasons in a single day. It harkened back to a simpler time, a time when reliably, no matter the state of the world, you could watch an episode of Friends at 6.30pm on TV2 before Shortland Street. Has the show aged amazingly well? Politically no, but in terms of a reliable sitcom with regular laughs and a great cast, you could do a whole lot worse than Friends. They’ll be there for you. (And just try to tell me the above clip isn’t genius.)/ Sam Brooks

Made in Chelsea (Hayu)

The cast of Made in Chelsea in 2021

New streaming service Hayu landed recently with an incredible back catalogue of reality TV gems, including all 20 seasons of the wonderful/awful Made in Chelsea. The early seasons are easily the best/worst, and I’ve had quite the “pardy” (as Jamie Laing would say) by starting at season one and watching every delicious episode. These posh Londoners are as rich as they are melodramatic, and I’ll never stop wondering why everyone sleeps with toxic Spencer Matthews or why singer Gabriella only ever warbles one line of the same song. See you at Bluebird, darlings. / Tara Ward

Beckham (Netflix) 

I will admit I was actually saving the very last episode of Beckham until the weekend, but then we guzzled it down on a school night like a pair of greedy little piglets dressed as Posh Spice. As I already wrote in my longer review of the series, Beckham is a fascinating four-part documentary series charting not just the career of one of the most famous footballers of all time, but a celebrity love story that defined the turn of the millennium. Plus: man’s a beekeeper! / AC

Shepherdess (Sky Open)

Shepherdess captures the lives of rural women in Aotearoa (Photo: Supplied)

If you want to be uplifted this long weekend, check out Shepherdess, a new documentary series premiering on Sky Open this Sunday night. It’s made in collaboration with the magazine of the same name, and each of the six episodes celebrates the lives of women in rural communities around Aotearoa, from Lauder to Tokanui to Moutere. Stylishly shot, quietly inspiring and full of heartwarming stories, Shepherdess is a show that’s uniquely, beautifully New Zealand. / TW

Anatomy of a Fall (in cinemas)

This was the only film festival movie I made it to this year, but by god was it a good one. While I won’t be rewatching it this weekend, or for at least a decade once I’ve finally shaken the skin-crawling dread, I can highly recommend catching this slow burning courtroom procedural (four bad words, but stay with me) in cinemas. Following the shock death of her husband outside their family home, Sandra is put on trial for his alleged murder. The only other witness who was present on the day of his death? Her blind son. That’s probably all you need. / AC

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