One Question Quiz
Okay, which one of you has been watching Last Christmas? Where are you, and are you okay? (Image: Tina Tiller)
Okay, which one of you has been watching Last Christmas? Where are you, and are you okay? (Image: Tina Tiller)

Pop CultureAugust 22, 2020

What has New Zealand been streaming through lockdown 2.0?

Okay, which one of you has been watching Last Christmas? Where are you, and are you okay? (Image: Tina Tiller)
Okay, which one of you has been watching Last Christmas? Where are you, and are you okay? (Image: Tina Tiller)

Around a quarter of the country has been at home for just over a week. So what the hell are they watching?

Here’s what New Zealanders have been streaming on Netflix, Neon, TVNZ on Demand and ThreeNow in the past week.

YouTube is not included in these statistics. That’s between you, God and the algorithm.


1. Project Power

It’s not surprising that Netflix’s blockbuster original of the month tops the 10 here. It’s maybe more surprising that this Netflix Original features something called “pistol shrimp”.

2. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

The finale of the How to Train Your Dragon franchise, which, in my mind, has been better than most Pixar films of the past decade.

3. Sniper: Ultimate Kill

Sometimes Netflix gives movies or television shows a second life (see: Schitt’s Creek, You). Sometimes it gives them a first life, which is likely the case with the seventh entry in the Sniper film series, starring Chad Michael Collins, Billy Zane and Tom Berenger.

4. The Umbrella Academy

Bonkers Netflix series adapted from the comic book series of the same name. Features Ellen Page, and a monkey.

5. The Dark Tower

Long-gestating, coldly received adaptation of Stephen King’s doorstopper series, The Dark Tower, starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey.

6. Overlord

Part revisionist war drama, part zombie thriller, all gorefest.

7. Work It

Another Netflix Original, this one featuring erstwhile popstar Sabrina Carpenter as a high schooler whose admission to Duke University (not quite Harvard) depends on her performance at a dance competition, but gasp! She can’t actually dance.

8. A Star Is Born

A film that Alex Casey and I obsessed over two years ago. I have seen it five times, and could be tempted into a sixth.

9. Little Italy

See above re: first life on Netflix. Little Italy is a straight-to-VOD rom-com that was called one of the worst films of 2018, and even had an excellent episode of How Did This Get Made (a podcast where comedians make fun of inexplicably bad movies) devoted to it.

10. Dirty John

The second season of the true crime anthology series based on the podcast of the same name. The first season focused on a woman who falls in love with a conman, while this one focuses on Betty Broderick, who murdered her husband after he left her for a younger woman.

Read our review here

Neon (unique users, over the past week)

1. Terminator: Dark Fate

The latest entry in the Terminator series, which brings back the OG Sarah Connor, officially cinema’s biggest badass, even well into her 60s.

2. Dublin Murders

What it says on the tin: everybody loves a bit of murder, and everybody loves a bit of an Irish accent.

3. Last Christmas

Are you all good, New Zealand? What’s up? Do you need a hug? Why are you watching Christmas films in August. What’s happening.

4. Gangs of London

“Directed by modern action demigod Gareth Edwards (The Raid), Gangs of London is the latest in a legacy of slick blockbuster dramas to invite the audience into a galaxy of complex allegiances with complex people.” Read Jean Sergent’s write-up of this hit show here.

5. Death and Nightingales

The first of two Matthew Rhys shows in the top 10, this one set in 19th century Ireland.

6.  47 Meters Down: Uncaged

The sequel to 47 Meters Down, a horror franchise that sticks a group of hapless individuals who choose to go underwater and begs the question: “Why?”

7. Dollface

Katt Dennings (2 Broke Girls, Thor) show about the joys of female friendship.

8.  Hustlers

This should’ve been Jennifer Lopez’s Oscar win. Easily my pick of the lot here.

9. Perry Mason

The second of the Matthew Rhys shows in the top 10, a remake of the show from the 50s.

10. Euphoria

Teen drama that’s more real than most adult dramas, and snagged Zendaya a deserved Emmy nomination.


1. Big Brother Australia

Why is a country, a quarter of whom who are stuck at home, watching people stuck in a house that is, on average, nicer than theirs is? Wonders/horrors never cease.

2. Below Deck Mediterranean

People who yell on boats.

3. Newshub 6pm

Unsurprisingly, the news.

4. Head High

From Duncan Greive’s review: “It’s the first New Zealand drama in some time that feels both original in concept, and not only from here but reflective of this place, in its beauty, horror and complexity. Should the writers and cast hold their nerve this has a real shot at becoming a landmark of modern New Zealand television.”

5. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

Rich ladies yelling at each other.


Guess how many seasons of NCIS: LA there have been?

(Spoiler: 11. That’s too many.)

7. Bondi Rescue

Why do we like to see people almost drown?

8. Australian Ninja Warrior

Let’s be real: This is just Legends of the Hidden Temple for grown-ups.

9. Grand Designs UK

Landlords with too much money and too little sense.

10. The Real Housewives of New York City

Rich ladies yelling each other, but they’re a bit colder.

TVNZ on Demand

1. Shortland Street

Long-running soap about a chronically mismanaged hospital.

2. Wentworth

Australian prison drama!

3. Home and Away

Australian soap about the nation’s most dangerous beach where, ironically, none of the danger is beach-related.

4. Masterchef Australia

Chefs cook good.

5. Coronation Street

You might be surprised to find that the purview of this drama is further than the one street.

6. 1 News Special: Coronavirus Updates

Now with its own dreadfully unfunny IMDB entry.

7. Bluey

The kids’ show about dogs. No, not that one. Not that one either. Look, the dogs aren’t cops in this one.

8. 1 News at Six

Doesn’t have to be at six if you’re watching it on demand y’all!

9. The Royals

What if The Crown was a little bit more like The Kardashians?

10. Love Life

A comedy that runs through the dating history of someone who looks like Anna Kendrick.

These top 10s are taken from the most streamed shows on these services between August 14 and August 20, 2020.

Keep going!