One Question Quiz
Design: Alex Casey
Design: Alex Casey

Pop CultureMarch 29, 2024

What to watch and listen to over the long weekend

Design: Alex Casey
Design: Alex Casey

From Steve Martin to Ricky Stanicky, a pick’n’mix of things worth watching and listening to this long weekend.

This is an excerpt from our weekly pop culture newsletter Rec Room. Sign up here. 

If you’re at a loss for something to occupy yourself with this Easter, don’t panic: The Spinoff’s got you covered. We’ve pulled together this fantastic list of the very best television shows, movies and podcasts that we’ve either recently enjoyed, or are looking forward to watching or listening to over the next few days. There’s something for everyone, like a fascinating new documentary about comedian Steve Martin, a remake of a Patrick Swayze classic, and a podcast about a champion ten pin bowler who uses both hands to bowl. Enjoy!

Mr Bates and the Post Office (TVNZ+, from March 31)

There’s nothing like a trusty old British drama to get you through the long weekend, and this one looks like a stonker. Following the shocking true saga of how one defective IT system saw hundreds of innocent posties wrongly accused of theft, fraud and false accounting, it stars Toby Jones (Infamous; Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy) alongside acting heavyweights such as Hayley from Coro, and Becky from Coro. If that’s not compelling enough, the series allegedly “shook up” Britain when it aired earlier this year, with over nine million people tuning in, then a million-strong petition submitted to Parliament calling for justice, and within weeks the British government announced law changes due to the public outcry. The power of television! / Alex Casey

Road House (Prime Video)

The original Road House is totally batshit 80s action, featuring Patrick Swayze as a bouncer defending what we would call a rural pub from a malevolent businessman’s henchmen. It features the truly psychotic line “I used to fuck guys like you in prison” during an iconic fight scene, and generally transcends all known boundaries of taste and logic. Weird choice for Jake Gyllenhaal (All Too Well 10 Minute Version) to remake, with the similarly slumming it Doug Liman (Swingers) directing. Still, while not quite as kite high as the original, it is definitely stupid fun throughout, with Gyllenhaal doing a great Jack Reacher impression as haunted MMA fighter Elwood Dalton and amazingly funny bad acting from Conor McGregor and his bulging bare butt.  / Duncan Greive

Immaculate (in cinemas now) 

Call me old-fashioned, but all I want for my Good Friday is to blob out and watch Sydney Sweeney deal with her demonic immaculate conception in a dusty 1960s nunnery. Yes, there’s been a total glut of freaky religious flicks in recent years, but my hope is that Immaculate will repent for the sins of Pope Russell Crowe having a huge ass mouth and The Nun having her own Wild Things moment. Vulture said it is “an art film at heart” and Time called it “bad-gal blasphemy of the highest order”. In Sweeney we trust, amen. / AC

Everything I Know About Love (TVNZ+)

I do not watch much TV – I finish maybe one limited run-series a year, and half heartedly start and don’t finish two or three others – but the bubbly and delightful Everything I Know About Love from a few years ago is one of the few shows I think I could rewatch. It’s short, perfect to watch over a long weekend, surprisingly hilarious, and makes me want to be more chaotic, which is a good thing (I think?) / Shanti Mathias 

It’s Personal With Anika Moa (RNZ)

We’ve already written at length about how Anika Moa is one of the most surprising and disarming interviewers in the country, but her talent has always been compacted into the rigid confines of television, or the soundbites of commercial radio. Her new RNZ podcast, It’s Personal With Anika Moa, allows her to fully unleash in longform with the likes of Robyn Malcolm, Chelsea Winstanley and Kaiora Tipene. I can’t wait to get stuck in during my long Easter dog walks – and not just because in the first few moments of Robyn Malcolm’s episode she says her one regret in life was not getting into dogs earlier. / AC

Extraordinary (Disney+) 

You might be thinking, “oh, not another superhero show”, but Extraordinary surprisingly punches through. The show follows Jen, a 25-year-old who doesn’t have a super power and is struggling to deal with it. She is supported by her friend Carrie who can summon ghosts and communicate through her body and Kash, Carrie’s boyfriend who can rewind time. The show is fun, funny and can be a little bit dark and dirty but that’s the charm of it. You’ll find yourself laughing but also thinking about the things that make life so beautiful. Season 2 kicks off from where the first season ends, and it just keeps getting better! / Isaiah Tour

You Hurt My Feelings (Prime Video)

A writer finds out that her very supportive husband hates her new book and has been lying to her about loving it. This drama starring an unsurprisingly excellent Julia Louis-Dreyfus is a great depiction of life and the lies we tell each other. Hot tip: Don’t watch this movie if your partner is someone who is brutally honest, because they will turn to you after the credits and they will say “that whole situation could have been avoided if he’d just been honest from the beginning”. / Mad Chapman

Steve! (martin) a documentary in 2 pieces (Apple TV+)

I simply cannot wait for this two part documentary series that promises to feature extremely long sequences of present-day 75-year-old Steve Martin doing laundry and playing the banjo. Heaven. Directed by Morgan Neville (20 Feet from Stardom), the appropriately-whacky named STEVE! (martin) a documentary in 2 pieces follows the comedy legend as he reflects on his standup career, reinventing the artform, pivoting to movies, and finally finding happiness in his art. Also features interviews with Jerry Seinfeld, Tina Fey, Selena Gomez, Diane Keaton, Larry David and truly so many more. A must watch for comedy fans. / AC

Ricky Stanicky (Prime Video)

I wondered what John Cena was up to when photos of him dressed up as Britney Spears turned up on the internet, and it got weirder with his OnlyFans announcement. When Ricky Stanicky landed, it all made sense. A group of childhood friends create an imaginary friend named Ricky Stanicky to take the blame for all their mishaps, which finally catches up with them when they’re adults (played by Zac Efron, Jermaine Fowler and Andrew Santino). In order to keep up this ruse, they enlist an actor called Rod (John Cena) to become Ricky Stanicky. It’s a good watch if you need something easy and even better if you go in with low expectations. Expect some laughs. / IT

Joyland (Apple TV+)

Joyland is the first Pakistani drama starring a trans person, and it’s about an out of work man who finds work at an erotic dance theatre and falls for one of the performers. The film is worth watching for all the beautiful, tender, funny relationships between the women in his life. This is ultimately a film about the ordinary ways we betray each other, and the sometimes devastating consequences thereof, but it’s a film that will stay with you for a long time. Also the cinematography is gorgeous and nearly made me want to move to Lahore. / SM

This podcast episode about a 10-pin bowler who bowls two-handed (Spotify)

American sports/pop culture/yelling podcast Pablo Torre Finds Out is one of the many pods I follow but never get around to listening to, so I can’t vouch for any of the other episodes… but I couldn’t resist the hook of this one about the Australian guy who became arguably the greatest 10-pin bowler the world has ever seen by defying the purists and bowling two-handed. And guess what… it didn’t disappoint! / Calum Henderson

Keep going!