With voting for TVNZ’s New Blood webseries competition underway, panelist Alex Casey rounds up the top 10 finalists.
You know how fancy overseas countries have a pilot season, where all the exciting brand new shows battle it out to get picked up by networks? New Zealand has finally put on its grown-up pants with TVNZ’s New Blood competition, searching for our next big local webseries by way of public vote. Hundreds of pilot entries were flung in from across the country, all hoping to secure that $100k to make their full series a reality.
I was lucky enough to be a judge for the competition and spent a whole weekend shrieking, laughing and cringing at the weird and wonderful worlds created by both amateurs and professionals alike. There were aliens, there was cask wine, there were too many ex-Shortland Street stars. After a rigorous vetting process, here are the final 10 entries for your consideration. Have a cruise through, pick your favourite, and cast your precious vote here.
“When you die, you don’t do anything. When you’re alive, you play.”
A beautifully shot and achingly cute mini-documentary series, ‘Blood Sugar’ is the first in a series that will follow kids living with medical conditions and their lives in and out of Starship Children’s hospital. Looking at heavy stuff through a child’s eyes and heart-bursting narration, we run the gambit from getting blood tests to deciding if an octopus (starfish) is a boy or a girl.
“Until boobs go out of fashion, people will be buying boobs in bulk”
Evoking the same surreal tangents of Peep Show, Libros stars comedian Cori Gonzalez-Macuer as a graphic designer looking for a room. His search comes to an end when he finds a man in a dressing gown and a nerdy uni student who were all born on the same day under the shining constellation of Libra. But why are there pictures of Susan Sarandon everywhere?
The Woolston Complex
“What is my life?”
Starring Billy T winner David Correos, mockumentary The Woolston Complex follows yet another strange guy in a dressing gown as he negotiates life from his house bus in the strange, bougie Woolston Boutique Shopping Complex. Channelling Chris Lilley, Shay Horay plays multiple characters from an outrageous masseuse to a butcher with a heart (lip ring) of gold.
“She’s taken a vow of silence until the whole world becomes vegan”
Juggling her motley crew of flatmates, paying off a mortgage, trying to find the perfect man AND start a successful smoothie bowl food truck, Olivia is living in a frazzled hell of her own creation. But what happens when her estranged sister of eight years shows up at her door? Oddly Even takes the cringe of Bridget Jones’ Diary, and chills it with a bit of family drama.
“Get in there and clean up your fucking turd”
A workplace comedy good enough to give you the shits, Shop Girls goes behind the shiny veneer of retail and “hi darl” to bring you what really happens in the back room. Starring Grace Palmer, recently deceased Lucy from Shortland Street, and Lucinda Hare from Auckward Love, Shop Girls is like Broad City in a Miss Crabb dress.
Grandma Knows Best
“It’s like your birthday but you’re not one year closer to death – yet.”
A cask wine-fuelled talk show filmed in the lounge of an old folk’s home, Grandma Knows Best throws one guest under the searing interrogation of Ngaire Chambers, played by Samuel Christopher. In this pilot episode, Ngaire meets performer and writer Chris Parker to talk Spice Girls, eating disorders and fighting in the war.
The Fucket List
“Liz, I’ve got it. I’m having a urethra moment.”
Two millennials get turfed out by their parents and dreamcatcher-making boyfriends because neither of them can make human connections. Finding each other in a haze of best friend posters and whisky, they decide to share each other’s little black books in order to become the ultimate: Eskimo Inuit sisters. Very important Art Green cameo.
“Did you bring crystallized ginger to a potluck party? Nobody wants that shit.”
Starring a myriad of TV stars including Josh Thomson, Aidee Walker and Nic Sampson, Dick follows the Paul-Jennings-for-adults scenario of an overdose of women’s multivitamins gone awry. When notorious dickhead Micky loses his own manhood overnight, his friends and families must pry out the truth over bowls of Twisties before his birthday potluck.
Cheeky First Dates
“I love the way that you blame your farts on gluten“
Perhaps one of New Zealand’s first ever spinoff webseries of a webseries, Cheeky First Dates is a prequel of sorts to The Adventures of Suzy Boon. Watch sad recent-singleton Cheeky37 stumble through the world of online dating, first clashing with a strange woman named Grape (Morgana O’Reilly) who has an affinity for Antonio Banderas and looks eerily like his ex-girlfriend…
“Do you ever get sick of jumping around all the time?”
Imagine if everytime you boned, you were transported to another time period? The Sisterhood follows a group of women who converge across different decades, all bound by one pesky affliction much more annoying than an STI. Amanda Billing plays Diana Striar, a romance novelist who draws inspiration from her sexy travels through time.