Tonight, TVNZ announced their slate of 2020 content, and they’re absolutely slammed with it. This is what we’re excited to watch next year.
The Bachelorette NZ
Call the police, call a priest, call your boss and tell them you need some time off because Art Green is returning to television as the host of The Bachelorette NZ. This. Is. A. Moment. All the other Bachelors must be quaking in their little town shoes. And if the scuttlebutt around the traps about Lily McManus is right, this is going to be the reality watch of the decade. / Alex Casey
The Great Kiwi Bake Off – Celebrity Christmas Special
If there’s one thing that New Zealand needs more than seeing good old fashioned Kiwis having a gentle lovely bake with one another, it’s seeing good old fashioned Kiwi celebrities having a gentle lovely bake with each other. This celebrity special will include Toni Street, Art Green, Jackie van Beek, Bree Tomasel, David Fane and anti-cannabis/pro-panini advocate Paula Bennett competing against each other. Hosts Hayley Sproull and Madeleine Sami return, as do the Fleischlschneider judges. Wholesome times and perhaps paleo cakes abound. / Sam Brooks
This season of Taskmaster has been an absolute joy and I genuinely cannot wait to see how a local version will tackle this wacky, utterly pointless game show. Taking five comedians and weekly nonsensical tasks to win horrible prizes, Taskmaster NZ feels like the much-needed antidote to all the toxic reality television that’s been oozing onto our screens. I can’t wait to see which New Zealand comedian can push a melon up a slide with a breadstick the fastest. / AC
Living with Your Boss
We love an original format where a boss steps out of their comfort zone to spend time with their lowly employees. Except this time, they won’t be going undercover: they’ll be sharing a roof with the people who work for them. It’s billed as “a real life social experiment”, and when have those ever gone wrong?!?!? / AC
The Pulitzer Prize-winning Eleanor Catton novel-slash-murder-weapon gets an adaptation starring Eva Green. Filmed in New Zealand and starring a whole lot of our local actors, what the hell more do you want? / SB
A local adaptation of Stuff’s smash hit true crime podcast? We’re growing up! Proud of us! / AC
Dog Squad Puppy School
Exactly what it says on the tin: dogs learning how to be better dogs. But don’t worry, they’re all very good dogs!!! / SB
Anika Moa Reunited
One of the best half hours of television last year was Anika Moa’s riotous, raucous and irreverent attempts to reunite Tru Bliss (sans Carly Binding), so it makes perfect sense that she continues her line of comedic/informative television in that vein. I’ve long espoused Moa’s talents as an uncommonly talented interviewer, and I can’t imagine a better task that her talents are suited for than reuniting once-famous bands and bringing them back together to perform the hits they’d probably prefer to forget. I’m praying for a Deep Obsession reunion. / SB
A Whole Heap of Web Content
TVNZ is fast becoming the home of great online local content, with a whole range of web series both fictional and factual coming to the platform, including: Life Is Easy, The Dead Lands, Meme, Kura, I Date Rejects, Glow Up, a second season of House of Drag and yet another Shortland Street summer webseries called Mistakes on a Plane. / SB
Some International Shows With Great Titles
TVNZ is not just the home of great local content, it’s also the home of international series with some truly wild titles:
Motherland – Fort Salem, a show about an alternate history in which Salem’s witches signed a truce with the US government.
Drag SOS, a docu-series about a group of drag queens saving some villages in England. It is unfortunately not about drag queens teaching people how to do morse code.
Resident Alien, a show about… an alien who crash lands on earth and must figure out how to fit in.
Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, a show about a girl who starts hearing the most innermost wants and desires and thoughts of people… through song.
My Life is Murder, a Lucy Lawless cop drama with a title that sounds like a fake 30 Rock show, and one I will be watching every episode of.
Gold Digger, a show that is unfortunately not about a literal gold digger.
Why Women Kill, a Lucy Liu/Ginnifer Goodwin/Kirby Howell-Baptiste drama (spoiler: they all have fairly legit reasons to kill).
The Secret She Keeps, a psychological thriller about two pregnant women. The secret is not their pregnancies. / SB
Celebrity Treasure Island
The undisputed reality hit of this year has an expected second season, featuring the same dream team (Matt Chisholm, who maybe never sleeps, and rising star Bree Tomasel) with a whole new batch of celebs. Will my predictions from last year come true? Almost absolutely not. But if it involves more celebrities revealing their terrifying evil side (never forget, Sam Wallace), I’m in. / SB
Iyia Liu is heavily pregnant, which can only mean one thing: Boss Baby. / AC
Simply the greatest New Zealand show. I hope it never dies. / AC
Will this be the day that renters finally rise up against their landlord overlords and take back the means of production? I have never seen this show. / SB
Wellington Paranormal + Christmas Special
Back for a third season (thank god) and controversial opinion: every New Zealand show should have a Christmas special. This is coming from the guy who happily cracks open his ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You’ jewel case to listen to every November 1. / SB
You can watch all these shows and more on TVNZ, obviously, next year.
The Spinoff Weekly compiles the best stories of the week – an essential guide to modern life in New Zealand, emailed out on Monday evenings.