Chris Philpott 's Opinion

Chris Philpott is nzherald.co.nz's resident TV expert.

Chris Philpott: New TV treats you should feast on

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A handy cut-out-and-keep guide for the upcoming week in television.
Hannibal is must-see television.
Hannibal is must-see television.

We're smack-bang in the middle of my favourite time of year - from mid-January through to the end of February, our local networks premiere the majority of their new shows, meaning there is an absolute feast of new television to pick-and-mix over the next couple of weeks. For a telly fan like myself, it's bliss.

In an effort to share the love, here is everything that is starting over the next couple of weeks, through to February 7 - and I'll probably be back with another preview then, since there is plenty more to come. In the meantime, here is the next fortnight, broken down by day, with a few notes from yours truly.

Enjoy! And remember to program your DVR!

SATURDAY, JANUARY 25

Hannibal: Season 1 (TV3, 9.30pm) - brand new!
If you do nothing else I ever recommend, please watch the premiere of Hannibal tomorrow night.

I mean, unless you scare easily, or are a child under the age of 16, because this show will haunt your dreams. Disturbing and violent at times, but this version of Hannibal - set prior to the events of Thomas Harris' first novel Red Dragon - works more as a character study, thanks to the guidance and flair for surreal visuals, of head writer Bryan Fuller (Dead Like Me).

The rest:

The Carrie Diaries: Season 2 (TV2,2pm)
The Fosters: Season 1 (TV2,3pm) - brand new!
2014 WakaAma Sprints (Maori TV,4.30pm)
Hotel GB (TV3,7.30pm)
CSI New York: Season 9 (TV3 at 8.30pm)

If you're looking for the perfect background noise for your afternoon snooze, look no further than The Carrie Diaries and The Fosters! Hotel GB could be a bit of fun, combining the fixer-upper talents of numerous British stars including Gordon Ramsey, Gok Wan and Jimmy Carr. CSI NY goes into its final ever season on TV3. So long, Lt Dan.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 26

Strike Back: Season 4 (Prime, 9.35pm)
I actually think Strike Back is pretty damn good - it's action fare for television that looks as good as any straight action movie, and which occasionally veers into some clever writing as well.

MONDAY, JANUARY 27

Seven Sharp (One, 7pm)
I'm going to say something controversial: I actually think Seven Sharp will be much, much better this year - Jesse Mulligan was the best thing about Seven Sharp last year, I think Toni Street is a better fit for this kind of show, and I think Mike Hosking will be a massive upgrade over Greg Boyed (no offence to Boyed, who is a better newsreader than talking head). I'm very interested to see how Seven Sharp goes this year.

The Michael J Fox Show: Season 1 (TV3, 9pm) - brand new!
For some reason, NBC thought so much of it that they handed The Michael J Fox Show a full season order before a single episode had aired in the USA. The show has been an unmitigated disaster in the ratings, drawing smaller audiences than frequent low-rater Community. It must be pretty bad, right?! I'm gonna watch and find out.

The Paul Henry Show (TV3, 10.30pm) - brand new!
I'm going to say something else controversial: there is a good chance that The Paul Henry Show will be a lot better than anybody is expecting and I think that, after it irons out the wrinkles that come from launching a brand new show, this will become pretty damn watchable. Look for my full review next Tuesday.

The rest:

56th Annual Grammy Awards (TV2, 2pm /One, 9.15pm)
New Girl: Season 3 (Four, 8.30pm)

If you want to watch the Grammy Awards, you can do it twice! Also, New Girl is back. So, there's that.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 29

Hostages: Season 1 (One, 8.30pm) - brand new!
Aussie star Toni Collette ("you're terrible Muriel") plays a top doctor who finds herself at the centre of a political conspiracy after her family is taken hostage by men who want her to kill the President during surgery.

The rest:

The Inspectors (One, 7.30pm)
Elementary: Season 2 (Prime, 8.30pm)
Silent Witness (Prime, 9.30pm)

The Inspectors give us a good look at what it must be like to work for local council (awful). Silent Witness looks like it should be a decent, albeit basic, British drama. And the Sherlock of Elementary is my third favourite Sherlock Holmes, behind Robert Downey Jr (2nd) and Benedict Cumberbatch (1st) - the show is a bit of fun, though.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 30

Benidorm: Season 5 (One, 9.30pm)
This Is Jinsy: Season 2 (UKTV, 9.50pm)

I don't know that I've ever really enjoyed an episode of Benidorm, and This Is Jinsy veers too often away from comedy and into eccentricity to really settle into it.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 31

Treme: Season 4 (SoHo, 8.30pm)
The final season of David Simon's ode to Katrina-affected New Orleans gets underway on SoHo. In an alternate universe where quality shows are valued, Treme would be at least as popular as Glee is now.

* What shows are you looking forward to in the next couple of weeks?

Chris Philpott

Chris Philpott is nzherald.co.nz's resident TV expert.

In a strange way, Chris Philpott has grown up with television: his first big addiction was The X Files, which he watched as a teenager, enthralled by what was possible with the form. Chris’ love of TV grew over the years, parallel to the popularity and quality of serial dramas like The Sopranos, Lost, Mad Men and Breaking Bad. He began writing about TV professionally in 2010, before joining the NZ Herald in late 2013, and considers writing about TV more than a passing interest or hobby: he genuinely loves sharing new series and discussing the big shows with readers. Chris is based in Whangarei, and lives with his wife and daughter. When he isn’t watching television … just kidding, he’s always watching television.

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