Stumped for what to watch, listen to, and be inspired by? Check out the definitive list of what's hot right now and from the vault. By Calum Henderson.
Pick of the Week: ZeroZeroZero (Neon, from Monday)
What do you reckon is the most stressful part of trafficking a large shipment of drugs? Probably the constant fear of being arrested and spending the rest of your life in prison, right? That's certainly one of the bad things that could happen to you but Neon's new Italian drug drama, ZeroZeroZero, makes the case that it's probably not the worst.
There's always a chance you could be fed alive to pigs, for example. That happens to one guy near the start of the first episode, before any of the other tortures or several gunfight scenes. The series, which follows a fraught shipment of 5000kg of cocaine from Mexico to Italy, is effectively a study of all the different ways an international drug deal can go wrong, from the perspectives of three different parties involved.
The first we meet is an Italian crime syndicate led by stylish older gentleman Don Minu, who appears to live in an underground bunker on a goat farm. He's the one who's ordered all the cocaine, which is being packaged up by narco brothers Enrique and Jacinto Leyra and a team of women in their underwear out the back of a jalapeno canning factory in Mexico. The shipment of the 5000 cans of jalapenos is facilitated by New Orleans-based shipping magnate Edward Lynwood and his Succession-esque adult children.
All three parties are constantly under the pump – the producers certainly got their money's worth out of Scottish band Mogwai, who provided the series' tense, doomy soundtrack. Although the large volume of people involved in a cocaine shipment means there's a lot to get your head around in the first episode, by the end it all starts falling into place. Who knew supply chain logistics could be so compelling?
Brains Trust (nzherald.co.nz, from Monday)
They call dementia a silent pandemic – it affects as many as one in 100 New Zealanders, yet it's something so difficult to confront that we don't really like to talk about it.
Brains Trust, a new video series coming tomorrow on nzherald.co.nz wants to put it out there for discussion. Led by journalists Carolyne Meng-Yee and Mike Scott (who made Fighting the Demon, the Herald's series about the meth crisis in 2019), the upfront and personal six-part series meets some of the New Zealanders living with and caring for loved ones with dementia to find out what it's really like and highlight the importance of being able to talk openly about it.
National Treasures (TVNZ 1, 8:00pm Sunday)
A New Zealand version of Antiques Roadshow sounds like an idea you could take to the bank until you realise there probably aren't that many priceless 16th-century vases hidden in this country, not to mention how few castles we have where we can film the episodes. National Treasures is the next best thing however – Stacey and Scotty Morrison are scouring the country for items that should be in Te Papa, using them to tell stories of Aotearoa's history. So what if nobody finds out the painting they bought for $10 at the Dove Shop is actually a long-lost Goldie, it's probably more interesting this way.
Six Angry Women (TVNZ 1, 8:30pm Monday)
It happened back in 1984, but it's a story that gets brought up to this day – the one about the University of Auckland lecturer and playwright who was kidnapped, beaten and chained to a tree in Western Springs by a group of women who accused him of being a rapist.
Despite plenty of sensational headlines at the time, the case remains shrouded in mystery – the identities of the women were never revealed, and the lecturer was never charged for his alleged crimes. New, feature-length special Six Angry Women reopens the case on a story that seems made for the true-crime documentary era, finding some of those involved to finally find out what really happened and why.
Movie of the Week: Little Women (Neon)
Greta Gerwig's Little Women manages to pull off one of the rarest feats possible for a modern movie adaptation, satisfying both those who grew up with the book (or the 1994 Winona Ryder movie version) and those who've never watched a second or read a word of any other Little Women.
Watch, laugh, cry, feel your heart be thoroughly warmed in a way you thought simply wasn't any possible, then go and do the "Which Little Women sister are you?" Buzzfeed quiz.
From the Vault: The Good Son (1993) (Disney Plus)
Heaps more movies have become available to Disney Plus subscribers in the past week or so thanks to the service's new Star channel – among them plenty of classics, old favourites, a handful of critically-acclaimed masterpieces … and The Good Son, a thriller in which peak-fame Macaulay Culkin plays a deeply sinister child psychopath. Written by Booker Prize-winning British author Ian McEwan and also starring a young Elijah Wood, it's a movie most of us won't have seen since the five for $10 days at United Video, and we're going to need to check to see if it's as messed up as we remember.
Podcast of the Week: Duet
Famous people talking about the songs that shaped their lives is a format as old as time. It's a format the BBC's been doing for so long with Desert Island Discs that you'd think no one else would ever dare copy it – but sometimes an idea's so good it's worth doing in several slightly different variations.
Duet is Spotify's new spin on the format and it comes with a couple of key points of difference. Instead of having a host interviewing famous people, it pairs them up to talk to each other, and instead of telling their life stories through music, it gives them a theme to talk about. But most crucially, because it's a Spotify podcast, Duets gives you the opportunity to hear the whole song – unlike the podcast version of Desert Island Discs which fades songs out after a few seconds so the BBC doesn't go bankrupt paying royalties.
Whether this is a pro or a con probably depends on the guests and how closely their taste in music matches yours. But the best-case scenario (you hear an amazing new song) seems like it outweighs the worst (you hear five seconds of a song you hate then press skip to go straight to the start of the next voice break).