The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. That's how the men who rule Gloriavale, the Christian cult based in the Haupiri Valley, must feel about television.
On the one hand, they get their dirty undies inspected in public by journalists on Sunday and Campbell Live, both of whom have featured the rather shocking stories of those who have managed to escape the community that time forgot.
On the other hand, TV2 has been showing a glossy and positive rendition of their world, via the wildly popular Gloriavale specials.
Last time around in Gloriavale: A World Apart, the film-makers put aside awkward questions in return for access. It's a deal often struck by film-makers, especially ones who wish to return to the well at a future date. The art here is to let the pictures speak for themselves and for the viewers to draw their own conclusions.
It's a delicate dance that easily sashays into propaganda. On that score, Gloriavale: Life and Death is in good company as the P word can surely be applied to a swath of local programming, much of which is presided over by the NZ Police and other uniformed officers of the state.
One of the clouds that hangs over Gloriavale is, of course, the one cast by the founder Neville Cooper, who now calls himself Hopeful Christian - as brilliant a piece of rebranding as you'll ever encounter.
He was convicted in the 1980s of the sexual assault of a 19-year-old woman with a wooden object at his first "community" in Canterbury. Fairly or otherwise, he brings to mind the likes of Bert Potter and other disgraced cult leaders. He has even earned himself a page on the Sensible Sentencing Trust's website, where it notes that he was "Sentenced to five years in December 1995" but "parolled November 1996."
Convicted sex offender or not, Hopeful featured prominently in the promo for the latest instalment, Gloriavale: Life and Death, for the only crime that resonates with TV makers is that of being boring. And of all the things you can level at Hopeful - that is clearly not one of them.
"In a world where most of us put ourselves first, one community is bucking the trend," says the voiceover. "A place where everyone works hard and no one gets paid, while they wait for the world to end."
Though I suspect many of us feel that way about our own lives. The difference is that people of Gloriavale want the world to end, as that would mean the return of Jesus and an express train to heaven for those at the community.
Star of the show Paul Valor is now 22. In the last instalment we met him as he was being lined up to marry someone from the "shortlist" of women available according to the "bloodlines" decided on by the old guys who run the place who are known as the "shepherds".
Two years on, Paul, wife Pearl and their first baby seem happy enough, although everyone seems to be on guard this time round.
Pearl has another baby on the way, the "Life" part of the title. The style is very much Country Calendar in tone, if Country Calendar was made in North Korea.
We see the community members building a large wooden building with great industry. Uncle Bulgaria ,aka Steady Standtrue, comes along for a nosey.
"In my day it was all scaffolding and planks," he marvels as the young workers ride atop scissor lifts with wanton abandon. Steady practically built the place but he's on his last legs. He's the "death" part of the title and soon passes on into the kingdom of heaven after a touching encounter with some kids who remark that his eyes "are leaking".
It's a moving send-off complete with some sweet harmonic singing and a rather fetching sunset drone shot that includes frolicking deer and an ostrich. As a location, Gloriavale has a rich bounty of visual stimulation to offer.
The burial service comes next, but we are subjected to some terrible singing and some plonky piano nonsense that seems to go on forever, worse even than accidentally tuning into Life FM when you're looking for Hauraki.
Then comes that old rascal Hopeful - preaching some fire and brimstone at the graveside. You get a sense of the charisma that he's said to posses. "A new body will rise out of these graves", he bellows, standing over the hole dug for Steady. Older men chant back things like "praise the Lord" and "amen". The young kids look bored. "There's nothing more that we can do here, but wait for the day of our Lord," says Hopeful by way of wrapping things up.
But that's as exciting as things get. There's an attempt at some drama as Purity's (Paul's mother) baby is taken to a hospital in Greymouth. Then Pearl has her baby, but it's hardly One Born Every Minute.
The elephant in the room gets its moment too, sort of. Paul talks briefly about the loss of Steady compared with those who leave the community.
"When they walk out, to us that's a more permanent loss, we grieve for them too, but it's a different kind of grief because we'll probably never see them again."
Pearl is sticking with her limited script too: "My ambition is to be a godly mother and wife."
I wish them well, but worry more for the children who are assembled for the final trick the film has up its sleeve. It's a simple device but it works a treat. They stand look into the camera and say their names.
There was a Delightful, a Perpetua, a Vigilant, a Believing, a Meek, and yes, there was a Conviction and a Deliverance, but I doubt the hand of irony. You can't ignore the cuteness but there's also tang of dread in the air as you watch the kids reciting their kooky names. They will be well loved and well fed, but they are born into a world where girls can't "do anything", a world that will no doubt turn their backs on them the moment they decide to escape.