The outlook for the long weekend can only be described as bleak. If your Queen's birthday plans for a crisp but clear, outdoorsy getaway have been dashed by the raging storms spiralling the length of the country, there might just be one thing to do: go back to bed.

But being cooped up needn't be a total bore. In fact, it's the perfect excuse to indulge in some screen time or get stuck in to a good book.

READ MORE: 600 lightning strikes in New Zealand overnight

Here are our picks of the best in television, books and film - should you decide to venture outside - to see you through.




Brene Brown's The Call to Courage is available on Netflix. Photo / Supplied
Brene Brown's The Call to Courage is available on Netflix. Photo / Supplied

A self-help guru who can actually help, Brown's hour-long talk, 'The Call to Courage' is described by Canvas reviewer Calum Henderson as feeling "like it could be a stand-up routine, only there are hard-won pearls of wisdom where the punchlines should be. On top of being highly qualified she also is funny and warm and relatable."

What's more, Henderson says she looks like "the classic 'I want to speak to the manager' ... she feels like your friend, or your friend's mum who you always ended up having deep and meaningfuls with when she let you drink at her house."

Read Calum Henderson's full review here.

• WHEN THEY SEE US (Netflix)

In Netflix's new true-crime docu-series, acclaimed director Ava DuVernay (13th) takes on the well-famed Central Park Jogger case of 1989, but for the first time ever, is telling the story from the viewpoint of the Central Park Five. The case details a brutal attack in which a 28-year-old jogger was attacked and raped in Central Park in New York City, leaving her in a coma for 12 days. Five men - all of colour – were convicted of the crimes and were not exonerated until 2002 when the actual attacker confessed. When They See Us is their story, and it's sure to shed new light, not only on the case, but on race relations and the justice system in America, in a way only DuVernay can.

• THE EXPANSE (Amazon Prime)

Not only did Amazon Prime successfully save The Expanse after Syfy foolishly cancelled it, they're about to drop all three seasons of the series on to their platform so you can binge it in full - as of Saturday. It's not for nothing either as the action-packed sci-fi show - which just so happens to star our very own supernova Frankie Adams - is set to take its next big leap as filming for the much-anticipated fourth season has officially wrapped and is due to release on Amazon Prime later this year.

• TRUST ME (TVNZ On Demand)

Anywhere Jodie Whittaker goes, we go. The Doctor Who actor stars in Trust Me as a nurse who loses her job for "whistle-blowing" and is forced to start a whole new life - literally. She steals the identity of a doctor - who happens to be her friend - and moves to make a new start with her daughter in Edinburgh. How will she keep up her web of lies and what lengths will she go to in order to keep her new reality safe? It's been described as everything from a medical drama to an intense thriller - check it out from Saturday.


• ROCKETMAN (In cinemas)

Taron Egerton as Elton John. Photo / Supplied
Taron Egerton as Elton John. Photo / Supplied

Before you sit down to this one, note that it's not a play-by-play biopic of Elton's rise to fame. Rather, writes Francesca Rudkin, it's more of a "ready-made musical, a fantasy interpretation inspired by his flamboyance and over-the-top style.

"If that sounds agreeable, you're going to have a blast."

Read Francesca Rudkin's full review here.


Asterix: The secret of the magic potion is in cinemas now. Photo / Supplied
Asterix: The secret of the magic potion is in cinemas now. Photo / Supplied

If you were a fan of Asterix's first foray into the world of CG-animation with 2014's Asterix: The Mansions of the Gods, the results are, "unsurprisingly, similar here", writes Toby Woollaston.

Capturing "the warmth and feel of the comics", there are "plenty of village brawls, confused Romans, roast boar, and an off-tune bard. It's all fairly lightweight fun, full of nostalgia for the older fans and plenty of slapstick giggles for the young 'uns."

Read Toby Woollaston's full review here.


Keanu Reeves pulls some swift moves as John Wick. Photo / Supplied
Keanu Reeves pulls some swift moves as John Wick. Photo / Supplied

A continuation of the action franchise, Canvas reviewer Tom Augustine describes this latest instalment as "a fairly shallow but wonderfully executed slice of action" which "boasts some truly astonishing action sequences" and offers "an aesthetic somewhere between high art and a teenage stoner's bedroom".

Read Tom Augustine's full review here.



Joan Silber's novel details how a woman's decision to retract her offer to drive a criminal across states reverberates throughout the lives of those around her and faraway strangers she may never meet.

Yasmina Gillies writes that the 256 pager "feels expansive, eloquently spanning lives, generations and locations."

Read Yasmina Gillies' full review here.


Rosetta Allan intended to write one book and returned with a very different one. Dionne Christian says Allan is to be commended for following her heart, noting the author was "confronted with another intriguing story that, like many of the best ones, has long been hidden from popular history.

"Now known as Koryo-saram, around half a million ethnic Koreans live in former Soviet states and it these people, and their story, that inspired Allan's The Unreliable People," writes Christian. She describes the novel as a "complex mix of history, art and culture, family, contemporary life and what a beautifully difficult melange this can be."

Read Dionne Christian's full review here.