Supercity on Lightbox
With all this hullabaloo about Wellington joining with the Wairarapa to create another Supercity in our fair nation of plain, mortal cities - there's never been a better time to get amongst the madness of Kiwi comedy Super City. Starring Madeleine Sami, New Zealand's much funnier and much smarter answer to Summer Heights High's Chris Lilley, Super City is a showcase of the best and worst characters that Auckland has to offer. Immersing herself in a full spectrum of races, genders, ages and body shapes, Sami is eerily seamless in almost every role. From Pasha, the far-too-old cheerleader to Azeem, the immigrant taxi driver throwing himself headfirst into native culture - the outlandish characters work because they are all too real.
Season two also brings with it a young Niuean man chasing his rugby dreams and 'skux' haircuts, a cover band artiste called Mary Dalziel and an ancient British panelbeater called Ray. By far my favourite across the series is Linda, a middle aged ponsonby type desperately trying to take impoverished artists under her wing to climb the slippery social ladder of the central suburbs. Her droll voice, drop earrings and swilling tunics embody every single lady of a certain age gliding around an art gallery. Sami's keen observations of human behaviour are as hilarious as they are disturbing, as she successfully holds up a mirror to some of the more odd New Zealand stereotypes you are sure to recognise. / AC
Sunday goes to Gloriavale, Sunday, TV1 Sunday at 7pm
Sunday returns this - unsurprisingly - Sunday with a bonneted, long-sleeved hiss and a roar. The one-hour special will dive deep into the world of Gloriavale, a very secret, very remote religious community on the west coast of the South Island. TVNZ have slid beyond the Gloriavale gates once before in their jaw-dropping special Gloriavale - A World Apart. In this small corner of the world, boys and girls must not talk to each other until they are selected by the elders (who are instructed by God) as to who they will marry.
In a world where women are given the tall task of producing as many kids as they can possibly conceive, as well as working a full cooking and cleaning roster in the community - it's Kimmy Schmidt style cult fiction come pitch perfectly to life. Fascinatingly, Sunday will talk to two families who fled the community earlier this year. Candid interviews reveal the forcing of young people together, their fears for the well-being of remaining residents, and the extreme apocryphal tales they were told about the modern world. Unmissable viewing for sure. / AC
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Nigel Latta Blows Stuff Up, TV1 Sunday at 8pm
The last few years have seen the inquisitive, gnomic figure of Nigel Latta loom ever-larger in our national consciousness. He's a clinical psychologist, author and documentary maker who has taken personal crusades and made us all have bit of a think about them. He started out with murderers, before moving on to teenagers, grownups, inequality, family violence, diet and alcohol. Basically wherever there's a red button social issue, Nigel Latta will wander up, poke it with a stick a few times, then tell us what he reckons. But it's 2015, and everything's fine. So what's an old man to do? Blow Stuff Up, that's what. Unfortunately it's not as anarchic as the title suggests, and is actually a science show, covering gravity and lightning and that. Still, it has weird old Nige, the best title of the year and has to involve some serious explosions amongst all the learnin' - so deserves a shot. / DG
Grown Ups 2, TV2 Saturday at 8.30pm
Grown Ups 2 began its life as a reverse ATM, through which the world could queue to deposit its funds into the Bank of Adam Sandler. It was bloody efficient too, grossing just shy of US$250,000,000. But in February of last year it was boldly taken back by the people, when Guy Montgomery and Tim Batt commenced a quest so idiotic they could only name it The Worst Idea of All Time. They watched this terrible, terrible film every week for an entire year, and after each screening recorded a podcast, documenting their psychological disintegration. Paul Casserly named it the best New Zealand podcast of them all, and described the pair as "trapped in a torture chamber of their own making, like performance artists in a glass box." It's a fascinating and frightening concept, and you should definitely go and listen to it right now. Then on Saturday, in sympathy and ideally a little drunk, watch Grown Ups 2 for yourself. / DG
The Jeff Probst Show, Prime Friday at 2pm
It's a great time to be a famous television host. In New Zealand, we have the hovering Mansion dweller Mike Puru, and the wise cracking finger-pointing Dominic Bowden. As good as they are, I think we can all agree that the USA has the mecca of outrageously overpaid, outrageously tanned, and bizarrely ageless reality TV hosts. Idol's Seacrest has been 25 for 15 years, The Bachelor's Chris Harrison rises from a hyperbolic chamber every 6 months and probably lives off rose petals and torn pages from his own romance novel franchise. Then there's Survivor's cargo-swamped Jeff Probst, who is in a whole different league.
For a guy who has spent nearly 20 years exposed to the elements in various islands, deserts and jungles - he is in crazily good condition. His vaulting ambition to plaster his trusty bronzed face all over television screens has led to a cameo appearance on the now-deceased Two and a Half Men, and, even more excitingly, a one-year stint hosting his very own talk show. The Jeff Probst Show was quickly cancelled but, during its run, featured exquisite segments such as 'Guys on the Couch', which speaks for itself, and 'Ambush Adventure', where an audience member agrees to a mysterious challenge that, more often than not, involved rescuing a cat. The show was not able to outwit, outplay or outlast the ratings war, but it's a weird little side project worth tuning in for. / AC
More from The Spinoff:
• Long before the Campbell Live furore, TV3's 7pm slot was discussed in Parliament, as Joe Nunweek reports.
• Love Antiques Roadshow? Of course you do. What about its terrible knock off Flog It? Calum Henderson says to stay the hell away.
• Sophie Smith is a hypochondriac, and learned to love and control her condition through many visits to House's clinic.