Consider your new season viewing sorted with this list of must-watch shows/
Sundays, 8.30pm, TVNZ 1 (and TVNZ OnDemand)
Like a Kiwi Antiques Roadshow, but way more resonant because it’s about us, this local series explores who we are as a nation through everyday objects and taonga from the past 100 years.
Hosted by Stacey and Scotty Morrison, whose fluent reo Māori sprinkled throughout adds an extra special layer, National Treasures calls on ordinary New Zealanders to rummage around their homes, searching out objects and keepsakes that have connections to our history and our understanding of ourselves as a nation.
Each member of the public who submits an item shares a story about their connection to it with one of a panel of experts. This show is our history told through a very personal lens – and it makes for cracking good television!
Writer/director Oscar Kightley acts as a co-host and his focus is on Pacific history in Aotearoa. In the poignant opening segment of the first episode, Welby Ings, a former Seddon College (now Western Springs College) teacher, brings along some planks of wood that acted like a trap door to hide Pasifika students during immigration raids of the school in the early 1980s. It’s both a deeply moving and informative story that illustrates not only how far we’ve come as a nation, but also how easily racism and anti-immigration attitudes can repeat throughout history – even in a country as young as Aotearoa.
National Treasures is aptly named as it is itself a taonga of our screens. If this is a reason for us all to briefly pause the Kondo-ing and start hunting through our garages and attics for artifacts of personal and national interest, so be it. Here’s to all of us finding more treasures so this precious series continues for many more seasons!
In cinemas now
In 2015, a fire at Bucharest’s Colectiv nightclub left 27 people dead and 180 injured. In the following days, more burn victims died in hospitals from wounds that were not life-threatening, due to a system that was both corrupt and incompetent. Nominated for two Academy Awards, this searing documentary follows the group of investigative journalists that exposed massive health care fraud in Romania. It’s by no means an easy watch, but is one of the most gripping docos I’ve seen in years.
Streaming on TVNZ OnDemand
Detective Molly McGee (Emma Booth) is an offbeat and troubled cop who leads an investigation into the murder of an unidentified woman in this noirish Australian crime drama. Co-starring the brilliant Ewen Leslie (The Luminaries) as a fellow cop with whom Molly shares a tragic past, along with Aaron Pederson and Kiwi Rena Owen, this is a beautifully shot procedural thriller that will serve you well for a weekend binge-fest.