9 More Kiwi TV Shows International Students Should Watch

Thursday, June 13, 2019

It is getting cold outside again and its time to stay inside, get warm and watch some of these classic Kiwi shows. This is our follow-up blog to our first list on NZ TV shows and you can find our first list here.

1. The Brokenwood Mysteries
A series of two-hour murder mystery stories, with four episodes a season, the Brokenwood Mysteries now has over five seasons of episodes for a total of 40 hours of telefeatures/miniseries to binge watch. Neill Rea stars in the lead role of Detective Senior Sergeant Mike Shepherd while Fern Sutherland plays Detective Constable Kristin Sims.1 Other actors to feature include Pana Hema Taylor as Jared Morehu, Shepherd's Māori neighbour, Nic Sampson as Detective Constable Sam Breen and Cristina Ionda as Dr. Gina Kadinsky, medical examiner.  It was announced in late 2018 that NZ On Air will also be funding a sixth series of the show, and filming will take place in mid-2019. The show is screened on Prime, Series 1-4 are available on DVD box set and it is also screened on Nine (Australia), Giallo (Italy), France 3 (France), DR (Denmark) and Acorn TV (USA).2

2. Go Girls
Screening for five seasons from 2009-2013, this television drama/comedy ran for 65 episodes. The first four seasons were a success. However, with lead actors Anna Hutchinson and Jay Ryan leaving the show to star in overseas films, it was decided that the fifth season would star an all-new cast. It was a gamble that did not pay off and the show was cancelled due to low ratings throughout its final season. The show was based on four friends (Kevin, Cody, Britta and Amy) living in Auckland’s North Shore who are unhappy with their lives and so they make challenging promises to one another that they try to make good on throughout the series.

3. The Son of a Gunn Show
This is a beloved children’s show featuring presenter Jason Gunn and his sidekick, Thingee. The show consisted of audience interaction, comedy sketches, skits and unforgettable moments like Thingee’s eye popping out. The show lasted from 1992-1995 and was a hit with Kiwi kids. These days, Gunn is more well-known as the co-host of the MoreFM drive show and one of the main creative forces behind NZ’s most iconic kids’ TV programme, What Now? His production company WhiteBaitMedia is based in his hometown of Christchurch.

4. Billy T James
An iconic Kiwi comedian who entertained for years before dying at the young age of 43, Billy T James is remembered with regular celebrations of his career and television specials replaying his best moments on demand. His full name was William James Te Wehi Taitok and in 1986 he was appointed as a member of the Order of the British Empire for services to entertainment. His most famous career moment was The Billy T James Show, a self-titled TV show for TVNZ that lasted seven series and became a NZ institution. The series ran from 1981 to 1985 with 6-7 half-hour episodes consisting of comedy sketches, parodies and cultural comedy. You can watch the show (seasons 3-7) on Māori TV today. You can also watch him in films, see a film about him, catch a television documentary about him, witness his live shows or read books about his life. With his characters, charm, wit and passion for his craft, Billy T is a truly unforgettable man, a legendary Kiwi figure.

5. The Crowd Goes Wild
Look no further if you are wanting up to date and comedic sports content five times a week. This thirty-minute summary show of the day’s sports landscape in NZ and overseas has been running from 2006 to the present day and can be found on Sky Sport or Prime at the ideal time-slot of 7pm and is also replayed on both platforms throughout the following day. The show has multiple reporters in the field and in studio and presents a light-hearted view on sports.

6. Our Big Blue Backyard
With the poise of a big bucks David Attenborough show, this entirely Kiwi made production highlights the incredible animals and environments of NZ in a two-season run of six forty-minute episodes per season. It may not have the prestige and money behind it that the BBC does, but this locally produced gem does a great job of explaining everything from skuas, to sharks to red-billed gulls. The islands and locations explored also range from the deep South to the far North, including spectacular underwater shots and sweeping landscape reveals. You can watch both seasons of this epic show on TVNZ OnDemand here. Time to learn!

7. 7 Days
A NZ comedy gameshow series that has been running since 2009, 7 Days pits two teams stacked full of the biggest names in NZ comedy against each other for 30 minutes in front of a studio audience. Hosted by Jeremy Corbyn, the show plays every week on a Friday at 9pm on TV Three.

8. The Block NZ
Ask anyone and they will tell you that Kiwis are big fans of DIY (do it yourself) construction. This show encapsulates the spirit of DIY enthusiasts all around the country and encourages teams of two contestants to build a house and compete for prizes against other two-person teams.

9. Only in Aotearoa
A Māori TV exclusive comedy, this is a hilarious take on Kiwi mannerisims, social lives and characters across the country. The shows are shot across NZ and feature a mix of Māori and English language, established and up and coming Kiwi actors and plenty of hilarious moments.

1 https://thebrokenwoodmysteries.com/
2 https://southpacificpictures.com/productions/details/321/The-Brokenwood-Mysteries

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