The Bad Seed
Australian and New Zealand TV

Boxset Tuesday: The Bad Seed (season one) (New Zealand: TVNZ 1; UK: Alibi)

In New Zealand: Aired on TVNZ 1 in April
In the UK: Tuesdays, 9pm, Alibi. Starts May 14

On the whole, New Zealand doesn’t produce a lot of top-tier drama. Mostly, the schedules are filled with US and UK imports, plus some local entertainment shows, but original dramas are rare. Good dramas – and I do mean dramas, rather than comedy dramas such as Fresh Eggs and The Brokenwood Mysteries – are about as rare as unicorn droppings.

It’s unsurprising, therefore, that when an actual bona fide, home-grown decent drama shows up, New Zealand makes something of a song and a dance about it.

Dean O'Gorman and Matt Minto in TVNZ1's The Bad Seed
Dean O’Gorman and Matt Minto in TVNZ1’s The Bad Seed

The Bad Seed

The Bad Seed, based on two books by New Zealand novelist Charlotte Grimshaw, originally aired as an ‘event series’ over five nights on main channel TVNZ 1. Billed as ‘the birth of a new breed of New Zealand drama’, it’s certainly a bit different from its predecessors of the past five to 10 years or so in having an eye on both domestic and international distribution – the international language of TV being the crime drama. So dedicated to drama is it that Madeleine Sami (The Breaker Upperers) fails to make even one joke.

The show sees Matt Minto (The Blue Rose) and Dean O’Gorman (The Hobbit, The Almighty Johnsons, Trumbo, Westside) playing two brothers who are products of a broken home: dad seems to have done such crappy things to them that Minto’s getting sent to borstal was actually a welcome relief to him and who knows about what mum did.

However, Minto got his life together. He went to university and is now a doctor. He’s married to Jodie Hillock and has two teenage daughters. He’s caught the eye of would-be PM Xavier Horan (Westside) and his wife Chelsie Preston Crayford (The Code). He even lets his brother live in the guest house, in return for which he helps out with odd jobs and looks after Hillock and the daughters when necessary.

Unfortunately, Minto also has a bit of a wandering eye and is having an affair with Keporah Torrance for reasons even he finds a bit mystifying. Is he broken inside thanks to the years of abuse he suffered?

It’s a question that others start asking themselves when Minto is implicated in the murder of one of his patients and it’s discovered that he beat up a girl when he was 13. Is Minto a bad seed in the heart of his seemingly perfect family? Is there even a bad seed inside him? It’s something cops Sami and Vinnie Bennett hope to find out.

Full review after the jump, but a word of warning – I will have to reveal who the murderer is to discuss it properly, although the show itself does the same very quickly so I won’t be spoiling too much.

Continue reading “Boxset Tuesday: The Bad Seed (season one) (New Zealand: TVNZ 1; UK: Alibi)”
The Politician

When’s that show you mentioned starting, TMINE? Including Light As A Feather, Stella Blómkvist, Special, Chambers and The Politician

Every Friday, TMINE lets you know when the latest TV shows from around the world will air in the UK

A couple of acquisitions this week, but only one without a premiere date. I should also point out that I’ve already mentioned that The Murders (Canada: CityTV; UK: Universal) now has a premiere date in my review of it this week.

The Bad Seed


Premiere dates

Light as a Feather
Light as a Feather (© Rachael Thompson/Hulu)

Light as a Feather (US: Hulu; UK: All 4)
Premiere date: Monday, April 1

Four best friends invite the shy new girl out on Halloween, but they soon regret their decision when she suggests they play a twisted version of Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board.

That’s basically the story, with the slight fillip of one of them possibly already being possessed before they play the game. Not scary, not exciting. Didn’t get further than episode one.

Stars: Brianne Tju, Ajiona Alexus, Peyton List, Brent Rivera, Liana Liberato and Haley Ramm.

Episode reviews: 1

Stella Blomkvist

Stella Blómkvist (Iceland: Sjónvarp Símans; UK: Sundance Now)
Premiere date: Thursday, April 4

Stella Blómkvist is a young, cute, libertine, tough, confident, intelligent, Icelandic lawyer with a flexible moral compass, who investigates mysterious murder cases. A friend at the police calls her when there’s a criminal in need of a lawyer.

Netflix's Special
Punam Patel and Ryan O’Connell in Netflix’s Special

Special (Netflix)
Premiere date: Friday, April 12

US Netflix Original based on Ryan O’Connell’s memoir I’m Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves. It follows Ryan, a gay man with mild cerebral palsy, who decides to rewrite his identity and finally go after the life he wants. After years of dead-end internships, working in his pyjamas as a blogger and communicating mostly via text, Ryan eventually figured out how to take his life from bleak to chic and began limping towards adulthood.

Stars Ryan O’Connell, Jessica Hecht, Punam Patel, Marla Mindelle, Augustus Prew, and Patrick Fabian.

Uma Thurman and Tony Goldwyn in Netflix's Chambers
Uma Thurman and Tony Goldwyn in Netflix’s Chambers

Chambers (Netflix)
Premiere date: Friday, April 26

US Netflix Original. A young heart attack survivor becomes consumed by the mystery surrounding the heart that saved her life. But the closer she gets to learning the truth about her donor’s sudden death, the more she takes on the characteristics of the deceased, some of which are troublingly sinister.

Stars: Uma Thurman and Tony Goldwyn

The Politician

The Politician (Netflix UK)
Premiere date: Friday, September 27

US Netflix Original. The Politician follows Payton Hobart, a wealthy student from Santa Barbara, California, who has known since the age of seven that he’s going to be President of the United States. But first he’ll have to navigate the most treacherous political landscape of all: Saint Sebastian High School.

To get elected Student Body President, secure a spot at Harvard, and stay on his singular path to success, Payton will have to outsmart his ruthless classmates without sacrificing his own morality and carefully crafted image.

Stars: Ben Platt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Lange, Zoey Deutch, Lucy Boynton, Bob Balaban, David Corenswet, Julia Schlaepfer, Laura Dreyfuss, Theo Germaine, Rahne Jones and Benjamin Barrett.