TV & Movies

TVNZ Guide | The Best Shows To Watch On TVNZ On Demand

By Urban List Writers

TVNZ on Demand is home to some of the best series around and the clincher is it's absolutely free. Get your comfies on, curl up on the couch and press play... before you know it you’ll be eight episodes in and the day is almost over. TVNZ on Demand is home to some of the best tantalising dramas, riveting docos, sitcoms and epic comedies. No hard graft is needed from you here as we've hand-picked some of the best shows to binge on TVNZ on Demand.

So without further ado, these are the best shows on TVNZ right now.

Lucky Hank

From the producers of Better Call Saul and Breaking BadLucky Hank is a comedic drama series based on Richard Russo’s novel Straight Man. The series follows Bob Odenkirk as Henry (Hank) Devereaux, Jr., a failed novelist turned unlikely chair of the English department of a mediocre college in a working-class town. Backstabbing colleagues, crusading students and a flirtatious protégée all aggravate the mounting midlife crisis Hank experiences when his celebrated father flies back into the picture. Watch it here.

The Flatshare

Grab the popcorn folks, because this rom-com series will have you swooning over those British accents right from the get-go. The Flatshare, a six-part series follows the lives of two strapped-for-cash 20-somethings who share a one-bedroom flat... only they’ve never met. Tiffany (Jessica Brown Findlay), a magazine journalist and Leon (Anthony Walsh), a hospice night shift nurse live completely separate lives, so, in theory, their paths will never meet. But what starts as routine Post-It note discussions requesting not to leave the toilet seat up (typical) or who buys milk, soon develops into something much deeper. Here dawns the question: can you fall in love with someone you’ve never met? Bitta drama, bitta comedy, bitta ooey gooey-ness- thank us later.

Upright 

Let us tell you... the characters in this show will have a chokehold on your attention after the first episode. Milly Alcock (House of the Dragon) and Tim Minchin play two misfits who form the most unlikely friendship when they’re thrown together on the backroads of rural Australia. With two seasons ready for you to binge, the dynamic of these characters will have you pining over what happens next. Funny, sad, and endearing- Upright is a brilliant series that will send you on a rollercoaster of emotions. Watch it here.

Poker Face

Directed and written by Rian Johnson (Knives Out), this 10-part mystery-of-the-week series stars Academy® Award winner Adrien Brody (The Pianist, The Grand Budapest Hotel), Emmy® Award winner Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Don Jon) and Emmy® nominee Natasha Lyonne (Orange is the New Black, Russian Doll). The show follows Charlie Cale (Lyonne), a woman with the epic ability to determine when someone is lying. Watch it here.

'Kura

Homegrown comedy 'Kura (short for Papakura and the word for School in te reo) needs to go straight to the top of your must-watch list, stat. Billy-John is fed up with small-town life in NZ working at the local pool, so when his fly-by-night uncle requests his weed stash, Billy-John jumps at the chance to deliver it to him on the Gold Coast. Watch it here.

The Resort

This genre-bending comedic thriller combines an unsolved crime investigation with a multi-generational, coming-of-age love story and we're already big fans. Starring William Jackson Harper (The Good Place), Cristin Milioti (Palm Springs) and Nick Offerman (Parks & Recreation, Pam & Tommy), The Resort follows a married couple celebrating their tenth wedding anniversary on a tropical vacation in the Mayan Riviera when they unexpectedly find themselves pulled into a strange unsolved mystery that occurred fifteen years earlier. Watch it here.

Happy Valley

The name’s a cruel red herring, and you’ll figure that one out pretty quickly in the first season (only six episodes so binge-in-one-night material). Without giving too much away, every possible horrible thing happens to the main character, Sergeant Catherine Cawood, who is an absolute woman of steel btw. But she keeps on going as she tackles the drug culture in her northern England hometown, tragic memories, 10/10 suss events, all while looking after her wee little grandson. For reals, Happy Valley is a must-watch drama for those who appreciate all the suspense. Binge three seasons here.

Everything I Know About Love

Inspired by her own wildly funny, occasionally heart-breaking memoir, Dolly Alderton's Everything I Know About Love is an unflinching account of surviving your 20s. From the producers of Bridget Jones' Diary and Love Actually, this fresh series is written and created by Dolly Alderton, and directed by China Moo-Young. Set in a 2012 London sharehouse, with flashbacks to suburban adolescence in the early noughties, the Stan show recounts bad dates, heartaches and humiliations. Watch it here. 

Hacks

Starring Emmy Award Winner Jean Smart, Hacks explores a dark mentorship that forms between the legendary Las Vegas comedian Deborah Vance (Jean Smart) and the entitled, outcast 25-year-old Ava Daniels (Hannah Einbinder). In season two,  it's Vance and Daniels against the world, as the once-relevant Vegas comedy queen must take her stand-up act on the road to small clubs across the country. Watch it here.

Wellington Paranormal

Definitely one of the best shows on TVNZ On Demand, Wellington Paranormal comes from the minds of Taika Waitit and Jermaine Clement's hilarious series follows Welly cops Minogue and O'Leary (an off-shoot from their appearance in the film What We Do In The Shadows) whose focus is to investigate paranormal phenomena. Watch it here.

Screw

Prison dramas never disappoint, in fact, we think they're possibly the most binge-worthy shows out there. Watching life behind bars is just highly addictive. Lucky for us there's a new prison series on the block called Screw—a new comedy-drama written by BAFTA-nominated writer Rob Williams (one of the masterminds behind Killing Eve). Set in a men's prison, Screw follows veteran prison guard Leigh as she keeps the inmates in line alongside rookie officer Rose—but the task is easier said than done. With fellow officers and inmates to contend with, there’s never a dull moment for Leigh and Rose. So, if you're wanting a glimpse of prison life as you’ve never seen it before, add Screw to your must-watch list.  

Vigil 

It’s official, we’re straight-up obsessed with crime shows. It has to be up there with one of our fave genres, we just live for the suspense. If you fancy yourself as a bit of a detective, unleash your inner Sherlock Holmes and join Suranne Jones as she investigates a mysterious death on board a nuclear submarine. Vigil is the show that you didn’t realise you needed in your life. Think twists and turns, intense characters, and a plot that will leave you on the edge of your seat. 

Killing Eve 

If you haven’t seen seasons one to three of Killing Eve, do yourself a favour and binge-watch them here before carrying on with your life and this paragraph. Season three is jam-packed with heaps of twists, and turns and three major fatalities. Who? Now that would be telling—you'll just have to watch it for yourselves to find out, but one thing we can tell you is that it's absolutely riveting and with Season 4 already out, you've got some catching up to do. The cat-and-mouse dance across Europe between a psychopathic assassin and the MI5 agent tasked with tracking her down continues, leaving a deadly trail of episodes. 

Joe VS Carol

Hey all you cool cats and kittens. If you, like everyone else, fell into the insanely crazy web that is Netflix’s docu-series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, then we have some very good news—there’s a spin-off series on TVNZ On Demand for you to get lost in all over again. The hilarious Kate McKinnon takes on the role of Carole Baskin and much like Netflix’s offering, Joe vs Carol follows America’s wildest feud between Baskin and her arch-enemy Joe Exotic as they battle it out for the crown of tiger king or queen. 

Bel-Air

Now, this is a story all about how Will Smith's life got flipped-turned upside down, so take a minute and just sit right there to find out how he became the prince of a town called Bel-Air. That's right, you've guessed it, our fave 90s sitcom has had a reboot and follows Will (not Will Smith), a working-class teen who is trying to navigate life going from the streets of West Philadelphia to the gated mansions of Bel-Air. The best part is that the show, now called Bel-Air, has been produced by the one and only OG, Will Smith, alongside original producers Benny Medina and Quincy Jones, plus the show’s original creators Andy and Susan Borowitz as executive producers. It's a gooden. 

Friends: The Reunion

Okay so when we heard there was going to be a reunion, we thought we’d be getting the next chapter of our favourite on-screen mates, but when Ross said they were on a break, he didn’t realise there was no coming back. Instead, Friends: The Reunion is exactly what it says on the tin—a get-together of the cast as they reminisce on their time on the show, 15 years since it went off the air. Not quite the same, but we'll take it. Be warned, it's an emotional rollercoaster from start to finish so be sure to have some tissues handy. If you fancy a trip down memory lane while you're at it, then stop by the gang at Central Perk. Phoebe is performing ‘Smelly Cat’. Life is good. Catch all 10 seasons here. 

Got through everything TVNZ has to offer? Check out Neon, Amazon Prime, Netflix and more, here.

Image credit: TVNZ.

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