SUNDAY JULY 26
Country Calendar (TVNZ 1, 7.00pm). Tonight, kiwifruit growing in the King Country. Crazy!
Normal People (TVNZ 1, 10.30pm). Holy cow, if you thought it was slow on a binge-watch, imagine what it's like in weekly doses. Nevertheless, it's like Richard Linklater's Boyhood – you don't really see the scope of the thing until the very end and I guess I hadn't realised until the last episode how much Normal People is about Marianne and Connell's mental health (duh). Great performances by Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal, too.
TUESDAY JULY 28
Ordeal by Innocence (Prime, 8.30pm). The third of the Sarah Phelps' Agatha Christie adaptations and boy, is it a toxic brew. Wealthy heiress Rachel Argyll (Anna "imperious" Chancellor) is found bludgeoned to death, her son Jack (one of five adopted children) is arrested and dies in prison before the trial. Eighteen months later, here's a stranger (Harry Treadaway, so good) claiming an alibi for Jack. In addition, dad (Bill Nighey) is about to marry his secretary (Alice Eve) and wheelchair-using Philip, married to daughter Mary (Eleanor Tomlinson, what a cast), might be the most vicious role that Matthew Goode has ever had.
WEDNESDAY JULY 29
Punk (Prime, 8.30pm). Iggy Pop and fashion designer John Varvatos are executive producers and it screened on the US cable channel Epix last year, so for those of you who thought the Brits could lay claim to Punk, I dare say this four-part series (screening in double episodes from today) will have a different angle. It features, according to publicity, "interviews with America’s punk pioneers and the UK’s most notorious bands", including Johnny Rotten, Marky Ramone, Debbie Harry and Chris Stein, Duff McKagan, Wayne Kramer, Jello Biafra, Flea, Dave Grohl, Elektra Records' Danny Fields and filmmaker Penelope Spheeris. Related: Rialto is screening the doco Ronnie Wood: Somebody Up There Likes Me on Friday (8.30pm)
Wentworth (TVNZ 2, 9.00pm). It's like a soap with a cast of psychopaths. The Aussie prison drama returns for season eight; I have no idea what's going on at this point.
THURSDAY JULY 30
Stand Up Aotearoa (TVNZ 2, 8.00pm). For risking their lives during the Covid-19 pandemic, essential workers get a stand-up show hosted by Urzila Carlson and featuring Rhys Darby, Mel Bracewell, Paul Ego and others.
Beyond Matariki (Maori TV, 8.00pm). Professor Rangi Matamua, from the University of Waikato, explores Maori astronomy in this new series, catch-up on the first two episodes here.
STREAMING AND ELSEWHERE
The Humble Yum Yum (TVNZ OnDemand, Sunday). Ganesh Raj from Eat Well for Less NZ gets his own show in which he cooks low-cost meals (under $20). What's up with the title though?
Wasted (TVNZ OnDemand, Wednesday). Not that new – 2016 – but a thoroughly enjoyable Britcom in the style of Spaced and it features Sean Bean having a royal old time taking the mickey out of Ned Stark. A group of nerds in a West Country village have various pathetic adventures; it's funny because it's true.
NZ Hip Hop Stand Up (RNZ National). As has been noted elsewhere, this new podcast series about New Zealand hip-hop is awesome, I just wish the episodes were longer. Someone should interview director Chris Graham about all those amazing videos he's done over the years too. Also cool on RNZ National: Stacey Morrison's Healthy or Hoax and new podcast Only Human.