Taskmaster: Champion of Champions (8.30pm, Wednesday 21 September, TVNZ 2)
It’s finally time for Taskmaster’s best and brightest to compete in the ultimate test to determine who is the champion of champions.
Comedians Liza Tarbuck, Kerry Godliman, Lou Sanders, Ed Gamble and Richard Herring bring together the winners of the last five Taskmaster seasons to compete against each other, while Greg Davies and little Alex Horne give them another series of weird and wonderful tasks.
Get ready for more insane mayhem as these brave souls once again forsake their dignity.
* Official Competition: Spanish Dramedy, a seedy, satirical approach to filmmaking
* Heartbreak High: Kiwi Rachel House, the scene stealer of the amazing Netflix update
* Gaslit: Julia Roberts excels as “The Mouth of the South” in Prime Video’s political thriller
* American Gigolo: Smart, modern update of the 1980 cult classic making its debut
* Neon’s American Gigolo, Netflix’s Heartbreak High among September’s must-watch TV shows
* Netflix’s Blonde, Disney’s Pinocchio, Paradise Ticket are among September’s must-see movies
Swipe With Caution (8.40pm, Tuesday 20 September, TVNZ 1)
Dating apps have revolutionized the way we search for love — but is it ever really safe to meet strangers online? This documentary looks at the use of dating apps in Aotearoa and reveals how they have changed the way Kiwis find love over the past decade.
The producers promise powerful and compelling first-hand accounts of New Zealand victims implicated in cases where things have gone horribly wrong. New Zealand police, experts and victims also share how app users can best protect themselves when looking for love online.
Newshub Investigates: The Enchanter Tragedy (8:40 p.m. Tuesday, September 20, three)
On March 20, 2022, 10 Kiwi guys were returning from the “fishing trip of a lifetime” in the Three Kings Islands when disaster struck. Only five made it home alive.
Never-before-seen rescue footage and audio from first responders help Newshub reporter Karen Rutherford investigate how this unfathomable tragedy unfolded and how everyone involved – the survivors, victims’ families and rescue workers – was forever affected by that night’s events were.
Fight Club (9:30 p.m., Tuesday, September 20, Duke)
Based on Chuck Palahniuk’s novel, even more than 20 years after its original publication in 1999, this is not for the faint of heart. Director David Fincher (Se7en) created a nightmarish world that was perfect for the pre-millennium tensions of the world and feels just as unsettling in these troubled and isolating times.
The late ’90s response to A Clockwork Orange originally seemed destined to spark the same controversy as Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 film. But while the graphic violence and extremely dark humor leave viewers both jaded and entertained, there’s a message in the madness – in 1999 it might have been an indictment of consumption, but now this feels disturbing, disturbing and quite brilliantly investigating the toxic masculinity.
Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Helena Bonham-Carter and Meatloaf Star.
The Dead Lands (8.30pm, Wednesday 21 September, Whakaata Māori)
Toa Fraser directed this 2014 Kiwi action-adventure about the teenage son of a murdered Maori chief who seeks avenge for his father’s murder. James Rolleston, Lawrence Makoare and Te Kohe Tuhaka star in the lead roles.
“A banger that delivers an unexpected emotional punch along with gore, thrills and spectacular scenery,” wrote Salon.com’s Andrew O’Hehir.
Shining Vale (9 p.m., Thursdays from September 22, SoHo)
Broadcast premiere for Friends and Cougar Town star Courteney Cox’s recent return to television.
This is an eight-part horror comedy about a family who moves to a small town and a home where terrible atrocities previously took place.
Cox’ Pat Phelps, once the author of a best-selling novel about women’s empowerment, is quickly convinced that she is either depressed or obsessed with her new surroundings. Greg Kinnear and Rob Morrow also make appearances.
“Aided by a star from Cox and some hilarious throwbacks to sit alongside new versions of past horrors, this chaotic but fun genre mash-up makes for a fun viewing,” wrote Empire magazine’s Jordan King.
Brokeback Mountain (7:30 p.m., Friday, September 23, Bravo)
Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway and Michelle Williams star in Ang Lee’s haunting, heartbreaking, Oscar-winning 2005 drama about a forbidden and mysterious relationship between two cowboys.
“This film is determined to engage us in the naturalness, and even inevitability, of its epic, complicated love story,” wrote Los Angeles Times’ Kenneth Turan.