tv

Kiwi girl gets big break on US TV show

Taken from Stuff, by Ben Hill.

Angela Zhou has gone from studying politics and economics to starring in an American television series.

The former Macleans College head girl left Auckland to chase her acting dream in Los Angeles after completing a Bachelor of Arts degree at Duke University, with the help of a scholarship.

After a successful audition, she found herself travelling to Canada to begin filming for season five of Hell on Wheels.

"I figured I was young and might as well try or else live with regret," Zhou said.

It is a Western drama set during the building of the first transcontinental railroad across the United States in the 1860s.

It screens on AMC in the United States, the same channel that produced the hugely-popular Breaking Bad and Mad Men.

"It's been such a blessing to work on Hell On Wheels, not only because it was an incredible break for my career, but also because it's the best crew."


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New webseries ‘Game Over’ launches

“When I grow up, I want to marry a grown man addicted to playing video games,” said nobody ever.

Game Over is a ten part web series following the lives of four Kiwi girls who bond together from their shared hate of computer games. In a quest to stop their addicted boyfriends from gaming their lives away, the four girls start up a secret club. Can these four unlikely friends band together to reclaim their relationships and freedom?

Directed by Trish Phelan, the cast and crew behind Game Over are a mix of multi-talented females. With their skills in directing, writing, improv and comedy, only very good things can come from such a talented and fresh group of women.

Featuring Auckland Actors' Lana Walters and Jess Holly Bates.


Watch the series here.
   

Westside gets $7.6m funding for second season

Taken from NZ Herald.

A second season of Outrageous Fortune prequel Westside has been confirmed in the latest funding announcement from NZ on Air.

NZ on Air has announced that $20.3 million from its first funding round of the financial year will be invested in local drama and documentaries.

Fans of Outrageous Fortune's West family will be treated to a second series of prequel Westside on TV3, with 10 new episodes announced at a cost of $7.6 million.

A new series announced for TV One is Dirty Laundry, a 13-part drama centred on a middle-class family whose mother is jailed for money laundering, while the rest of the family must decide whether to keep her business interests going to sustain their lifestyle.


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Top of the Lake 2 moves to Oz

Taken from if.com.au, by Don Groves.

The sequel to Top of the Lake will be set and shot in Sydney.

Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss returns as Detective Robin Griffin, who investigates a criminal case in the Harbour City.

Jane Campion and Gerard Lee, who created the original 6-part series, are writing the scripts for Top of the Lake 2.

BBC2 commissioned a sequel after the first series, which followed Griffin as she investigated the disappearance of a pregnant 12-year-old girl in New Zealand, was nominated for eight Emmys and won the gong for best cinematography for a TV movie or miniseries.


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Filthy Rich: NZ’s most expensive TV show starts filming

Taken from NZ Herald.

Filming has begun on the country's most expensive television series, appropriately titled Filthy Rich, set to screen on TV2 next year.

The multi-night drama will star Miriama Smith opposite a cast of up-and-comers, including Josh McKenzie, Alex Tarrant, Taylor Hall and Emma Fenton.

They'll be joined by familiar faces, including Elizabeth Hawthorne and Jodie Rimmer.

The series, produced by Shortland Street's Steven Zanoski, received $8.25 million of funding from New Zealand on Air, the most money ever handed out to a single drama series.


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Maori TV’s home-grown winners enrich comedy scene

Taken from NZ Herald, by Alex Casey.

Overshadowed by other seismic shifts in our TV landscape, Maori TV recently debuted local Friday-night comedies Brown Eye and Find Me a Maori Bride. Going head-to-head with comedy juggernauts Jono and Ben and 7 Days, both shows are adding some much-needed fresh perspectives to New Zealand television comedy.

... Find Me a Maori Bride is the second new comedy kid on the block, a fantastic mockumentary following two culturally-estranged cousins forced to marry a Maori woman in order to return to tradition - and secure a $47 million inheritance. It's the perfect blend of comedy, culture and chaotic camerawork - shambolically following the characters on their equally shaky journeys to love.

We meet George and Tama as they begin dating and desperately trying to claw back their cultural roots to win over the wahine. Stereotypes are brought to the fore and treated playfully; a comedic exploration of what it means to be Maori in modern New Zealand.

"I'm allergic to seafood, I've never owned a Bob Marley CD in my life," George laments. Te reo is peppered throughout the script, and subsequently misused by Amanda Billing's character Crystal. Subtitles reveal the English names for her children (one is called Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls.)


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Must-see TV: Find Me A Maori Bride

Taken from NZ Herald.

No, it's not the Maori TV answer to The Bachelor NZ. Though there are plenty of moments in the early episodes of Find Me A Maori Bride just as excruciatingly hilarious as the recent reality show.

Only this time they are intentional - Find Me A Maori Bride is a mock reality series, one that has much fun skewering the fly-on-the-wall genre.

Fortunately, the makers of Find Me A Maori Bride have had some practice with that, having done the same on Auckland Daze, which mocked a bunch of struggling actors and their fragile egos.

Fans of Daze will find a lot to like here. Folks who don't like flash Aucklanders will too.


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Westside: Outrageous Fortune rewinds the clock

Taken from NZ Herald, by Lydia Jenkins.

It opens at Mt Eden Prison, January 24, 1974, with Ted West walking out of the gate, finally free. He's all sideburns and leather jacket, mixed with a cheeky grin and sidelong glance. It turns out he's been inside for three years, having copped the sentence for the bungled burglary of a safe at Smith & Caughey's.

Yes, Ted West, criminal mastermind, is back. But it's not Outrageous Fortune, season seven. The original show's creators Rachel Lang and James Griffin have turned back the clock to find Ted in his prime. He's a charismatic 30-something, with a firecracker of a wife in Rita, and an 11-year-old son,Wolf, who's already showing signs of following in his father's footsteps.

There are lamingtons and screwdrivers, sausage rolls and crates of beer, lots of orange, lots of brown, vintage Holdens and Fords. This is Westside, the tale of Ted, his family and his gang, cruising and bruising through the 1970s.

Lang and Griffin never expected to return to the notorious West family - as Lang says, after they finished Outrageous Fortune in 2010, they were "really quite shagged". But though she was looking for a local historical criminal event to base a new series on, the idea for Westside popped up.


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What Now’s new presenter Bianca Seinafo

Taken from Stuff.co.nz

Bianca Seinafo has just been named as What Now's new presenter. She tells James Croot a bit about herself and what she's most looking-forward to in her new role.

Firstly, congratulations Bianca. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I grew up in Bromley, Christchurch with a household of three brothers and two sisters, so my parents had their very own version of The Brady Bunch. Growing up, I spent a lot of time with my wonderful church family - The Tafesilafa'l Community. This is where I got to strut my stuff on the Sunday school stage, I guess you can say. That's where my love for performance started. I love eating, laughing and spending time with my family.

What made you decide you wanted to be a What Now presenter?
Reading the job description and thinking back to when I was a kid watching. I knew I wanted to be part of the chaotic, funny, quirky and fast-paced world of What Now. The biggest factor in my decision to putting myself forward, was my two gorgeous nephews Cassius and Corleone. They watch the show and LOVE IT, so being able to say Aunty Bee is going to try and be on What Now and them seeing me pursue a goal of mine, was definitely very motivating!


Read the full interview here.
   

Dancing with the Stars full line up revealed

Taken from NZ Herald.

Heavyweight boxer Shane Cameron, broadcaster Simon Barnett and former Bachelor contestant Chrystal Chenery have been confirmed to join a new reboot of Dancing With The Stars, as the full line up is revealed.

The announcement confirms a Herald on Sunday story this week, which reported Pam Corkery, Maz Quinn, Siobhan Marshall, Teuila Blakely, Colin Mathura-Jeffree and Ben Barrington had signed up for the new series.

Radio host Jay-Jay Harvey was the first contestant to be announced last week. She will partner with South African dancer Enrique Johns, who she has already nicknamed "Brown Sugar".

No official launch date has been announced for the popular dance contest but the Herald understands it is due to launch at the end of this month.


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