Neon's ZeroZeroZero, Netflix's Marriage or Mortgage among great shows to watch

AGE OF SAMURAI: BATTLE FOR JAPAN (NETFLIX)
This six-part documentary series details Japans turbulent times in the 16th century. Thats a part of the countrys history known as the Sengoku period, when near-constant civil war, political intrigue and social upheaval dominated. Features commentary by historians and re-enactments of key moments.

Its standard stuff on both sides historians and academics providing the context on Japans history, culture, and traditions, and the drama is as bold and bloody as possible to tie a little bow on the drier material. Its an effective blend and works mightily well, though in large part because the story itself, beginning in 1551 with the death of Oda Nobuhide, is so fascinating, wrote Ready Steady Cuts Jonathon Wilson.

ALLEN V. FARROW (NEON)


Featuring almost forensic detail, heartwrenching testimony and bitter recriminations, Amy Ziering and Kirby Dicks investigation is best described as this years Leaving Neverland.

As Wood Allen and ex-wife Mia Farrows adopted daughter Dylan Farrow puts it in the opening moments, there has been so much misinformation, lies and obfuscation. Ive been subject to doubt, scrutiny and humiliation, as well as sleepless nights and panic attacks. Her aim is to set the record straight and, in one of many magnificent soundbites, tells us, no matter what you think you know its just the tip of the iceberg.

Yes, with Allen and his supporters unsurprisingly choosing not to be involved in the production, Allen v. Farrow is definitely not a cold-eyed, dispassionate look at the facts. Emotions are very much on display and every viewer will have their own take on mother and daughter Farrows heartfelt testimony.

Supplied
Marriage or Mortgage, ZeroZeroZero and The Gulf are among the great new shows available to stream this week.

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Netflix
Behind Her Eyes is now streaming on Netflix.

BEHIND HER EYES (NETFLIX)

If you were a fan of British thrillers like Doctor Foster, Deadwater Fell and The Deceived, then its likely youll fall for Netflixs latest offering.

Based on the 2017 novel of the same name by Sarah Pinborough, this six-part story is very much a psychological drama filled with twists, turns and plenty of tumult. Screenwriter Steve Lightfoot brings the same sense of character-driven tension building with a hint of dreamlike surreality to Eyes that made his TV adaptation of Thomas Harris Hannibal Lecter such a hypnotic hit.

BURIED BY THE BERNARDS (NETFLIX)

Clearly inspired by our own Casketeers, this new US reality series throws the spotlight on the family behind Memphis R. Bernard Funeral Services. Theres Ryan Bernard and his mother Debbie, as well as his daughter Deja and Raegan and loveable, nutty Uncle Kevin.

Since 2017, theyve been offering affordable funeral packages to a community who had struggled to meet the rising costs of farewelling their loved ones.

A funny and warm look at a family business that we don't often get an inside look at, wrote Deciders Joel Keller.

THREE
Local drama The Gulf continues its second season.

THE GULF (THREE NOW)

At times, there is a sense of this Kiwi crime series magpie-ing from similar dark cop dramas from around the globe a plot-thread straight out of Broadchurch here, a character relationship eerily similar to Prodigal Son there, Shetlands windswept, isolated backdrop seemingly everywhere and aesthetic inspiration from The Killing and other Scandi-noirs throughout (it is a co-production with Scandinavias southern border buddies Germany after all).

But, theres also an organic, Kiwi feel to the set-up of this slow-burner. With its moody skies and varied temperatures, The Gulfs main Waiheke locations are a character in itself, adding much to the chilly, cool atmosphere of events. Former Shortland Street star Ido Drent and, in particular, Wentworths Kate Elliott do a good job of brharapg their troubled characters to life, making them not always likeable in their actions, but constantly holding your attention and guessing as to their next moves.

MARRIAGE OR MORTGAGE (NETFLIX)

In this new 10-episode reality series, wedding planner Sarah Miller and real estate agent Nichole Holmes compete to win the hearts and budgets of an eclectic range of spouses-to-be. Will they pick fairytale nuptials? Or a dream home?

The show is essentially a peppy, Hunger Gamesesque competition for a couple's life savings, wrote Glamour magazines Christopher Rosa. Miller and Holmes, enthusiastic and determined, with nearly identical auburn hair, pull out all the stops to win.

Neon
ZeroZeroZero is now available to stream on Neon.

WELLINGTON PARANORMAL (TVNZ ONDEMAND)

Move over Police Ten7, Highway Cops, even Dog Squad: Puppy School, New Zealand's most entertaining law enforcement series is back.

On the evidence of the season three opener, there are still plenty of laughs to be wrung from the mockumentary conceit. This Tim Van Dammen-directed (Mega Time Squad) tale gives the central duo (Mike Minogue and Karen OLeary) plenty of opportunities to showcase their deadpan delivery skills and penchant for physical humour. Its true you have to have a certain tolerance for cringe comedy, but with the gag quotient extremely high, theres something to tickle everyones funnybone as the 20 or so minutes fly by.

ZEROZEROZERO (NEON)

Set in the world of drug trafficking, this crime drama quickly establishes its intimate style and vast scope in the absorbing opening episode. We travel to New Orleans, Mexicos Monterrey and a small village in the Italian region of Calabria, as we meet the buyers, the sellers and the brokers of a large cocaine deal (as well as the authorities who surveil them).

Crafted by an Italian creative trio who include Sicario: Day of the Soldado screenwriter Stefano Sollima and based on the book by Gomorrah author Roberto Saviano, ZeroZeroZero (a title alluding to the purity of the product being transacted) doesnt shy away from violence or its consequences and comes with a warning to prospective audiences that they shouldnt get too attached to particular characters.

Throw in a terrific cast that includes Gabriel Byrne, Andrea Riseborough, Dane DeHaan and The Missings Tchky Karyo, as well as a tension-building, atmospheric score by Scottish post-rockers Mogwai, and the result is highly addictive viewing.

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