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Why Women Kill
Ignore the trashy title; this isn’t another once-over-lightly true crime doco.
Created by Marc “Desperate Housewives” Cherry, it’s a lavishly produced, whole-season show about why a woman (or possibly women) would take a life. (Or lives. We don’t know yet.)
Unlike season one, which looked at three different women from three different eras, who all killed at the same address, season two is sticking with just one: late-1940s Los Angeles.
The action centres around Alma Filcott (Allison Tolman), the veterinarian’s wife whose pride and joy is her garden. She wants nothing more than to join the prestigious Elysian Park Garden Club.
Alas, Alma may have a beautiful garden, but she’ll never fit in with the rich, skinny, social queens like Rita Castillo (Lana Parilla). Especially not when people find out the truth about her husband (Nick Frost).
Tolman and Frost are delightful together, and Parilla is suitably evil in a drop-dead glamorous way. New episodes arrive weekly; in the meantime, you can watch the whole first season.
The Jaquie Brown Diaries
Remember Auckland in the late 2000s?
Karen Walker New Zealand Fashion Week goody bags were worth fighting over, Matt Heath and Mikey Havoc were playing musical chairs on bFM and every aspiring woman in media wanted to be the next Petra Bagust.
Leading the bunch was Jaquie Brown, a former music TV presenter (like Petra), who had segued into journalism and radio. (Just like Petra. Just saying.)
Brown has a flair for comedy, especially satire, and with a cast of very noughties New Zealanders, The Jaquie Brown Diaries is a two-season satirical take on her quest to be famous. Watching it for the first time in 13 years, I’m struck by how well it’s aged.
Season two is remarkably prescient in terms of the fictional radio station Radio Hautaki; the reality TV show Celebrity Frontiers and the changes to news television.
Madeline Sami is an absolute star, foreshadowing her wonderful Super City, and it’s fun to see so many unexpected faces: Jon Bridges, the late Helena McAlpine and Cocksy, and Rhys Darby being hilarious as a parody of himself. Love this.
Detention Adventures would be a little like The Breakfast Club, if it were about a bunch of 13-year-olds who go to a school that Alexander Graham Bell taught at.
Rumoured to have left a lab hidden in the school, the kids discover the only access is from the detention room, so they have to get detentions to gain access.
Reluctantly teaming up with a boy who is always in detention, our explorers have to solve riddles to find the lab and save the school from a developer.
With messages of cooperation, compromise and the importance of different gifts meaning different types of intelligence, season one paves the way for season two, which has the team investigating a much-loved town elder’s problematic background and considering how different everyone’s home life can be. A new character brings OCD to the conversation, and, while it’s a bit clumsy at times, it’s an awesome representation of supporting friends with mental health difficulties.
Set in Canada, Detention Adventures openly discusses the seizure of Indigenous Canadian land, and urges everyone to consider whose land they’re on today.