The 10 best TV shows on Neon TV New Zealand in 2020
Neon is home to the latest and greatest television shows in New Zealand. Here's the very best you can stream right now.
Neon TV is a young service compared to what else is out there in the streaming market. That said, this little Kiwi battler delivers more than its fair share of cutting-edge content, especially in terms of TV series. Collected below are the binge-watches you really ought to consume without delay…
1. Mayans M.C.
If nothing else, this spin-off series has staked its claim early as an incredibly violent sibling to Sons of Anarchy. Sure, the antics of the SOA crew in Northern California had the odd torture scene and murder, but that looks like playtime compared to the sadistic goings on with the Mayans down on the California/Mexico border. Ezekiel “EZ” Reyes, prospect in the Mayans M.C. Charter, is a complex and fascinating character. Faced with carving out a new identity for himself in a dead-end town, EZ’s need for vengeance drives him toward the biker life, a career choice he never intended and probably won’t be able to escape.
2. Sharp Objects
Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée (Big Little Lies) and based on the bestselling novel of the same name, Sharp Objects tells the tale of Camille Preaker (Oscar nominee Amy Adams), a big city journalist whose troubled past clashes with some shocking new realities as she returns to her rural hometown. What starts as a plan to cover the apparent murders of two preteen girls becomes an eye-opening half-remembering of her own repressed abuse. Pro tip for those of you about to watch: keep your eyes peeled for keywords. And don’t be surprised if they change from shot to shot.
Take a dash of Jurassic Park (sans dinosaurs) and a few hundred replicants a la Blade Runner, stir in some cowboy chic and you have Westworld. Forget virtual reality – this colossal-sized amusement park lets the uber-rich train in for a day to get their John Wayne on with absolute authenticity. The problem: for most guests, a “good time” almost always seems to entail a bit of less-than-sensual congress and the killing of the android actors. Adding to the conundrum, malfunctions are on the rise and the enigmatic owner of the park has a God complex. You can see where this is going…
4. Game of Thrones
A cursory glance at this might trick you into thinking you’re looking at some bog-standard fantasy fare, but you can pretty much forget about the squeaky clean adventures of The Lord of the Rings. Game of Thrones is dark stuff. The basic gist of it is what happens in the days and years after a fairy tale ending. Answer: conspiracy and regicide – war and chaos. You’d best not get too attached to the pieces on the board in the fight for Westeros. For one thing, major characters get offed in awful ways at the drop of a hat. For another, almost nobody in the game is tracking a growing apocalyptic threat that’ll slay them all come winter.
Meet up-and-coming rapper Alfred Miles (Donald Glover), a hot new artist who is trying to understand the line between real life and street life in Atlanta, one of the top cities for hip hop prospects. Managed by his ambitious cousin, Earn, who’ll do more or less anything to get his career to the next level, Alf must navigate the trials and tribulations of fame, success and an unruly entourage. Equal parts dark, weird and funny, Atlanta is a unique mixtape you need to check out immediately.
6. The Walking Dead
This long-running series is based upon one of the best zombie comic nook franchises ever made. In the early eps, The Walking Dead centres on Rick Grimes, an Atlantan sheriff who wakes from a coma to find a world gone mad. The undead (or “walkers”) roam the streets in shambling packs, and his wife and child are somewhere out in this mess. Cue an odyssey to rescue the few who can be saved and to keep himself and all he holds dear away from the worst monsters in this new world: other survivors.
The world we live in today loves to obsessively watch superstars who, nine times out of ten, have exploded into their fame way too fast. And this is where Spencer Strasmore (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) comes in. As an ex-NFL A-lister who’s “monetised his friendships”, Spencer begins to build a client base of troubled young phenoms who have more money and exposure than common sense. Created by Stephen Levinson (Entourage, Boardwalk Empire) Ballers will effortlessly win over even the least sports-oriented among you. The drama on display here is the real MVP.
Ewan McGregor fans, prepare yourself for a double dose. Self-made real estate mogul Emmit Stussy (McGregor) seemingly has it all – a lovely family, a successful business, and the moniker “The Parking Lot King of Minnesota”. This grinds the gears of his younger brother Ray (also Ewan McGregor), who’s always been at the shallow end of the gene pool in terms of looks and opportunities. It’s a rift exploited by Nikki, a parolee, who offers Stussy The Younger a chance to even the odds, monetarily. In true Fargo fashion, a simple plan goes boneheaded and some delightfully awkward hijinks ensue.
9. Ray Donovan
When the Hollywood elites need a fixer they turn to Ray Donovan. We’re talking dirty deeds done not-so-cheap, essentially. The problem: this South Boston hard case is a little too effective in this pushover tinsel town – climbing the ladder is easy and it puts him on the rolodex of some obscenely powerful and dangerous people. Worse, Ray’s recently paroled father, Mickey, is a stand-over man from another era who’s keen to connect with Ray’s young family (emotionally) while also connecting with Ray’s clientele (with baseball bats).
10. Patrick Melrose
You’ve got to love Benedict Cumberbatch. On a bad day he’s a brilliant actor, so it’s an absolute pleasure to watch him relish playing one of his self-confessed dream roles, the titular Patrick Melrose. This is a five-episode saga based on the semi-autobiographical Edward St. Aubyn novels that centre on the damaged son of a decadent, aristocratic family. Being weighed down by a childhood of unspeakable cruelty pushes an otherwise bright and capable Patrick down a path of addiction and severe substance abuse. Armed with a ridiculous amount of money, classic British charm and a whip-like wit, Patrick begins a journey to rock bottom that’s for the ages.