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Disney’s Boba Fett, TVNZ’s Assembly Required among great shows to stream this weekend


ASSEMBLY REQUIRED (TVNZ ONDEMAND)

As Tool Time hosts Tim “The Toolman” Taylor and Al Borland, Tim Allen and Richard Karn dominated American prime-time from 1991 and 1999, as key figures of mega-popular sitcom Home Improvement.

More than two decades on (with Allen having finally laid to rest his latest decade-long comedy Last Man Standing earlier this year), the power-tool-loving couple are back. But thankfully, rather than following in the footsteps of contemporaries Full House, Saved By the Bell, Mad About You or Punky Brewster and attempting to revive the same shtick in a different day, Assembly Required turns the “gruesome twosome” into hosts of a real, Covid-compliant reality competition.

Each week three highly skilled “creators” are charged with taking on two tasks in the hope of winning a cash prize. While Allen and Karn commentate and query from their studio, footage of the trio unspools. The results are innovative, mostly well-thought out and hugely entertaining.

THE BOOK OF BOBA FETT (DISNEY+)

Kiwi actor Temuera Morrison’s near two-decade dream has finally come true.

He’s the lead in a Star Wars story, a seven-part The Mandalorian spin-off which continues his association with the Fett family first begun in 2002’s Attack of the Clones.

Back then Morrison’s Jango Fett was “just a man trying to make his way in the universe”, now, as his son Boba, he’s trying to make a name for himself in the galaxy’s underworld by taking over a Tattooine palace and wider territory that formerly cowered under the reign of Jabba the Hutt.

Writer Jon Favreau clearly thinks it’s 1983 all over again, not only offering up plenty for fans to chew on, but also casting the star of one that year’s other major movie hits in what looks to be a key role.

The Book of Boba Fett, Assembly Required and season four of Cobra Kai are among the great new shows available to stream this weekend.

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The Book of Boba Fett, Assembly Required and season four of Cobra Kai are among the great new shows available to stream this weekend.

READ MORE:
* Marvel’s No Way Home, Netflix’s Don’t Look Up among December’s must see movies
* Disney’s Boba Fett, Neon’s Sex sequel, Netflix’s Witcher among December’s must see TV
* The Teacher: Even Sheridan Smith can’t save TVNZ’s latest British thriller
* The Beatles: Get Back: Sir Peter Jackson’s stunning doco captures Fab 4’s last days

Season 4 of Cobra Kai is now available to stream on Netflix.

COBRA KAI (NETFLIX)

As the 10-episode, fourth season of this Karate Kid movie series debuts tonight (Friday), Johnny (William Zabka) and Daniel (Ralph Macchio) have combined dojos, but their opposing styles immediately clash. It’s something they will have to quickly sort out if they are take on and defeat Cobra Kai at the All Valley Under 18 Karate Tournament, because whoever loses will be forced to hang up their gi.

“There’s nothing quite as bonkers as Season 2’s high-school rumble, but this fourth year is a glossier affair, capped with a show-stopping finale that somehow manages to raise the stakes yet again,” wrote Empire magazine’s James Dyer.

HOUSEBROKEN (TVNZ ONDEMAND)

Lisa Kudrow, Tony Hale, Will Forte, Kristen Bell, Dax Shepard and Sharon Horgan are among the impressively talented vocal cast for this 10-part animated series about a dog who runs group therapy sessions to help neighbourhood animals manage the neuroses brought on by their owners – and each other.

“These actors are sharp enough to make the characterizations more three-dimensional than first meets the eye,” wrote Variety’s Caroline Framke. Elsewhere, CBR’s Josh Bell thought that “simple, low-key jokes make HouseBroken a laid-back, undemanding watch, with bright, clear animation”.

MacGruber is now available to stream on TVNZ OnDemand.

MACGRUBER (TVNZ ONDEMAND)

Will Forte revives his former Saturday Night Live parody of beloved 1980s TV show MacGyver for this eight-part comedy.

After rotting in prison for a decade, America’s ultimate hero and uber-patriot is finally released. His new mission? To take down a mysterious villain from his past – Brigadier Commander Enos Queeth (Billy Zane). Kristen Wiig, Ryan Phillippe, Sam Elliott and Laurence Fishburne also star.

“It’s Wiig as Vicki St. Elmo who steals the show, digging deep into her bag of tone-deaf accents and silly love songs,” wrote Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Neal Justin.

STATION ELEVEN (NEON/SKY GO)

Like the quite brilliant, Kiwi-shot Sweet Tooth, this 10-part sci-fi saga is based on an already popular literary source (here it’s Emily St. John Mandel’s award-winning 2014 novel of the same name) and its fractured narrative flits between the build-up and causes of the epidemic and the struggles the remnants of humanity face in its aftermath.

The cast includes Mackenzie Davis, Himesh Patel and Lori Petty.

With as much emphasis placed on the characters and emotional drama as the sci-fi elements, Station Eleven is a show that’s easy to get hooked on and hard not to bemoan the seemingly long wait for the next episodes.

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The Sex Lives of College Girls is now streaming on Neon and SkyGo.

THE SEX LIVES OF COLLEGE GIRLS (NEON/SKYGO)

Forget the return of Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte, these are the free-spirited women you should spend late 2021 hanging out with.

From the combined minds that brought us The Mindy Project and Brooklyn Nine-Nine – Justin Noble and Mindy Kaling – comes this hilarious 10-part comedy about a quartet of disparate first-years at Vermont’s Essex College.

While we’re not quite talking The Young Ones-level of anarchy and madness, this is a US campus comedy that isn’t afraid to push the envelope and present its characters as flawed, but three-dimensional characters.

And yes, there will be inevitable comparisons made between this and Lena Dunham’s Girls, but this plays lighter and more middle-America than New York chic and cynicism.

THE WITCHER (NETFLIX)

The second season of this mega-popular fantasy series picks up the action after the Battle of Sodden.

Convinced Yennefer’s life was lost there, Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill) brings Princess Cirilla (Freya Allan) to the safest place he knows, his childhood home of Kare Morhen. While the Continent’s kings, elves, humans and demons strive for supremacy outside its walls, he must protect the girl from something far more dangerous: the mysterious power she possesses inside.

“Season 2 is absolutely packed with action as well as essential world building that adds up to a show that is, once again, incredibly fun to watch and easy to become immersed in,” wrote Paste magazine’s Allison Keene.



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