The Wellington City Libraries Ratings Project

Why does it take so long for things to be released on DVD? Why are some TV shows not released here at all, even though they are available in Australia?

New Zealand has its own ratings system that is different than Australia’s. Films & TV Shows that are rated ‘M’ in Australia can be cross-rated here at the same rating level. However anything that is rated an ‘M+’ in Australia has to be submitted to the Office of Film and Literature Classification for re-classification for the NZ market. Unfortunately since New Zealand’s DVD zone is at the end of the release market for a lot of material and, faced with such a small market, procedural costs then often become prohibitive to warrant general release by a commercial distributor.

We love TV shows at Wellington City Libraries, and we know you do too. Which is why we have initiated ‘The Ratings Project’, an ongoing mission to bring you the shows that you want to watch by submitting titles to the Film Video Labelling Body, and the OFLC for classification.

We’re aiming to give you the complete ‘TV’ experience, whether we provide you with full run of your favourite TV shows, or surprise you with something new & different. We hope you find something you enjoy and feel free to send us any feedback and suggestions.

First up are the following shows:

Cover imageBroadchurch.
“When ITV first started screening Broadchurch, ostensibly a murder mystery from the mind of Chris Chibnall, it didn’t really get an awful lot of attention…However, as the weeks went by on original transmission, Broadchurch escalated, and by the end, large parts of the nation were gripped by one of the best mysteries to have screened in many, many years. No wonder a second series was swiftly announced. This first one introduces us to the apparently quiet town of Broadchurch in south England. There, an 11-year schoolboy has gone missing, as two detectives, who hardly get on, are forced to join together to get to the bottom of what’s happened. But all is not what it seems in Broadchurch, and to say any more would spoil the undoubted fun in watching it all unfold. For this is premier quality drama. Tennant and Colman are excellent, but the ensemble cast bring a collection of excellent, believable performances too. It’s the writing that lifts things, though, and you can’t help but be gripped as the story unravels…” (From Amazon.co.uk review)

Cover imageLife. Season two.
“He’s got a second chance at life… and he’s doing whatever it takes to make every moment count in all 21 Second Season episodes of the clever, critically acclaimed series, Life. Golden Globe Award nominee Damian Lewis returns as Charlie Crews, an eccentric detective returning to the force after being wrongfully imprisoned. Back on the beat with his determined partner, Dani Reese (Sarah Shahi), and his unusually Zen-like outlook toward the cases he investigates, this unconventional crime solver tries to catch the LA wrongdoers who really belong behind bars – as well as whomever was behind his own fall from grace. Discover why critics declare, “Life is laconic, witty, and refreshingly curious.” (Maureen Ryan, Chicago Tribune)…” (Product Description from Amazon.com)

Cover imageContinuum. Season one.
“All ten episodes from the first season of the time-travelling Canadian sci-fi drama. Whilst attempting to stop eight terrorists, known as Liber8, from escaping execution, Vancouver law enforcement officer Kiera Cameron (Rachel Nichols) finds herself transported from the year 2077 to 2012. In her attempts to track down the terrorists and prevent them from changing the future, Keira joins the present day Vancouver Police Department, enlisting the help of 17-year-old tech geek Alec Sadler (Erik Knudsen) and local officer Carlos Fonnegra (Victor Webster)…” (Product description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageHaven. The complete second season.
“A drama following former FBI Agent Audrey Parker, who was brought to Haven, Maine by a routine case. The town turned out to be a longtime refuge for people that are affected by a range of supernatural afflictions. Audrey chose to stay in Haven and explore its many secrets — including her own surprising connections to this extraordinary place. Season 2 begins as Audrey and Nathan discover a supernatural threat visiting deadly plagues upon the town – all while grappling with a visitor to town who shares Audrey’s name and memories…” (From Syndetics summary)

Cover imageHaven. The complete third season.
“Haven, Maine hides its secrets well. After arriving in the seaside town on assignment, FBI Agent Audrey Parke found herself drawn to Haven’s picturesque scenery and welcoming residents. But the lively coastal town harbors a troubling past that threatens to boil over-and Audrey decided to leave the FBI to stay in town and investigate a series of supernatural cases. Audrey soon learned that many people in Haven have long been cursed with a variety of supernatural afflictions, called “troubles” in Haven lore, and that she is uniquely suited to aid the afflicted. Joining the Haven Police Department and partnering with Nathan Wuornos, Audrey began to realize that it was fate-not luck-that brought her here and quest to understand herself and the great mysteries of Haven will drive her ever deeper down the rabbit hole…” (From Syndetics summary)

Cover imageAshes to Ashes. The complete series three.
“We’ve come so far and now the end is near. The journey that began with ‘Life on Mars’ concludes as Alex Drake embarks on her final mission: to uncover the truth about Gene Hunt and unlock the dark secrets of this World. Alex is back, only this time it’s 1983 and something feels different. The arrival of DCI Jim Keats, sent by Scotland Yard to monitor the station’s performance, throws some unexpected light on past events. Haunted by the ghost of a policeman, Alex decides that her only hope in getting home lies in finding out what really happened to Sam Tyler…” (Product description from Amazon.com)

Cover imageBurn notice. Season four.
“The gear-head equivalent of fast food, USA’s Burn Notice, returns with a new wrinkle in its fourth season. Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan) gets an irresistible offer to work for the very people who relieved him from spy duty, so he rejoins Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar) and Sam (Bruce Campbell), while working with Vaughn (The Wire’s Robert Wisdom) on the side… When Michael burns another spy in the process, he adds Jesse (Third Watch’s Coby Bell) to the team and tries to remove the burn–all without admitting his guilt…Adding a new character to an established show represents a risk, but Bell fits right in and…Burn Notice remains as destructive as ever with car crashes, fiery explosions, and high-powered weaponry, but there’s nothing else quite like it on TV…” (Abridged from Amazon.com review)

Cover imageBurn notice. Season five.
“Returning for its fifth season and promising more suspense, more drama and more action than ever before. Burn Notice stars Jeffrey Donovan as Micheal Westen, a blacklisted spy who winds up stranded in blue-sky Miami. While technically still considered a civilian, Michael Westen works with the CIA to investigate and dismantle the secret organisation that burned him; all the while Michael searches for answers to the questions that have plagued him ever since his arrival in Miami: Who gave the order to burn him, and why? Six months have passed since he was welcomed back into the fold, and still Michael finds himself no closer to getting the answers he seeks. Beside him, as always, is the beautifully hot tempered, bomb-happy Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar); our favourite Mojito-loving retired Navy Seal, Sam (Bruce Campbell); and the team’s newest addition Jesse (Coby Bell), who’s quickly getting used to his new life in Miami. Sharon Gless stars in her Emmy®-nominated role as Michael’s sharp-tongued mother Madeline…” (Product description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageBurn notice. Season six.
“There’s trouble in paradise for former CIA operative Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan) and his cohorts, and the streets of Miami are hotter–and deadlier–than ever before in the action-packed, adrenaline-charged sixth season of Burn Notice. In hot pursuit of his old nemesis, Michael must take down Anson Fullerton (Jere Burns) and find a way to free Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar) from prison, where she is being targeted by a murderous foe. Michael goes full force to save Fiona as he takes on cold-blooded assassins, diabolical drug cartels, uneasy alliances, and explosive danger at every turn, until an unthinkable tragedy leaves him reeling and rocks his team to the very core…” (Product description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageThe good wife. The third season.
“Discover this third season, and discover that perhaps the good wife is not afraid to be bad. Tougher in the courtroom, stronger for her family and hotter than ever behind closed doors, season 3 reveals a new side to Alicia Florrick (Emmy® and Golden Globe® winner* Julianna Margulies)… and she likes it. Upping her game at the office, Alicia is pivotal in helping Lockhart/Gardner navigate a year of rough waters. While she and Will (Josh Charles) finally get their romantic timing right, there are consequences for both. She has a new professional adversary in her ex, Peter Florrick (Chris Noth), who aligns with Alicia’s rival Cary (Matt Czuchry). Will faces disbarment, Diane (Christine Baranski) tries to keep the firm afloat and Kalinda (Emmy® winner** Archie Panjabi) tries to mend her damaged relationship with her best friend. Meanwhile, Eli (Alan Cumming) has joined the firm, clashing with partners, attorneys and Alicia as only he can…” (Product description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageThe good wife. The fourth season.
“Alicia Florrick (Emmy® and Golden Globe® winner Julianna Margulies) brings her sharp mind and signature grace to challenges both in and out of the courtroom. This season, she falls in sync with estranged husband Peter (Chris Noth) even as she and Will (Josh Charles) continue to flirt with temptation. And her career is finally flourishing as she’s offered partnership status and gains more power at the office. Diane (Christine Baranski), Cary (Matt Czuchry) and Kalinda (Emmy winner Archie Panjabi) each face their own predicaments as the firm pulls out from under its debt, Cary struggles to carve his own niche, and Kalinda tangles with a volatile, mysterious ex-husband. Peter’s gubernatorial campaign hits its stride, as Eli (Alan Cumming) falls under Federal investigation and battles new threats to his candidate’s political future. The fallout reaches Alicia, as well, as she braves a new barrage of personal and professional adversaries, challenging her roles as a mother, lawyer and woman…” (Product description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageFoyle’s War. Series eight, The Cold War files.
“Michael Kitchen returns to the screen as Detective Chief Superintendent Foyle, a man of scrupulous integrity who has survived the First World War, solved crime wherever it led him during the Second World War, and now finds himself called into duty at the risk of a possible Third. The second World War may be over but a new one is beginning, less explosive but no less deadly a Cold War. Foyle finds himself drawn into complex webs of security and counter security where the loyalties of even those closest to him are brought into question as he joins, somewhat unwillingly at first, the ranks of MI5…” (From Syndetics summary)

Cover imageGeorge Gently. Series 4.
“Martin Shaw (Death in Holy Orders) is back as Inspector George Gently, a by-the-book cop from London now working in the North East of England. This corner of the country is just starting to experience the social changes sweeping the rest of 1960s Britain, but the former Scotland Yard detective finds that crime occurs here the same as anywhere else. In his meticulous manner, Gently examines the passions and planning that lead to murder, his methods more often than not offset by those of his cocky young sidekick, Sergeant John Bacchus (Lee Ingleby, Place of Execution). In these two feature-length mysteries, Gently and Bacchus investigate the suspicious death of an ex-informant facing a seemingly hopeless future, as well as the murder of a young woman poised on the brink of an exciting new chapter in her life. “Splendid” —Los Angeles Times…’ (Product description from Amazon.com)

Cover imageLewis. Series six.
“What’s good about this show is obvious enough: clever premises, veteran actors thoroughly at home in their roles, touches of subtle wit, and murder cases with enough suspects to keep even the most diligent viewers busy…Inspector Robert “Robbie” Lewis (Kevin Whately), a self-described “plodder” who’s nearing retirement, and his right-hand man, Sergeant James Hathaway (Laurence Fox), solve their cases the old-fashioned way, interviewing suspects and witnesses, checking out the crime scene, conferring with Medical Examiner Dr. Laura Hobson (Clare Holman), with whom Lewis is now romantically entwined, and so on…As in all good mysteries, the perp is never the most obvious choice. But very few others find their characters discussing, say, the possible compatibility of faith and rationality, among other heady topics. They don’t make ’em like Inspector Lewis anymore…which is all the more reason for amateur sleuths to treasure this smart, engaging show…” (Abridged from Amazon.com review)

Cover imageVera. Series two.
“Vera follows the work of Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope, a woman driven to solve crime, whilst battling a catalogue of problems of her own. So far, so conventional. Television is hardly short of detectives, after all. But Vera has a trump card, and her name is Brenda Blethyn. The Oscar-nominated actress gives a considered performance in the title role, and the lends the show the gravitas it needs to keep us hooked. Blethyn is front and centre for much of the four episodes collected together here, and it’s a complex collection of cases she’s presented with. For instance, she has to face the mysterious suicide of a former colleague, and the odd murder of a social worker, each of which comes with a labyrinthine backstory that Vera needs to get to grips with…Based once more on Ann Cleeves’ novels, the wonderful Blethyn has proven to be a divisive choice amongst hardened fans of the books, and whilst her character is deepened here, more work on the writing and less reliance on the leading actress would serve the show well. That said, her adventures here are fleshed out, interesting, and intriguing to watch…” (Abridged from Amazon.co.uk review)

Cover imageVera. Series three.
“Two-time Oscar nominee Brenda Blethyn (Pride & Prejudice, Atonement) plays Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope in this compelling mystery series inspired by Ann Cleeves’s bestselling novels. Patrolling her patch of northeast England, Vera resolutely pursues the truth in cases of murder, kidnapping, and blackmail. While her manner is sometimes caustic, her single-mindedness gets results. Vera is supported by her trusted team, including right-hand man Detective Sergeant Joe Ashworth (David Leon, RocknRolla). A family man, Ashworth is ever trying to strike a balance between home and work. Meanwhile, forensic pathologist Billy Cartwright (Paul Ritter, The Eagle) and Detective Constable Kenny Lockhart (Jon Morrison, High Times) tend to bring out the scathing side of their boss. Guest stars in these four new feature-length dramas include Saskia Reeves (Luther), Dean Andrews (Life on Mars), and Liam Cunningham (Game of Thrones)…” (Product description from Amazon.com)

We hope you enjoy these shows and stay tuned for the next instalment in ‘The Ratings Project’…

2 thoughts on “The Wellington City Libraries Ratings Project”

  1. I would love to see Wellington City Libraries acquire the documentary Miss Representation if possible.

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