Go- to guide for 2012

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Television - GUY DAVIS

WITH a new year comes a crop of new shows – some sparkling and new, some lov­ingly made- over ver­sions of old favourites, some im­ported from far­away lands and some made here in Aus­tralia. Here’s just a hand­ful of what’s on of­fer from the free- to- air net­works and pay- TV sta­tions in the next 12 months. BEA­CONS­FIELD ( WIN) The 2006 mine col­lapse at Bea­cons­field, which killed one man and left two oth­ers stranded a kilo­me­tre un­der­ground, had the en­tire na­tion pray­ing for a mir­a­cle, one that hap­pened when Tassie min­ers Brant Webb and Todd Rus­sell were res­cued af­ter a fort­night trapped un­der tonnes of un­sta­ble rock. This tele­movie doc­u­ments the ef­forts to save the two men and the courage of Webb and Rus­sell ( played by a per­fectly cast Shane Ja­cob­son and Lachy Hulme re­spec­tively) as they faced over­whelm­ing odds. CON­SPIR­ACY 365 ( FMC pay- TV) Gabrielle Lord’s best- sell­ing se­ries of young- adult ad­ven­ture nov­els comes to the screen in this big- bud­get, ac­tion- packed 13- part se­ries that thrusts its young hero Cal Or­mond ( Har­ri­son Gil­bert­son) into a sin­is­ter plot where the stakes are high and no one can be trusted. GOOD CHRIS­TIAN BITCHES/ G. C. B. ( South­ern Cross) With Des­per­ate Housewives soon call­ing it a day, the stage is set for an­other saga of back­stab­bing, bitch­ing and bad be­hav­iour among the well- to- do women of sub­ur­bia. This US com­edy- drama about a di­vorced mother of two who re­turns to her home­town to find her holier- than- thou high- school fren­e­mies rul­ing the roost may have the right stuff. HOME­LAND ( TDT) We have an early fron­trun­ner for the best se­ries of the year. This in­tense, in­tel­li­gent drama is about a CIA agent ( Claire Danes) who sus­pects a US Marine ( Damian Lewis) of be­ing a ter­ror­ist. It works bril­liantly as both a white- knuckle thriller and an emo­tional pow­er­house. Danes, Lewis and Mandy Patinkin should prob­a­bly start mak­ing room on their shelves for awards. MISS FISHER’S MUR­DER MYS­TER­IES ( ABC) The ABC has gone a lit­tle crime- crazy this year. And this adap­ta­tion of crime author Kerry Green­wood’s well- loved mys­ter­ies, fea­tur­ing The Slap ’ s Essie Davis as Phryne Fisher, an aris­to­cratic pri­vate eye in the roar­ing ’ 20s, cer­tainly fits right in, although the mood looks to be sly and smart rather than grim and gritty. SPORTSFEVER! ( South­ern Cross) The soc­cer- lov­ing trio of Santo Ci­lauro, Ed Kavalee and Sam Pang were a big hit when they dis­cussed the 2010 World Cup for SBS, so it was only time be­fore a com­mer­cial net­work snapped them up. These are three funny gents work­ing with a proven for­mula. THE STRAITS ( ABC) When I vis­ited the set of this 10- part crime drama, I was given a de­tailed run­down of the se­ries’ com­plete sto­ry­line. By the time I reached the events of episode five, I tossed it away be­cause it was so grip­ping I didn’t want to spoil the end­ing when I watched the fin­ished prod­uct. Based on the first few episodes I’ve seen of this God­fa­ther- style tale of a Queens­land clan of smug­glers fight­ing their en­e­mies and them­selves, the en­ergy, ex­cite­ment and dan­ger have def­i­nitely made it to the screen. THE VOICE ( WIN) Nine’s take on the pop­u­lar US singing com­pe­ti­tion is hop­ing to lure those view­ers hooked on the likes of Aus­tralia’s Got Tal­ent and The X Fac­tor. Hope­fully the pres­ence of Keith Ur­ban, Delta Goodrem, Seal and Joel Mad­den will do the trick. THE WALK­ING DEAD ( FX pay- TV) One of the flag­ship shows of new pay- TV sta­tion FX, this gory drama about a rag- tag bunch of sur­vivors try­ing to find some­thing worth liv­ing for in a world over­run by hun­gry, hos­tile zom­bies is tough go­ing for the sen­si­tive and squea­mish but it’s also un­ex­pect­edly mov­ing. Be warned: it may not be ideal din­ner- time view­ing. YOUNG TAL­ENT TIME ( TDT) Brace your­self for a few re­boots in­clud­ing Big Brother on WIN. One of the big­gest gam­bles might be a new take on this old favourite, which fea­tured a cast of pre­co­cious per­form­ers do­ing high­en­ergy cov­ers of the hits of the day. Will a gen­er­a­tion of young tal­ent win over au­di­ences the same way? Stay tuned.

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