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The Weekend Australian - Review - - Pay Tele­vi­sion -

This well-crafted drama from screen­writer Jimmy McGovern is likely to po­larise. In this first episode we meet Christina (Anna Friel), who turns up to work late and is con­fronted by her boss about leav­ing an IOU for £60 in the cash reg­is­ter, be­fore a first fight erupts be­tween them. Who’s to blame? It’s clear what McGovern thinks. ( The Times wrote: “Jimmy McGovern not only holds up a mir­ror to our bro­ken society; he is part of it.”) Sean Bean plays a par­ish priest in this north­ern English set­ting, strug­gling with his own child­hood demons and try­ing to min­is­ter to a com­mu­nity that doesn’t seem to care one way or an­other. Each week, a dif­fer­ent story will cen­tre on an in­di­vid­ual, and a theme such as men­tal health, de­pri­va­tion, ho­mo­pho­bia or ad­dic­tion. In the del­uge of qual­ity shows, there are some that de­serve a sec­ond men­tion. In­deed, a third. Glow, star­ring Alison Brie and Marc Maron, is one such se­ries, per­haps one of the best things on TV so far this year. The con­ceit is the mak­ing of an all-women’s wrestling show in the 1980s, based on a true story. Dif­fer­ent char­ac­ters come to the fore in dif­fer­ent episodes as the process of be­com­ing wrestlers heals psy­cho­log­i­cal wounds and forges an un­likely team. Ruth Wilder/Zoya the De­stroyer is the role that Brie de­serves: she is funny, poignant, and in turns vul­ner­a­ble and strong. Highly rec­om­mended. Castl­e­va­nia Stream­ing on Netflix Adding to the wave of 80s nos­tal­gia is this adap­ta­tion of Ja­panese vam­pire hunt­ing com­puter game Castl­e­va­nia III: Drac­ula’s Curse. It is be­ing pro­duced by Adi Shankar, best known per­haps for his unau­tho­rised Power/Rangers trailer on YouTube fea­tur­ing James Van Der Beek Castl­e­va­nia from Daw­son’s Creek, which has now achieved more than 21 mil­lion views. It is also boasts co­pro­duc­tion by Fred­er­a­tor Stu­dios, re­spon­si­ble for Ad­ven­ture Time. Castl­e­va­nia prom­ises to be a dark, gothic and bloody vi­sion. Shankar con­firmed that it will be vi­o­lent and gory: “The goal is to bring hard-hit­ting anime to Amer­ica and be Amer­ica’s first an­i­mated se­ries for adults,” he said. For fans of Ja­panese anime, Amazon Prime Video con­tains an as­ton­ish­ingly deep cat­a­logue of the genre. Some­thing was miss­ing from An­toine Fuqua’s 2016 re­make of The Mag­nif­i­cent Seven (Sun­day, 8.30pm, Pre­miere). It wasn’t a pedi­greed writer, with True De­tec­tive’s Nic Piz­zo­latto on the case. It wasn’t the cast, which fea­tured Den­zel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vin­cent D’Onofrio and Peter Sars­gaard, among oth­ers. The orig­i­nal story from the 1960 film, it­self adapted from Akira Kuro­sawa’s 1954 film Seven Samu­rai, is a win­ning one. I would ar­gue that per­haps the ex­po­si­tion was too hasty and our seven heroes ac­cepted the “call to ad­ven­ture” in a way the au­di­ence may not in their shoes. Still, an en­ter­tain­ing shoot-em-up en­sues. A re­make I felt sure would work out was 2016’s Ben-Hur (Sun­day, 10.45pm, Pre­miere), star­ring Jack Hus­ton in the ti­tle role, straight off his turn in Boardwalk Em­pire, and di­rected by Timur Bek­mam­be­tov. The film bombed with crit­ics and au­di­ences, though it hasn’t ap­peared to slow down Hus­ton’s ca­reer as­cent. Tom McCarthy is a di­rec­tor with a vari­able touch — one minute it's the Adam San­dler flop The Cob­bler, next minute he wins the Os­car for Spot­light (Sun­day, 10.30pm, Mas­ter­piece), a tale of cru­sad­ing jour­nal­ism and cler­i­cal sex­ual abuse in Bos­ton.

A scene from Netflix’s

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