This terrific show features comedian Tom Gleeson pitting contestants against each other in a quiz based on their highly specialised subject areas. Some people are into foreign currency, others know everything about Princess Diana or the television show Friends. Gleeson is more than happy to bag them out — he is not doing a Tony Barber or John Burgess impression. Nonetheless, the questions are hard, the contestants impressive and the results entertaining. on SBS On Demand, with a conceit somewhat similar to Homeland (and the Israeli series it was based on, Prisoners of War). Johannes Lassen plays Philip Norgaard, a senior officer with the Copenhagen police terror unit who was abducted by terrorists. The after effects have cost him sleep and relationships, but there are lingering questions in the audience’s mind about why he was eventually released. Then when 15 people are held hostage underground in a subway train, and the country is divided whether to negotiate with the terrorists, Norgaard is right back in the thick of it. The series was created by Kasper Barfoed, who also directed Dicte (which is also available on SBS On Demand), and while not entirely groundbreaking, it is sufficiently entertaining. Utopia Wednesday, 9pm, ABC This excellent series from Working Dog’s Rob Sitch, Santo Cilauro and Tom Gleisner continues apace. This week, the Nation Building Authority is asked to assist with the sale of a port (a mere thumbs up could initiate construction); Tony (Sitch) is forced to do the CEO Sleepout for Hard Quiz charity, in part to make amends for a risible performance in a fundraising fun run; and Rhonda (Kitty Flanagan) decides it is time for a digital upgrade, with Celia Pacquola’s Nat bearing the brunt of resulting nonsense. The show sits among several Australian comedies and dramas picked up by Netflix and broadcast to an international audience, including Glitch and Please Like Me, ( though in this instance its name was changed to Dreamland). It helps defray production costs, and is a model we will see more and more often. After their stellar debut effort with The Matrix, the Wachowskis haven’t exactly set the world on fire. The Matrix sequels arguably should have been just one film; the 2012 film Cloud Atlas polarised (and confused) critics and audiences; and their Netflix series, Sense 8, recently was cancelled after its second season. Jupiter Ascending (Sunday, 9.10pm, Go!) has more in common with their later work. An ambitious space opera, it stars Mila Kunis as a Russian toilet scrubber who is actually a space princess. Channing Tatum plays her rescuer, a kind of halfdog, half-human hero who flies around on a levitating skateboard. It also stars Sean Bean and Eddie Redmayne. Another director with an extremely strong inaugural effort — followed by rather mixed ones — is South African-born Neill Blomkamp. His District 9 (Monday, 9.30pm, Go!) is an amazing reimagining of apartheid, featuring an alien race in internment camps. His follow-up efforts Elysium with Matt Damon, and Chappie with Dev Patel were less well received. For some viewing the whole family can enjoy, check out Pixar’s Oscar-winning animation about anthropomorphised emotions, Inside Out (Tonight, 7pm, Seven; not Vic, Tas, or SA).
host Tom Gleeson