Pay-tv films

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Pay Television -

It is easy to for­get how long David Si­mon’s The Wire was over­looked by many view­ers be­fore be­com­ing the show peo­ple pre­tended to know about, then the ac­claimed master­piece of ur­ban sto­ry­telling ev­ery­one now re­calls. His sub­se­quent works — Gen­er­a­tion Kill, Treme and 2015’s Show Me a Hero — were sim­i­larly wor­thy in sub­ject mat­ter, and all crit­i­cally praised, though none seemed to ap­proach the cul­tural im­por­tance of The Wire. But Si­mon’s new show, The Deuce, has the feel of The Wire. Co-cre­ated with Ge­orge Pele­canos and star­ring James Franco and Mag­gie Gyl­len­haal, it fol­lows the rise of the porn in­dus­try in 1970s. This week’s episode is the third of eight, and HBO has re­newed it for a second sea­son, so get on the band­wagon now. Jim Al-Khalili, the af­fa­ble Iraq-born pro­fes­sor of the­o­ret­i­cal physics at Bri­tain’s Uni­ver­sity of Sur­rey, is a sci­en­tist whose pro­file seems to grow and grow. Here, in the two-part se­ries The Amaz­ing World of Grav­ity, he begins with first prin­ci­ples: the dif­fer­ence be­tween mass and weight, a ham­mer and a feather fall at the same rate in a vacuum, and so forth. (Rather too much time is spent de­mon­strat­ing that ob­jects can weigh frac­tion­ally less on top of a moun­tain than at sea level.) Ex­cit­ingly, he vis­its the Laser In­ter­fer­om­e­ter Grav­i­ta­tional-Wave Ob­ser­va­tory in the US where the grav­i­ta­tional waves pre­dicted by Al­bert Ein­stein a cen­tury be­fore were first de­tected. Will & Grace Stream­ing on Stan from Fri­day A high­light of the Emmy red car­pet this week was TV stars re­spond­ing to the ques­tion: “Which TV show from your child­hood should be re­booted, star­ring you?” An­swers ranged from: The Golden Girls, Fan­tasy Is­land and Good Times. Broth­ers Matt and Ross Duf­fer ( Stranger Things) dis­agreed with the ques­tion’s premise: “leave it alone” and “no need”, they said. Nonethe­less, this week brings the re­boot of Will & Grace, the NBC sit­com that ran for al­most 200 episodes be­tween 1998 and 2006. Eric McCor­mack and De­bra Mess­ing re­turn as the epony­mous stars Will and Grace, as do Me­gan Mul­lally as Karen Walker and Sean Hayes as Jack. The trail­ers and pre­views sug­gest if you liked the orig­i­nal, you will en­joy this too. It was a big week for Ni­cole Kid­man win­ning her first and second Em­mys for Big Lit­tle Lies — see her in her Os­car-nom­i­nated role in 2016’s Lion (Sun­day, 8.30pm, Pre­miere). It is the true story of Sa­roo (Dev Pa­tel), who got lost as a child in In­dia and sub­se­quently adopted by a Tasmanian cou­ple, Sue Bri­er­ley (Kid­man) and John (David Wen­ham). As an adult, Sa­roo be­comes ob­sessed with find­ing his former home via Google Earth. An­other Aus­tralian-filled film from last year, which had a frac­tion more Os­cars suc­cess — win­ning two — was Hack­saw Ridge (Sun­day, 6am, Pre­miere). Di­rected by Mel Gib­son, and shot mostly in NSW, it tells the heroic tale of Des­mond Doss (An­drew Garfield), an Amer­i­can com­bat medic in World War II who was also a paci­fist. The cast in­cludes Aus­tralian ac­tors Sam Wor­thing­ton, Teresa Palmer, Hugo Weav­ing and Rachel Grif­fiths. Also new to Fox­tel this week is The Girl on the Train (Satur­day, 8.30pm, Pre­miere), based on the novel of the same name, and star­ring Emily Blunt. She plays Rachel, a di­vorcee who spies on her ex-hus­band from the train. But her pen­chant for get­ting black­out drunk lands her in jeop­ardy when she is im­pli­cated in a dis­ap­pear­ance.

Mag­gie Gyl­len­haal in HBO’s The Deuce

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