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