Free-to-air films

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television Free To Air -

Com­menc­ing this week, Riviera, cre­ated by Neil Jor­dan ( The Bor­gias), has much to rec­om­mend it. It stars Aus­tralian ac­tor An­thony LaPaglia, with Lena Olin, Ju­lia Stiles and Game of Thrones’s Iwan Rheon. Set in ex­otic Monaco, it tells the story of a wealthy pa­tri­arch (LaPaglia’s Con­stan­tine Clios) who is killed in an ex­plo­sion aboard a boat full of Rus­sians. Add a young wife, an ex-wife and a com­ple­ment of chil­dren, and you have a suf­fi­ciently mys­te­ri­ous melo­drama. It is “ev­ery­thing but the kitchen sink’’ this week at Ten. The pick of the bunch is the 22nd sea­son of The Gra­ham Nor­ton Show (Fri­day, 8.30pm) which this week fea­tures guests Aus­tralian ac­tress Mar­got Rob­bie, Har­ri­son Ford and Ryan Gosling (stars of the forth­com­ing film Blade Run­ner 2049), among oth­ers. Sea­son five of Gog­gle­box (Thurs­day, 8.30pm) be­gins this week, once again pre­sent­ing a run­ning com­men­tary on TV — much of it of the re­al­ity genre — from a cast of ev­ery­day Aus­tralians. Law and Or­der: SVU (Thurs­day, 9.30pm) re­turns for its 19th sea­son with reg­u­lar stars Olivia Benson (Mariska Har­gi­tay) and Fin Tu­tuola (Ice-T), plus a cameo from “an old friend” … my money is on Christo­pher Meloni. Hawaii Five-O (Wed­nes­day, Riviera 9.30pm) is back af­ter los­ing South Korean-born ac­tor Daniel Dae Kim ( Lost) and Grace Park ( Bat­tlestar Galac­tica), of Korean her­itage, fol­low­ing a “pay equal­ity” dis­pute with CBS. Meaghan Rath joins Aus­tralian ac­tor Alex O’Lough­lin and Scott Caan. NCIS: LA (Tues­day, 9.30pm) is back for its ninth sea­son. And the Matt Le­Blanc stay-at-home dad com­edy Man with a Plan (Mon­day, 9.30pm) makes its de­but; al­though not well re­ceived by crit­ics in the US, it has been re­newed for a sec­ond sea­son. If you en­joy a good scare, you won’t do bet­ter this week than 2015’s su­per­nat­u­ral hor­ror film It Fol­lows (Wed­nes­day, 8.30pm, Vice­land). It stars Maika Mon­roe as Jay Height, an or­di­nary Amer­i­can teenage girl, who is pur­sued by a mys­te­ri­ous and malev­o­lent en­tity af­ter a sex­ual en­counter. Some saw the ob­vi­ous anal­ogy to sex­u­ally trans­mit­ted disease, though writer and di­rec­tor David Robert Mitchell told Dig­i­talSpy: “The ba­sic idea of be­ing fol­lowed by some­thing that looked like dif­fer­ent peo­ple came from a re­cur­ring night­mare I had when I was a kid. Later, as an adult, I added the sex­ual as­pect of pass­ing on this ter­ri­ble thing. It came at two dif­fer­ent points of my life.” Also this week, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jen­nifer Connelly and Dji­mon Houn­sou star in 2005’s Blood Di­a­mond (Mon­day, 9.10pm, GO!), about the bru­tal civil war in Sierra Leone and — of course — the role di­a­monds play in con­flict. In widely re­ported com­ments last week, Gwyneth Pal­trow said her life­style web­site Goop would take pri­or­ity over act­ing in the near fu­ture. It seems far less than two decades since it came to cin­ema screens, but check out Pal­trow’s first lead­ing role in 1996’s Emma (Fri­day, 8.30pm, Eleven), based on Jane Austen’s novel.

Ju­lia Stiles in

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