The Weekend Australian - Review

THE BITES

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Ev­ery Fam­ily Has a Se­cret Tues­day, 7.30pm, SBS

Noni Ha­zle­hurst re­turns to SBS with the three­part se­cond sea­son of this mov­ing ge­nealog­i­cal doc­u­men­tary se­ries. The first hour be­gins with a story reach­ing back to the hor­rors and hero­ism of World War II. Perth woman El­lis Tre­leaven fol­lows her Dutch Jewish mother’s path through war-torn Europe, learn­ing she was born in a con­cen­tra­tion camp and dis­cov­er­ing who her fa­ther was and how her mother sur­vived. At the same time, nurse Marie O’Con­nor, also from Perth, sets her murky fam­ily record straight by trac­ing the fa­ther she never knew to Italy and re­vis­ing the tragedy of her baby brother’s death to re­veal the heart­break­ing truth. “I was a bit like a shadow,” Tre­leaven says, “now I’m in colour. I’m so lucky to be alive, aren’t I?” Con­tin­u­ing the su­perb re­search and em­pa­thy that marked the first se­ries as a stand­out in the often lurid re­al­ity TV arena, the show is a valu­able record of Aus­tralia’s di­ver­sity and the har­row­ing and often in­spir­ing sto­ries of how many of our an­ces­tors first ar­rived and thrived.

Todd Samp­son’s Body Hack

Tues­day, 7.30pm, Ten and 10Play

Anh’s Brush with Fame

Tues­day, 8pm, ABC and iview

Cre­ative and co-or­di­nated pro­gram­ming is to be ap­plauded, and here’s a splen­did ex­am­ple. In last week’s first hour-long episode of his newly re­turned SBS se­ries Todd Samp­son’s Body Hack (or, as he calls it, “an­other day in the bizarre of­fice”), the Cana­dian-born ad­ver­tis­ing guru and ad­ven­turer went to Utah and did some high­speed rac­ing be­fore en­ter­ing a tra­di­tional US de­mo­li­tion derby. Next week he’ll be in Benin, West Africa, to be ini­ti­ated in the Voodoo faith. This week, he’s in Ja­pan to learn about five styles of mar­tial arts, in­clud­ing Aikido (hand-to­hand), sumo, sword­play (Ken­jutsu), bow and ar­row (Kyudo) and Yabusame, the chal­leng­ing art of horse­back archery. “Todd’s al­ways been pre­pared to have a go,” painter Anh Do ex­plains over on the ABC, where Samp­son is the sub­ject of this week’s sit­ting on Anh’s Brush with Fame. As the work takes shape, Samp­son speaks of his chal­leng­ing up­bring­ing and phi­los­o­phy. “I’ve spent my life manag­ing fear,” he says, “but some­times you feel the story you’re telling is more im­por­tant than the fear you’re feel­ing.” Never mind the over­lap, as both pro­grams are avail­able on their re­spec­tive sta­tions’ stream­ing ser­vices, and com­ple­ment each other well.

The Good Fight Wed­nes­day, 9.35pm, SBS

More in­spired pro­gram­ming, again courtesy of SBS: fans of Chris­tine Baran­ski, star of stage and screen, and her on­go­ing CBS All Ac­cess orig­i­nal se­ries The Good Fight will re­call that this spinoff of The Good Wife be­gan in 2017 when her char­ac­ter, ide­al­is­tic bar­ris­ter Diane Lock­hart, de­cided to re­tire fol­low­ing the elec­tion of the US pres­i­dent. In­stead, she’s swin­dled out of her sav­ings in a Ponzi scheme and forced to re­group as a part­ner in a prom­i­nent Chicago law firm run by Adrian Boseman (Del­roy Lindo). As the fourth sea­son starts, she wakes up to the sus­pi­cious re­al­ity it was all a dream and Hil­lary Clin­ton is in the White House. But the al­ter­na­tive new life also re­sults in her be­ing ap­pointed lead de­fence lawyer to a cer­tain dis­graced Hol­ly­wood pro­ducer and re­al­is­ing the #MeToo move­ment never ex­isted. The weekly sea­son prom­ises timely Amer­i­can and in­ter­na­tional so­cial is­sues fic­tion­alised as provoca­tive en­ter­tain­ment, im­me­di­ately fol­low­ing their broad­cast of the four-part doc­u­men­tary Hil­lary and clev­erly timed to con­clude just prior to what’s shap­ing up to be a crit­i­cal elec­tion in US his­tory.

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