The Weekend Australian - Review
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.