The Best of the Week

New Zealand Listener - - THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT - By FIONA RAE


Taxi (Jones Too, Sky 208, from 10.00am). It’s Be Bald and Free Day, in case it had slipped your mind, and Jones Too is cel­e­brat­ing the chrome­domed, start­ing with Taxi, star­ring Danny DeVito. My Three Sons, Newhart, The Love Boat and Lou Grant fol­low dur­ing the day. NB: Rub­bing a bald head for luck is not okay to­day; that’s St Pa­trick’s Day.

The Bro­ken­wood Mys­ter­ies (Prime, 7.30pm). An “en­core” screen­ing, as they say, of sea­son three of the lo­cal ­mys­tery se­ries, which means the new sea­son can’t be too far be­hind. Writer Tim Balme’s sly hu­mour is ev­i­dent in the open­ing episode, in which there is a real mur­der dur­ing a dodgy “Lord of the Ringz” tour. The investigation leads to a spi­der re­searcher; com­edy con­sta­ble DC Breen (co­me­dian Nic Samp­son)

doesn’t cope well.

When We Rise (TVNZ 1,

10.40pm). It’s not sub­tle, but Os­car-win­ning screen­writer Dustin Lance Black prob­a­bly doesn’t care. This minis­eries (which be­gan two weeks ago) charts the rise of the gay civil rights move­ment in the US from 1972 to 2013. There are de­pic­tions of real char­ac­ters, such as Cleve Jones, Roma Guy and Ken Jones, who are played by Guy Pearce, Mary-Louise Parker and Michael K Wil­liams. Rachel ­Grif­fiths, Dy­lan Walsh, Whoopi Gold­berg, Rosie O’Don­nell and David Hyde Pierce also ap­pear. Catch-up episodes are avail­able on TVNZ On De­mand.


World’s Busiest Cities (Choice TV, 7.30pm). How do more than seven mil­lion peo­ple rub along to­gether in an area just over 1000 square kilo­me­tres? This BBC se­ries be­gins in Hong Kong, where Dan Snow looks at the city’s his­tory and Anita Rani and Ade Ade­pitan visit mar­ket­places, wit­ness rit­u­als and meet peo­ple squeezed into tiny liv­ing spa­ces. Mex­ico City, Moscow and Delhi are also on the itin­er­ary. In other travel doc­u­men­tary news, Choice TV be­gins Rivers with Jeremy Pax­man (Mon­day, 9.30pm), in which Paxo trav­els along the Tweed, the Thames, the Mersey and the Sev­ern.

Joanna Lum­ley’s Ja­pan (Liv­ing, Sky 017, 8.30pm). She is, we have to say it, an ab­so­lutely fab­u­lous trav­el­ling part­ner, and now she’s about to charm ev­ery­one in Ja­pan, from Hokkaido to Shikoku. The first episode has red-crowned cranes, a Sap­poro

snow fes­ti­val, a visit to the Fukushima ex­clu­sion zone and a bul­let train from Nagano to Tokyo.


My Mother and Other Strangers (Vibe, Sky 006, 8.30pm). It took over the Poldark ­times­lot in the UK, but view­ers were dis­ap­pointed by its lack of shirt­less­ness – and ­orig­i­nal­ity. Nos­tal­gic to a fault, this five-part se­ries is set in a ru­ral Ir­ish vil­lage, which is dis­rupted by the arrival of Amer­i­can sol­diers dur­ing World War II. Cen­tral to the story is Hat­tie Mo­ra­han’s

Rose Coyne, who is ­mar­ried to farm and shop owner Michael (Owen ­Mc­Don­nell). An ­English­woman and there­fore for­ever an out­sider, Rose be­comes friends with US liaison of­fi­cer and fel­low Ten­nyson-quoter Cap­tain Drey­fuss ( Mad Men’s Aaron Sta­ton). It’s beau­ti­ful, but not one of those pe­riod dra­mas that is shed­ding light on the present.

In the Dark (UKTV, Sky 007, 9.30pm). A crime drama se­ries that is not ex­actly rein­vent­ing the wheel: a tough, troubled de­tec­tive ex­ca­vates her own past dur­ing an ­investigation in her home­town. In the

Dark does boast Rip­per Street’s MyAnna Bur­ing in the lead role and its two two-part sto­ries have been adapted by ac­claimed writer Danny Brockle­hurst ( Shame­less, Or­di­nary Lies) from Mark Billingham’s books. “Pacy, thought­ful and skil­fully con­structed,” said the Guardian.


Grand De­signs New

­Zealand (Three, 7.30pm). ­Fu­ture­proof­ing: it’s the new black. Black is also the new black for re­tired ar­chi­tect and triath­lete Greg, who wants to paint his in­no­va­tive Nel­son home that colour in­side and out. The tricky site is next to an es­tu­ary and a busy­high­way, and Greg wants the house on poles, to keep it above sea level, and make it self-con­tained so it can be re­lo­cated. You say “grand”, we say …

Alan Carr: Yap, Yap, Yap! (TVNZ 2, 9.05pm). He’s at the top of his game and if you didn’t see him on his tour last year, here’s a live stand-up special that’s some con­so­la­tion.


The Nineties (Prime, 8.30pm).

Is it time to be nos­tal­gic about the 90s al­ready? Clip­show tele­vi­sion pro­duced for CNN, which means it’s all about the Amer­i­can 90s, be­gin­ning with US TV: Cheers, Se­in­feld, Freaks and Geeks,

Buffy the Vam­pire Slayer, The X-Files and how the land­scape changed when HBO came along with Sex and the City and The So­pra­nos.

Ipukarea (Maori TV, 9.30pm).

A se­ries about a sub­ject much un­der dis­cus­sion right now: wa­ter­ways. Mem­bers of marae that line the banks of rivers and lakes dis­cuss their tra­di­tions and the cul­tural sig­nif­i­cance of these ipukarea. Tonight, changes to kai in Lake Taupo and the Waikato River.

Im­posters (TVNZ 2, 9.40pm). A frothy, soapy se­ries from the US net­work that is usu­ally con­cerned with real house­wives and flip­ping houses. Bravo, that is, which also com­mis­sioned the se­ries Girl­friends’ Guide to Di­vorce.

It may come as a sur­prise, then, that Im­posters is 100% Fresh on Rot­ten Toma­toes. It’s boosted by the in­clu­sion of Academy Award nom­i­nee Uma Thur­man in a re­cur­ring

role. Is­raeli ac­tress In­bar Lavi leads the cast as a con artist who leaves be­hind a string of bro­ken hearts and empty bank ac­counts. Three of her marks (Rob Heaps, Parker Young and Mar­i­anne Rendón) team up to find her and be­gin learn­ing a few tricks of the trade them­selves. Fun in a Suits/The Catch/Hus­tle sort of way.


Mod­ern Fam­ily (Three, 7.30pm). The se­ries has been crit­i­cally ac­claimed in the US since it be­gan, al­though the praise has be­come more muted after eight sea­sons. Three is div­ing into sea­son nine close to its US broad­cast and it be­gins with an episode in which var­i­ous char­ac­ters con­tem­plate get­ting older. It starts with Jay (Ed O’Neill) gath­er­ing the whole fam­ily at a lake to watch an eclipse.

World’s Busiest Cities, Sun­day.

My Mother and Other

Strangers, Mon­day.

Mod­ern Fam­ily, Thurs­day.

Im­posters, Wed­nes­day.

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