The best on the box

James Croot’s tele­vi­sion picks for the week ahead.

Waikato Times - - Entertainment -

A United King­dom, 8.30pm, Saturday, Rialto

While the po­lit­i­cal machi­na­tions of this 2016 based-on-fact drama in­trigue, it’s the cen­tral love story of Amma Asante’s drama that com­pels, thanks largely to two mag­nif­i­cent per­for­mances from Rosamund Pike and David Oyelowo. The pair’s chem­istry is pal­pa­ble, while their char­ac­ter’s in­di­vid­ual strengths and weak­nesses are ap­par­ent. El­e­gant, in­tel­li­gent, evoca­tive and emo­tion-in­duc­ing cin­ema

Whisky Ga­lore, 8.30pm, Sun­day, Rialto

Gil­lies McKin­non’s 2016 up­date of the 1949 Eal­ing Stu­dios’ clas­sic (it­self based on the real-life ground­ing of the SS Politi­cian) is far from sub­tle, but from Ed­die Iz­zard’s con­stantly black-af­fronted army man to Gre­gor Fisher’s schem­ing post­mas­ter there are plenty of panto-style char­ac­ters to stir the emo­tions. At times, the sub­plot of the lat­ter’s two daugh­ters and their prospec­tive mar­riages threat­ens to over­whelm pro­ceed­ings, but once the search for the smug­glers’ ill-got­ten gains be­gins, this al­co­hol-fu­elled farce starts to catch alight.

In the Dark, 9.30pm, Mon­day, UKTV

New four-part adap­ta­tion of Mark Billing­ham’s nov­els Time of Death and In The Dark about a Manchester po­lice detective who be­comes in­volved in a case in which the hus­band of her child­hood best friend is ac­cused of kid­nap­ping two young girls, be­fore deal­ing with an un­ex­pected tragedy.

Be­ing Evel, 8.30pm, Tues­day, Ma¯ori TV

Born in Butte, Mon­tana in 1938, Robert Craig ‘‘Evel’’ Knievel be­came a hero to mil­lions around the world through his mo­tor­cy­cle feats in the 1960s and 70s. Us­ing in­ter­vie­wees and archival footage, direc­tor Daniel Junge charts the dare­devil’s rise from petty crime in his home­town, to a man who held the world’s at­ten­tion with an in­creas­ingly in­sane se­ries of stunts – he was the man who first at­tempted to ‘‘jump the shark’’. High­lights of this 2015 doc­u­men­tary in­clude the in­fa­mous Snake River Canyon jump, so bril­liantly par­o­died on The Simp­sons.

Im­posters, 9.30pm, Wednesday, TVNZ2

Dark US com­edy that fo­cuses on a fe­male con artist who mar­ries peo­ple and then dis­ap­pears with their money. ‘‘It’s a shaggy, ridicu­lous, tonally in­con­sis­tent show, and in the first two episodes, its pac­ing leaves some­thing to be de­sired. But it owns its own nut­ti­ness, which al­lows the au­di­ence to ad­just its ex­pec­ta­tions ac­cord­ingly – and makes for a fun, un­ex­pected jour­ney,’’ wrote Va­ri­ety‘ s So­nia Saraiya

Dancer, 8.30pm, Thursday, Rialto

This 2016 doc­u­men­tary is about Sergei Pol­unin, a prodi­gious bal­let tal­ent who ques­tions his ex­is­tence and his com­mit­ment to dance just as he is about to be­come a leg­end. ‘‘A gen­tle in­quiry into how a gifted per­former dis­rupts his life in or­der to test his pas­sion,’’ wrote the Los Angeles Times’ Michael Rechtschaf­fen.

Rosamund Pike and David Oyelowo star in A United King­dom.

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