Russell Crowe narrates (but sadly doesn’t appear in) this new documentary examining the past, present and future of the French wine industry. It features interviews with critics, collectors, connoisseurs, vignerons and winemakers. It also examines the complexities of the global market for French wine and the growing influence of the Chinese collectors. It is visually stunning and very informative for oenophiles and the layperson alike. This gently daffy series stars James Buckley from The Inbetweeners as Brian, an English office worker who gets a mysterious package in the mail containing an amulet. When he puts it on his wrist, he is magically transported to another realm inhabited by fairies, soothsayers and wizards. (It turns out that’s where his mobile phone charger was mistakenly delivered.) Brian is naturally keen to return to his home and temping job, but the band of misfits he meets in the medieval pub aren’t much help. Many have identified the medieval fantasy world as popularised by Game of Thrones as a rich target for comedy, such as the upcoming Matt Groening animated sitcom Disenchantment, due out this year on Netflix. But Zapped is unfortunately only a mildly amusing experience. Bad Banks Tuesday, 10.30pm, SBS When this show debuted on SBS On Demand a month ago, who would have thought the notion of “bad banks” would have so much resonance in this country? Since then, of course, the banking royal commission has lifted the lid on the local finance sector’s misdeeds and sharp practices. No doubt that partially explains this Franco-German Red Obsession series’ promotion to the main channel. Set during the financial crisis of 2007, it stars Paula Beer as Jana, a talented young investment banker who gets a second chance with a dream finance job in Frankfurt after being fired from a similar role in Luxembourg. But Jana quickly begins to suspect her old boss is still pulling her strings. It was praised in Germany for scriptwriter Oliver Kienle’s aversion to the over-explanation of finance. Nonetheless, some scenes remain a little on the dry side. Soon to star in the Amazon Prime Video series Jack Ryan, John Krasinski plays a soldier in 13 Hours (Saturday, 9.30pm, Seven)(not Vic, Tas or WA), a dramatised account of the 2012 attack on US installations in Benghazi, Libya. Naturally, there has been debate over the Michael Baydirected film’s fidelity to actual events give their totemic political significance to many in the US (though much of it amounts to nitpicking). Entertainment writer Chris Nashawaty recently made an impassioned plea in The Wall Street Journal for the 1980 film Caddyshack (Sunday, 6.30pm, 7Flix) starring Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield and Bill Murray, to get its cultural due. He writes: “Set at a lilywhite citadel of manicured fairways and snooty entitlement, Caddyshack is a timeless slobs-v-snobs satire, but it was also something new and not entirely respectable in movies: the first full-blown incursion of the crazy world of improvisational comedy.” It has often puzzled me why Brian De Palma’s Scarface (Saturday, 8.35pm, Viceland) is reputedly so loved by actual criminals … the story of Tony Montana (Al Pacino) comes across more as a cautionary tale about the cost of taking shortcuts to the American Dream.
Plenty to like in