Radiation by Fiona Rae


Ghosts of television past

The schedule for new digital channel TVNZ 6 was revealed this week, a family-friendly line-up which you could say was heavy on the nostalgia if you were being polite and full of reruns if you weren’t. Anyway, who doesn’t want to see A Dog’s Show again? Among the schedule are several programmes which previously screened on TV3 – Being Eve and Doves of War. There are some new shows – notably The Gravy, an arts series which sounds something like The Living Room and, next year, a talk show hosted by Finlay Mcdonald. In addition, the channel will screen shorts films by students.

Charlie Brooker explained this week, with the help of other aficionados like Alexei Sayle and Neil Hornby, why he thinks The Wire is the best show ever. You may be able to persuade your friends in America to send you the documentary Tapping The Wire, although here’s Charlie from his TV series talking about the show.

Meanwhile, there’s always Kidnapped, which is another one that got away. It was an NBC series with HBO values, so maybe it was too smart for US audiences. Friends of the Whedonverse will know the name David Greenwalt, who was a producer.

Gilmore Girls’ Scott Peterson is in a new comedy called Aliens in America

Eye to Eye (TV1, 9.30am) discusses the rugby with Melody Robinson, Phil Gifford, Louisa Wall and Phil Kingsley Jones.
• The Guardian’s Kathryn Flett liked Kingdom (TV1), although it sounds a bit comfy slipper to me. The official website’s a bit drab, but there’s a Stephen Fry interview and you might even get the video going.
The Adventure of English on Documentary (8.00pm) is very good. Here’s an interesting review of the book.
• New Zealand short film Hawaikii is on Rialto.
• The McLiberals at Rotten Tomatoes thought that McLibel on Documentary (10.30pm) was 100 percent fresh.

Sunday (TV1) has stories about New Zealanders working too hard; an ABC report on paralysing strokes that may be helped by Viagra; and a BBC report that follows a group of seven-nine year-olds when their televisions and computers were taken away.
• There was Austen for Africa in the UK earlier this year; we’re seeing ITV’s adaptations now. This week it’s Northanger Abbey (TV1), but this one is adapted by Andrew Davies. Kathryn Hughes argues here that Jane Austen is about money being tight, not trousers; while Germaine Greer sings the author’s praises here.
• Simon Schama finishes Power of Art (TV1) with Rothko.
• Uh-oh, someone gets captured by a serial killer in the final of CSI (TV3); EW’s Ken Tucker thought it was one of the best seasons ever.
The Woman Who Thinks Like a Cow (Prime) is about the fascinating autist Temple Grandin.
• It’s episode 10 of Kidnapped (Prime) – only three left after this.
Atanarjuat on Maori gets a 10 from Philip in the Listener.

• It’s the final of Men in Trees (TV2), but there are no reviews because it hasn’t screened in the US yet (she said smugly). It has been renewed for a second season.
60 Minutes (TV3) has items about an American dentist who claims that mercury fillings are causing Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, chronic fatigue syndrome and heaps of other diseases; a mining company in Java, Indonesia, that may be responsible for a giant mud volcano that has affected a town of 40,000; and the iron ore workers in Western Australia who are earning $100,000+k.

• Marc pretends to be straight on Ugly Betty (TV2), although with lines like “What about the boobs on that Beyonce?”, who’s he kidding? Read this after seeing the episode.
• The episode for Outrageous Fortune says “Van and Munter go green,” but I thought they already smoked dope, man.
Jarhead is on Sky Movies 1.

The Closer starts on TV1, six episodes into season two. EW’s Gillian Flynn gave is a B-.

Without a Trace (TV1) trucks on, tonight is its 111th episode, which was written by Anthony LaPaglia. Note the director is Paul McCrane – Romano from ER.
• EW dissects the Grey’s Anatomy (TV2) final here, or if you have a spare hour or three, here’s the Television Without Pity recap.

Rove (TV3) will be in New York talkin’ to Adam Sandler and Janeane Garofalo.
• Pedro Almodovar’s Talk to Her (TV3, late) gets a nine from Philip.

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