Underrated TV series you’ll love
Maybe the best drama on TV this week is watching the bank bosses squirm on TV as their industry is eviscerated (at least on paper) for being so heartless.
But if all this chatter about APRA, ASIC or other acronyms is making your head hurt, switch off, and switch on instead.
HIGH FLYING BIRD
(Netflix - from Friday, February 8 at 7pm AEDT)
The first of two Steven Soderbergh movies releasing on Netflix this year, High Flying Bird won high praise from critics when it premiered at Sundance last week.
From a screenplay by Tarell Alvin McCraney (Moonlight), the movie is set in the high stakes world of the American NBA during a tense, months-long players' strike. Sports agent Ray (Andre Holland) feels like his career is on the line with his most promising client (Melvin Gregg) on the verge of defaulting on his loans.
That's when he makes a risky but enticing proposition to get the players back on the court.
High Flying Bird is a marriage between Spderbergh's fast-paced heisty sensibilities and McCraney's more ruminative style.
The movie also stars Atlanta's Zazie Beetz and Kyle McLachlan.
(Fox Showcase and Foxtel Now - Tuesday, February 5 at 8pm)
If there's one person you definitely don't want to go camping with, it's Jennifer Garner's character, Kathryn McSorley-Jodell.
Neurotic, uptight and controlling, she has a thick folder where she's planned out every minute of this romp in the woods, a birthday getaway for her husband Walt (David Tennant). Their friends (realistically, more his friends) who have been roped along for the trip find her intensity intimidating and so will you.
The weekend is further disrupted with an unexpected guest - the no-boundaries Jandice (Juliette Lewis), a woman whose laissez-faire attitude is the opposite to Kathryn's.
It's a credit to Camping that despite her rigidity, Kathryn, while not exactly relatable, at least draws your empathy, and that has much to do with Garner's performance.
Adapted by a Julia Davis British series by Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner, Camping swings between frustrating and funny. You have to be in the mood for it.
HIGH MAINTENANCE S3
(Fox Showcase and Foxtel Now - Saturday, February 9 at 10pm)
High Maintenance began life as a web series before it was picked up by HBO as a half-hour dramedy, now in its third season. Essentially, it's the story of a weed delivery man, only known as The Guy, who drops in on the lives of different clients.
Each episode tells the story of a different New York character, the strange travails and offbeat predilections of the citizens of a robust cosmopolis. In the first season, it spent an entire episode telling the story from a dog's perspective.
If I had to ascribe a tone to it, it's got Catherine Keener vibes - in the sense that the beloved indie star of Friends with Money and Synecdoche, New York would be right at home in any one of these episodes.
It's one of the underrated gems of the current TV schedule and one you'll find very rewarding.
(Stan - from Sunday, February 10)
Be honest, you scrawled PEN15 on your folder or on the spine of a textbook at one point and then giggled as if it was so, so naughty. Now take that childish nostalgia, bottle it and distil into a TV show, and you get PEN15.
Produced by The Lonely Island, PEN15 is the brainchild of comedic actors Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle, who play 13-year-old versions of themselves in the year 2000, as a couple of outcast teens trying to navigate everything that is fraught with being a horny, confused pubescent.
This could go either way - you could wee yourself laughing at the foolish things we thought were cool or it could make you anxious about all the horrifying memories it'll trudge back up. Eeep.
(ABC and iview - Wednesday, February 6 at 8.30pm)
The real estate business is a tricky game, and nowhere more than in Rosehaven, Tasmania. The third season of this low-key, quirky and winnable Australian comedy returned a couple of weeks ago so now's the perfect time to catch up and eagerly await each new episode.
Luke McGregor and Celia Pacquola's Daniel and Emma always seem to find new situations to preoccupy them in the sleepy little town, with pig adoptions, negative online reviews and painful landlords aplenty.
SHOW ME THE MOVIE
(Channel 10 and 10 Play - Friday, February 8 at 7.30pm)
You reckon you know who won the 1954 Best Picture Oscar or what Roy Schneider actually said in Jaws instead of the oft-misquoted line "We're gonna need a bigger boat"?
Rove McManus' movie quiz show returns this week with Joel Creasey and newcomer captain Brooke Satchwell, replacing Jane Harber. Games, trivia and sledging are afoot. In the first week, they'll be joined by actor Tiriel Mora and comedian Kate McCartney.
HOW TO CATCH A SERIAL KILLER
(SBS and SBS On Demand - Thursday, February 7 at 9.30pm)
After 22-year-old Sian O'Callaghan disappeared in the British town of Swindon, Detective Stephen Fulcher eventually zeroed in on one man: Christopher Halliwell. When Fulcher picked Halliwell up, he took him not to the police station but to a nearby landmark where the two men talked over cigarettes.
By putting him at ease, Fulcher convinced Halliwell to take him to not just O'Callaghan's body but also another victim.
Halliwell had been killing for decades without notice and Fulcher had caught a serial killer. But because of his unorthodox questioning, which fell afoul of the police code, Halliwell wasn't the only one in trouble.
The story of how Fulcher caught a serial killer and then lost his career is the subject of this doco.
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