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Best of the week

Author: Reviews by Rachel Browne, Brendan Corner, John Dagge, Hannah Edwards, Rob Lowing and Adrian Scardilli.
Date: 25/03/2001
Words: 1284
          Publication: Sun Herald
Section: Television
Page: 6


Channel 7, 7pm

* * * *

It's the moment of truth for the prefab pop stars. After beating thousands of other wannabes in countless auditions, now it's time for the judges to make their final selection. We can almost hear Jason Coleman saying, "You are the weakest link. Goodbye," to the ones who don't make it. Who will do the walk of shame? Who will end up in the band? Will there ever be another Chantelle Barry? One thing is certain: there will be tears before bedtime.

Movie: Life Is Beautiful

Movie One (Optus), 8.30pm

* * * *

Who can forget director-star Roberto Benigni's exuberant leap across seats as he rushed to the stage to collect his Best Actor Oscar? This deftly handled, bittersweet comedy follows a high-spirited waiter as he woos the woman (Benigni's real-life wife Nicoletta Braschi) he loves. But this is Italy, 1939, and the slapstick hijinks of the first half fade before the poignancy of the Nazi invasion. Don't take this film as a war movie, though: it's more about one man's devotion to his family.


The 73rd Annual Academy Awards

Channel 9, 7.30pm

Delayed telecast

Watching an awards ceremony is a bit like watching Test cricket - lots of dull periods broken up by occasional bursts of action. Hopefully the presence of Steve Martin as host will pep it up as much as it can be when the whole night is scripted and rehearsed within an inch of its life.


Water Rats

Channel 9, 8.30pm

* * *

In a departure from the usual formula of harbour chases and gunfights, this episode is devoted to a day in the life of Senior Sergeant Helen Blakemore (Toni Scanlon). And it's not a good day for Blakemore, one of those solid, hard-working, no-nonsense characters who manages to add a bit of depth to this series. Her bank is about to foreclose on her mortgage, her neighbour accuses her of trying to turn her daughter into a lesbian and then there are the problems at the station - Donna (Rebecca Smart) is having a boyfriend dilemma, Alex (Dee Smart) is having a wardrobe crisis and Sykes (Brett Partridge) is threatening to resign again. And just when she decides to duck into the Exhibits Room for a quiet ciggie things go from bad to worse. Despite some occasional corniness, this is a great vehicle for Scanlon who is not given nearly enough opportunities to strut her stuff.

Movie: Armageddon

Movie One (Optus), 8.30pm

* * * *

Popcorn-lite action movie runs to a strict formula but, despite cramping on the small screen, this star-studded line-up goes down easy. Bruce Willis looks quizzical as the tough drilling expert who's picked to lead a team to blast an approaching asteroid out of Earth's path. Bounce star Ben Affleck does solid work in the requisite young-puppy role; luminous Liv Tyler is the token love interest. But there's real juice in the support cast, with Billy Bob Thornton, Will Patton and Steve Buscemi.


Just Shoot Me

Channel 10, 8pm

* * *

Dennis Finch (David Spade) is set to meet his childhood buddy, Burt, who he hasn't seen for many years. To pass time while waiting for him in a club, Dennis decides to chat up a woman sitting by herself at the bar. Little does he know that she is actually his old mate Burt, who has successfully undergone a sex change to become a woman called Brandi (Jenny McCarthy). After the initial shock, Dennis gradually finds he is falling for her. There are some funny moments as he attempts to work out his feelings, but the acting is over-the-top.



Channel 9, 8.30pm

* * * *

This is a Thanksgiving episode, but the staff of County General have precious little to be thankful for. Abby Lockhart (Maura Tierney) simply can't shake her manic mother from hell, Maggie (played by an eye-rolling Sally Field), in a storyline which takes a surprisingly emotional turn. Also suffering problems of a parental nature is Jing-Mei Chen (Ming-Na) who hits her folks with a double whammy regarding her condition. And on that particular subject, there are a few more revelations to come.


Dalziel And Pascoe

ABC, 8.45pm

* * *

Slightly wacky final instalment of this engaging drama. Dalziel (Warren Clarke) finds work follows him home when he witnesses a shooting through the window of his neighbour's home. He dashes across the road to find a woman dead, her husband Philip Swain (Michael Kitchen) holding the smoking gun and her lover Greg Waterson (Angus Wright) standing over her. But both men claim the fatal shot was self-inflicted. What to believe? Complicating matters further is the fact that Swain and Dalziel are working on a community production of the Medieval Mystery Plays, in which Dalziel plays (who else?) God.



ABC, 9.30pm

* * * *

The ever-reliable Parky consistently pulls in the big names of the entertainment world. Guests tonight include actor Richard Wilson (of One Foot In The Grave fame), English cricket legend Ian Botham and film director extraordinaire Richard Attenborough (older brother of wildlife expert David). Singer k.d. lang even makes a musical guest appearance. There are several hilarious moments like when Richard Attenborough refers to his brother as the "shorter, dumpy one". But generally the show happily rolls along providing an enjoyable hour's entertainment.


Motor sport: RPM

Today, Channel 10, 1.30pm

Full wrap-up of everything fast on two or four wheels.

Motor sport: V8 Supercars

Today, Channel 10, 2.30pm

The first round of the Shell Championship Series at Phillip Island.


Today, Channel 9, 4pm

The Canberra Raiders versus the Parramatta Eels, at Bruce Stadium.


Today, Channel 9, 6.30pm

See our Olympic swimming heroes at the National Swimming Championships live from Hobart.


Today, Channel 9, 11.20pm

Highlights from the National Track and Field Championships in Brisbane.


Wednesday, Channel 7, midnight

Highlights from the National Soccer League, including all goals.


Friday, Channel 9, 8.30pm

The Brisbane Broncos and the Bulldogs at the Sydney Showground.

Surf Lifesaving

Saturday, Channel 9, 1.30pm

The Australian Surf Lifesaving Championships at the Gold Coast.


Saturday, Channel 7, 2pm

Live coverage of the Hawthorn and Collingwood clash.

Rugby: Super 12

Saturday, Channel 7, 10.30pm

The NSW Waratahs take on the Auckland Blues in Sydney.

For children

Big Kids

Wednesday, ABC, 6pm

And you think your parents are embarrassing! How do you think Kate (Kelly Salmon) and Simon (Matt Adams) feel when their parents are put under a spell that turns them into kids - and they don't know when or where the magic will strike. One moment their parents Sarah (Imogen Stubbs) and Geoff (Duncan Duff) are doing normal parental things like nagging them to do their homework, and the next they want to go skateboarding. Neighbours

Monday, Channel 10, 6.30pm

Changes will take place on Neighbours this week as Lance Wilkinson (Andrew Bibby) decides to broaden his life and travel to America with his girlfriend. This is balanced by the arrival of Matt Hancock (Stephen Hunt), who begins work in Lou Carpenter's (Tom Oliver) pub.

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