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The Sydney Morning Herald

TV previews

Author: Stuart O'Connor
Date: 26/11/2001
Words: 610
          Publication: Sydney Morning Herald
Section: The Guide
Page: 22
My Hero

ABC, 8pm

UP Imagine, if you will, a brave and charming superhero named Thermoman, a strange visitor from the planet Ultron, who is constantly saving Earth from near-disaster. Now imagine this hero's secret identity is a sweet, charming, but seemingly dim, Irish health-shop owner named George Sunday.

One day, Thermoman saves English nurse Janet Dawkins when she falls into the Grand Canyon while holidaying in the US. He takes rather a fancy to her and decides he wants to get to know her better so George packs up and moves to England to be near her. Of course, as always, things don't go according to plan and Janet learns that George really is Thermoman, but they fall in love anyway.

That's the premise of this silly but hugely entertaining romantic comedy with a twist. If you were a fan of Father Ted, then you're bound to love My Hero. It stars Ardal O'Hanlon (who played Father Dougal Maguire) as George Sunday/Thermoman. O'Hanlon's character is pretty similar to Father Dougal but instead of simply being simple, George is just naive; more an innocent abroad who has the best of intentions. He tends to take things too literally at times as you would, I guess, if you came from a completely different planet.

O'Hanlon is divine in his dual role and he is ably supported by a great cast including Emily Joyce as Janet, Hugh Dennis as the incredibly vain and self-centred Dr Piers Crispin, who works at the clinic with Janet, and Geraldine McNulty as the acid-tongued clinic receptionist, Mrs Raven.

My Hero is similar in a lot of ways to Mork and Mindy but without the manic performance of a Robin Williams and with a much lower budget. Most importantly, My Hero obeys the first rule of comedy it's funny.

Home and Away

Seven, 7pm

DOWN Tonight is the night. Second only to weddings as certified audience-pullers are births, and tonight you get two for the price of one.

The two mums-to-be are Leah (Ada Nicodemou) and Gypsy (Kimberley Cooper). Leah is in hospital and has opted for a natural, drug-free birth. Gypsy is at home waiting for labour to begin. She starts having what she thinks are contractions, so Will (Zac Drayson) rushes her to hospital. But it wasn't the real thing, so back home they go to resume the wait.

Before previewing this episode, I had never watched Home and Away in my life. And after previewing this episode, I can safely say I'll never watch another. The acting is woeful, the dialogue trite and the storylines are silly beyond belief.

One good thing I can say about Home and Away, though, is it does provide employment for an awful lot of people (actors, producers, writers, directors and grips).

Oh, I almost forgot this episode is the season finale.

Sabrina the Teenage Witch

Seven, 7.30pm

DOWN Oh, dear. Another season finale; another woeful show. This one's so bad they even had to get the group that won the US version of Popstars, Eden's Crush, to put in an appearance. Not that it helps.

For anyone who cares, this episode finds Sabrina and Josh hosting a singles' night at the coffee house owned by Sabrina's aunt, Hilda. Naturally, things go wrong and Josh and Sabrina end up having a big spat.

Here's a suggestion for what the wonderfully triple-named Melissa Joan Hart can do during her between-season break: take some acting lessons. Please. Oh, and maybe she could also decide on a hair colour and stick to it?

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