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The Age

Critic's view - Wednesday, February 16

Author: jim schembri
Date: 10/02/2011
Words: 733
Source: AGE
          Publication: The Age
Section: Green Guide
Page: 36
Home and Away City Homicide Laid Mike & Molly 6ft Hick: Notes from the Underground

Home and Away

Channel Seven, 7pm

ALTHOUGH the prime objective of episode 5233 is to introduce Summer Bay to The River Boys, an enjoyably troublesome gang of surfer dudes  they drink a lot, smash up a bar, insult women, etc  the big issue at the heart of events tonight is whether Liam (Axle Whitehead) has got a screw loose. The evidence seems clear: his girlfriend Bianca (Lisa Gormley) is perturbed when he neglects to put out, so she begins to wonder why. Has the spark gone out of their relationship (her theory), or is Liam nuts (my theory)? He even seems impervious to her attempts at seduction but what really gets the alarm bells a'ringin' is when Liam forgoes a nookie plea for  wait for it  a cup of camomile tea. Not that there's anything wrong with camomile tea. But that is weird behaviour, you've got to admit.

City Homicide

Channel Seven, 9.30pm

THERE are three things a good, plot-driven cop show needs to keep you hooked: (1) a driving plot; (2) a raft of fast-talking smarty-pants detectives; and, most importantly, (3) plenty of hands slamming on the table during interviews. There's a lot of (3) in the first chapter of a six-part "mini-series" in which the City Homicide crew begins digging into the killings surrounding an escaped crim. Things aren't as they seem at first, of course, and one of the chief selling points of this fine, Melbourne-based plod opera is how well the ensemble  headed by Shane Bourne, Aaron Pedersen and the ever-fabulous Nadine Garner (a TV fixture since The Henderson Kids in 1985)  manages to sell the constant twists and turns that keep the plot jerking forward. Of particular fun here is how conscious their boss (veteran Noni Hazlehurst) is about keeping the media on side, even if doing so demands that one of her detectives (John Adam) takes a huge bite out of a crap sandwich.

Laid

ABC1, 9.30pm

FOR several minutes during the second episode of Laid, I sat there wondering: What is this? Is this meant to be funny? And if it is, what kind of funny is it? Serious funny? Sad funny? Black funny? Sitcom funny? Then came the magic word that made everything crystal clear: "vagina". Oh, right. It's that kind of funny. This is supposed to be an earthy adult comedy about relationships. The intriguing premise involves twentysomething Roo (Alison Bell), who fears her vagina is cursed as all the men she sleeps with tend to die. Sadly, the fine first episode did such an effective job of establishing Roo as a prat, you spend most of your time hoping she contracts something nasty.

Mike & Molly

Channel Nine, 8pm

HAVING met at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting, Mike (Billy Gardell) and Molly (Melissa McCarthy) go on their first date. He's nervous and dressed in a laughable green cardigan; she's doped up on cough medicine and drinks heavily. It's a funny disaster. Low-brow, sure, but whadaya expect, Shakespeare? Oh and it's produced by Chuck Lorre (Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men) so be sure to freeze-frame his vanity card, which flashes on just before the end of the final credits.

6ft Hick: Notes from the Underground

ABC2, 9.30pm

YOU can almost smell the sneakers and stale beer in this sticky-carpet ride of home-grown cult band 6ft Hick. It's fronted by two lead singers, brothers Geoff and Ben Corbett, a pair of strutting towers of twitching testosterone who hail from Nambour in Queensland (or, as the duo would probably have it, Nam-bore). This road movie with roadies has the band slinging on knapsacks (one apiece to save on their aircraft luggage allowance), piling into a van and taking off around Europe for a 15-show, 18-day tour on a guitar-string budget. They play almost every night  if you don't play, you pay (accommodation, expenses, etc)  and live in squats to bring their form of garage/punk/thrash/performance art to the stage. The music may not be to your taste but the frontmen are a force of nature and the band's analysis of their output and why they do it is revealing  they are all articulate, self-deprecating and happy to laugh at the madness of it all. Parental caution: there is a lot of swearing and that's just from one ardent fan  a knicker-tossing Marieke Hardy.

MARK ELLIS

 
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