THE mystery of the famous author and a teenage girl long dead will have you coming back for more.
THE American network TV season is about to start, which means your social feed is about to be bombarded with raves and pans about shows you can’t watch yet.
Like the Murphy Brown reboot, which starts stateside this week — Ten, which has the rights to it here, hasn’t set a date yet for the Australian release. So get those filters ready because spoilers are coming.
But what we are getting ahead of the Americans, who may not get it at all, is the Heathers TV reboot, which was canned over there before its broadcast after several school shootings made it all too much of a bad look.
The original 1988 movie was an anarchic, dark tale with faked suicides, school bombings and all kinds of shenanigans — and you have to wonder how that vibe translates in 2018. I didn’t get a preview of it but it starts on Stan on Friday.
Speaking of getting things way too late, the Star Trekian Seth McFarlane-created The Orville is finally here a year later — you won’t find a longer write-up on it because, well, it’s pretty lame. Wait for Star Trek: Discovery to come back instead.
TRUTH ABOUT THE HARRY QUEBERT AFFAIR
(Stan — Friday, September 28)
Patrick Dempsey and that gorgeous head of hair is back on TV this week with the mystery series The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair, a seductive 10-episode miniseries.
Dempsey plays the titular celebrated author who lives in a small town on the Maine coast, the kind of town “forgotten by time”. In 1975, he meets a 15-year-old named Nola (Kristine Froseth) who then vanishes in an act of violence. Decades later, he is accused of her murder when her body is found on his property besides a copy of his manuscript. But did he do it?
His former student and protégé, a hotshot young author with writer’s block and a looming deadline named Marcus (Ben Schnetzer) is convinced of his old professor’s innocence and starts digging around the case.
The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair is based on a popular page-turner by Joel Dicker and also stars Damon Wayans Jr, Kurt Fuller, Wayne Knight, Virginia Madsen and Matt Frewer. It’s an addictive and slick series that will have you coming back for more.
THE GOOD PLACE S3
(Netflix — Friday, September 28 at 5pm AEST)
Anyone who hasn’t already caught up with The Good Place, an intriguing and cerebral comedy series that fully embraces the irrepressible charms of Ted Danson and Kristen Bell, what are you doing?! Go rectify this grave injustice now. Also, I’m about to spoil what happens in the first two seasons so maybe skip to the next entry on this week’s TV list.
After the grand reveal at the end of the first season that Eleanor, Chidi, Jason and Tahani are actually in the Bad Place, selected to emotionally torture each other, and that their neighbourhood mayor-type guy Michael is actually a demon, the series has up-ended everything again!
Michael and Gen the Judge strike a deal to send Eleanor and co back to Earth, sparing them from the grisly deaths they faced — essentially a do-over. Will they be better people this time? Only a show as brilliant in every way as The Good Place can pull this off. The show returns this week with a double episode and it’ll drop every week on Fridays.
CHEF’S TABLE S5
(Netflix — Friday, September 28)
Do not watch Chef’s Table on an empty stomach — why do that to yourself? This Netflix food porn series is so great at framing the perfect slo-mo shot of the most delectable morsels of food, setting it to classical music, it’s almost like being there. But you’re not there, it’s a cruel tease.
Directed by David Gelb, the man behind Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Chef’s Table spends an episode at a famous chef’s restaurant, taking you through the ins and outs of its celebrated cuisine. The show has spent time with Massimo Bottura, Grant Achatz and Attica’s Ben Shewry.
This season, the show goes behind the doors of four restaurants, including Cristina Martinez’s Philly establishment, a chef that has been an advocate for migrant workers in the US. There will be less unapologetic lionisation of chefs, instead telling the stories of female and culturally diverse chefs in restaurants that won’t make you wait two years for a reservation.
LOVE IT OR LIST IT
(Lifestyle on Foxtel — Wednesday, September 26 at 8.30pm, then Foxtel Now)
Foxtel’s little property show has found a surprisingly dedicated fan base with co-host Andrew Winter turning up in the Gold Logie nominations this year. Love It or List Itaims to solve Australian families’ home conundrums — armed with cash and the competing aims of Winter (list it!) and Neal Whittaker (love it!).
The idea is that families who have outgrown their abodes and have the cash to splash face two options — renovate and stay or buy something new. Whittaker takes the money and gives your home a fancy makeover while Winter scours the market and finds you something new. The choice in the end is yours.
For Australians who love nothing more than to take a peek inside other people’s homes, making note of that lovely tapware, Love It or List will hit that spot nicely.
EXPOSED: THE CASE OF KELI LANE
(ABC — Tuesday, September 25 at 8.30pm, then ABC iview)
The curious case of the enigmatic Keli Lane has enthralled Australians since she was convicted of the 1996 murder of her two-day old daughter Tegan. Serving an 18-year sentence in Silverwater jail, Lane continues to insist that she did not kill Tegan and that Tegan is still alive, out there somewhere as a 22-year-old woman.
Follow journalist Caro Meldrum-Hanna in the explosive three-part ABC documentary in which Lane, breaking a 15-year silence, reveals a string of lies to cover up previous pregnancies and abortions, and a secret affair with a man named either Norris or Morris. It’s an extraordinary doco-series, one which my veteran crime reporter colleague Marnie O’Neill called “the best Australian crime doco” she’s ever seen.
8 OUT OF 10 CATS DOES COUNTDOWN
(SBS Viceland — Tuesday, September 25 at 8.30pm, then SBS on Demand)
Australian audiences unfamiliar with the Countdown format may remember the Richard Morecroft-hosted game show called Letters and Numbers. Well, the UK original is called Countdown, a name that didn’t carry over to our shores for obvious reasons. Of course, if you don’t figure yourself a maths and English nerd (because who does), rest assured that when you let comedians loose at it, it’s very, very watchable.
Jimmy Carr hosts alongside team captains Sean Lock and Jon Richardson and the games are pretty simple — solve the anagram with the longest word and figure out the maths problem, essentially, it’s primary school stuff, but with a clock ticking down the seconds. What makes this version so great is not competing against your viewing buddy (though it is always about that in my house), but watching comedians riff. Yes, comedians are indeed funny people. Who knew?
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