Making your TV viewing decisions easy

Steve Molk reviews the big shows still to come in 2016

ReviewSteve Molk

Unreal Estate

8:40pm Tue 27 September - NINE
3.5 stars

Kate Langbroek & Cam Knight give you the sneaky peek into some of Australia's most incredible homes, some of the most expensive and some of the most unique. It's pretty fun to have a look at how the other half live and some very easy ways to spend a lazy 5 to 15 million dollars plus. Standard but fun ob doc TV. 


The Wrong Girl

8:40pm Wed 28 September - TEN
1.5 stars

Jessica Marais is Lily, a producer on morning TV program The Breakfast Bar, trying to rise above the others for her smart ideas. After a "classic" blunder she gets lumped co-producing the new cooking segment and stuffs that up too. Based on the novel by Zoe Foster-Blake the series also stars Ian Meadows, Rob Collins, Hayley Magnus, Craig McLachlan, Madeleine West, Steve Vizard & Kerry Armstrong. Great cast wasted on a very average production.


Survivor: Millennials v GenX

10pm/10:30pm Thu 29 September - NINE
Not available for review

Jeff Probst and the US team return to show us how it's really done, with the 33rd season of the reality show to rule them all. Pitting two modern generations against each other from the get go you know the incredible casting will mean there are surprises, snakes and alliances form in a minute that will cause the game to shift at the most unexpected times. Bring. It. On.


Luke Cage

5pm Fri 30 September - NETFLIX
4.5 stars

The second in Marvel TV's Netflix series to drop that will ultimately form a part of the Marvel's Defenders combo series Mike Colter returns in the title role he established in Marvel's Jessica Jones. He's got super strength & invincibility that's to an experiment gone wrong (of course) though he prefers to keep things low key, working as a cleaner in Pop's Barber shop and a dishwasher in a local Harlem nightclub. There is, however, a crime element that will cause Luke to reveal himself to protect the innocent. Strong, fun, blacksploitation-esque drama for Marvel's new African-American hero.



11am/7:30pm AEST Mon 3 October - SHOWCASE
4 stars

HBO's new science-fantasy series based on the book by Michael Crichton and produced by J.J. Abrams. A Wild West theme park has been created where people can come and live out their good guy or bad guy fantasies and where most of the others they encounter in the park are artificial humans with programmed stories and AI. Reclusive head programmer Dr Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins) is working to make things bigger and better, constantly improving the experience for the guests and making the AIs more robust between "refreshings" but that looks like it might be causing a problem as at least one of the AIs is starting to dream and remember their previous existences, causing them to question their involvement in the day-to-day running of the park. Cast includes Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, James Marsden, Ed Harris & Jimmi Simpson. Layered with delicious remakes of modern music this has the capability of being as big as Game of Thrones.


The Secret Daughter

8:44pm Mon 3 October - SEVEN
1 star

It's a blatantly obvious Jessica Mauboy vehicle and while that works from a musical perspective every setup is contrived and predictable and not what we've come to expect from a Network who have in the past delivered some of Australia's best drama. The plot, such that it is, has Jack (Colin Friels) looking for his long lost daughter that has been kept a secret for most of her life. Cast includes Bonnie Sveen, David Field, Rachel Gordon & Salvatore Coco. It's essentially a scripted version of X Factor where Mauboy is the only contestant.


Hyde & Seek

8:45pm Mon 3 October - NINE
3.5 stars

The Aussie police procedural is something Nine have a solid history in delivering and while Hyde & Seek doesn't break any new ground for them it is entirely dependable, enjoyable drama. Detective Gary Hyde (Matt Nable) vows to bring the killers of his best mate and detective partner to justice and in the process uncovers a number of secret investigations from all levels of international agency that links his friend's killers to terrorist activities. Cast includes Zoe Ventoura, Deborra-Lee Furness, Mandy McElhinny, Andrew Macfarlane, Jeremy Lindsay Taylor & Aaron Fa'aoso. Water Rats sans watercraft.


Todd Sampson's Bodyhack

9pm Tue 4 October - TEN
Not available for review

Todd sets out on an epic adventure to try to unlock the secrets of some of the world’s most extraordinary people. He faces myriad challenges, including living as a hunter-gatherer in Tanzania, stepping into the ring as a professional MMA Cage Fighter, and confronting his fear of open water to free dive and stride across the sea floor in Borneo. He also takes on one of the world’s most dangerous jobs as a Bollywood stuntman, overcomes injury to train with the notorious French Foreign Legion deep in the Amazon jungle, and works as a Himalayan Sherpa at extreme altitude.


Deep Water

8:30pm Wed 5 & Thu 6 October - SBS
5 stars

This incredible drama forms a part of SBS's look at a dark time in Sydney's history, when through the 80's & 90's over 80 young homosexual men were killed and thousands of assaults took place. It's a four-part fictionalised version of what took place, produced by Blackfella Films, and set in Bondi starring Noah Taylor and Yael Stone. Other resources including a dedicated website and documentary about the series of murders can be found at Cast includes William McInnes, Danielle Cormack, Jeremy Lindsay Taylor, Craig McLachlan, Dan Spielman & Ben Oxenbould. A drama series to get enveloped in.



7:30pm Sat 8 October - TEN
2 stars

It's a reboot so you pretty much know what to expect and if you're willing to switch your brain off then you'll have a great time with Lucas Till as Angus MacGyver. Somehow this babyface creates a secret U.S. government organization where he uses his extraordinary talents for problem solving and his extensive knowledge of science to save lives. Think iPads made of bandaids and lasers reconfigured with a paperclip. Cast includes George Eads & Sandrine Holt.



9pm Sun 9 & Mon 10 October - TEN
Not available for review

All the promos for this Bio mini-series from Ten make it look spectacular. Matt Le Nevez is the man crowned "Peter Perfect"  by fans and the media and while certainly there's tons of track time it's Brockie's relationships that pop up regularly to remind us that while he was perfect on the track he was anything but when it came to the ladies. Cast includes Steve Bisley, Ella Scott Lynch, Brendan Cowell, Natalie Bassingthwaite & Ryan Johnson. A smart move by Ten to start airing it the evening after the event Brock historically stamped as his own - the Bathurst 1000.


The Great Australian Bake Off

7:30pm Tue 11 October - LIFESTYLE FOOD
4 stars

Twelve new bakers step up to face Maggie Beer and Matt Moran (and each other) for one to win the crown of Australia's Best Amateur Baker for the second time around. Hosts Claire Hooper & Melinda Buttle keep the show on its toes and the wheels turning as the contestants deliver amazing bakes week after week. It's everything Zumbo's Just Desserts could have been and so much, much more.


Upper Middle Bogan

8:30pm Wed 12 October - ABC
4.5 stars

The Brights and the Wheelers are back, with a whole new set of challenges poised to bring them together or tear them apart. Wayne Hope & Robyn Butler deliver another great season of what has quickly become a classic Aussie comedy, with a stellar cast to boot, including Annie Maynard, Michala Banas, Glenn Robbins, Patrick Brammall, Robyn Malcolm & Robyn Nevin. Comedy with a big heart and sizeable balls.



9pm Wed 12 October - ABC
5 stars

Luke McGregor and Celia Pacquola co-write and co-star in this new comedy series about friendship and putting up with other people's shit. Daniel (McGregor) moves back to Tasmania to help his mum (Kris McQuade) with her Real Estate business when his best mate Emma (Pacquola) turns up on his doorstep after her new husband ditches her on their honeymoon. There's hints of both Luke & Celia's stand up stylings throughout the script which help make it perfectly endearing and bloody awkwardly funny. Absolutely must watch new TV.