It’s a tough call on Sunday night with the first night of the official ratings year bound to lead to some squabbles over the remote.
Seven is going for the heart-strings at 6.30pm with its special on separated conjoined twins Trishna and Krishna: the Quest for Separate Lives. Then it’s on to Airways, Bones and Castle – a pretty solid line-up.
Nine’s hand is forced by the cricket and the forthcoming Winter Olympics, so we get the movie Mission Impossible III at 9pm. Yawn.
Ten has the enviable line-up of The Biggest Loser at 6.30 followed by its multi-generational hit quiz/panel show Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation in its new home at 7.30pm. Oh and it’s in 3D, apparently, so get your goggles from this week’s TV week.
At 8.30pm is where the trouble starts and where you might need to crank up the PVR, DVDR or VCR if you still have one.
Ten has the series premiere of The Good Wife, featuring Julianna Margulies in her Golden Globe winning role.
Since leaving ER (she was Nurse Carol Hathaway to George Clooney’s Dr Doug Ross), Margulies hasn’t has much luck on the small screen; her last series Canterbury’s Law didn’t even screen in Australia to the best of my knowledge.
Margulies is Alicia Florrick, the good wife in question, who is forced to return to work as a lawyer after her husband, former state’s attorney Peter Florrick (Chris Noth) is jailed over a political corruption and sex tape scandal.
Alicia has plenty on her plate – the humiliation of sex tapes revealing her husband had sex with prostitutes, raising two children and returning to work in a law firm where she has to compete to keep her position against a cocky and conniving junior, Cary.
Margulies is a bit stiff in the pilot but that’s almost to be expected as Alicia tries to keep it together in public and private.
Chris Noth, aka Mr Big from Sex and the City and Detective Mike Logan from Law & Order and Law & Order: CI, is well-cast as her adulterous husband Peter.
Noth’s not in it a lot and most of that he’s in jail or but his presence is important.
What I enjoyed most about the first few episodes is the multi-layered plot. This isn’t just another legal drama.
Alicia is struggling to fit back into the workforce while raising her teenaged children with the help of her mother-in-law.
Meanwhile, Peter thinks everything will be fine once he is released from prison and he misguidedly tries to steer clients and information Alicia’s way.
Bubbling along below the surface is the truth about Peter – is he really guilty of corruption and infidelity or could he have been set up?
Alas, there’s also a compelling documentary on at exactly the same time as The Good Wife (and episode three of House).
Forget the tears and sob stories of The Biggest Loser and So You Think You Can Dance: I cried more than I have in years watching Inside the Firestorm.
To commemorate Victoria’s Black Saturday bushfires of February 7, 2009, the ABC will screen this feature-length documentary at 8.30pm on Sunday.
Heart-breaking in the extreme, it follows events as they unfolded, using a single narrative to create a compelling drama where the audience is at various times left not knowing the fate of the various participants.
The horrific heatwave weather conditions, a breakdown in fire alerts and a monster fire that did not play by the rules resulted in 173 deaths.
Families that should have been safe perished. Fire-fighters saved people’s homes and businesses but lost loved ones. People who fled their homes and shouldn’t have made it somehow survived. Courage and despair, hope and tears, bravery and battles lost. It’s all there. This is must watch TV.
Many Australians have become complacent about the dangers of bushfires. This is the sort of program that needed to be made and needs to be seen.
Hats off to director Jacob Hickey, all the brave survivors and narrator Hugo Weaving for his compelling and important piece of work.
For more of an insight into the making of Inside the Firestorm, visit the ABC website.