Andrew Mercado’s TV Guide: Paul Hogan, a 24 reboot and more

TV critic Andrew Mercado’s rundown on what to watch on the box this week

Sunday February 12

Hoges – 8.30pm on Seven

So the good news is that Hoges is nowhere near as bad as The Daily Telegraph would lead you to believe. Yes, that cringeworthy “that’s not a knife” Crocodile Dundee re-enactment from the promo hasn’t helped but let’s get one thing straight – while Josh Lawson doesn’t quite get the full charm and sparkle of the real Paul Hogan, it’s a tough role. And there are far worse celeb impersonations, like Kerry Packer and Dustin Hoffman instead. Sean Keenan has a much easier (and shorter) job playing the young Hoges we never met and Justine Clarke is just spectacular – as always – playing Noeline. Listen carefully at how it never names the two Nine shows that feature heavily in Hoges’ history, like New Faces and A Current Affair  but the kids do watch The Young Doctors (Nine) and The Restless Years (Ten) thanks to producer Fremantle owning the rights to those. Anyhow, the (brilliant) Winfield commercials get a look in, although without mentioning the brand name or showing a cigarette. It’s not as good as Molly but it is better than Brock. And it will still rate its (Stubbies) pants off.

Nashville – 7.35pm on showcase

There is nothing better than a show being cancelled in mid-stream, only for it to be revived for a new network. This fifth series of the country music drama, which has moved from America’s ABC to the CMT network, picks up with the fate of Juliette (Hayden Panettierre) whose plane was about to crash last season. There are 22 episodes for this series, which use to be the norm but seems really excessive now, especially since I couldn’t even make it to the end of the premiere episode without falling asleep. Good luck to them though.

24: Legacy – 8.30pm on Ten

Premiering in a dream timeslot straight after the Super Bowl, this reboot of the 24 franchise just scored big with 17 million viewers in the US … but only six million of them returned the following night for the second episode. Ouch. Here in Australia, it faces an even bigger battle debuting up against hometown hero Hoges on Seven. There is no Keifer Sutherland any more, given Jack Bauer was last seen being carted off to a Russian prison (but given the Putin and Trump show, perhaps a delicious new scenario is currently being worked on). Meanwhile, there is an Australian connection with Miranda Otto playing the wife of Jimmy Smits, who is playing another Presidential hopeful (having traversed this territory before in The West Wing). And let’s not forget the new series star actually being Corey Hawkins, who must have been on the Gold Coast recently working on the soon-to-be-released movie Kong: Skull Island. If he has prior experience dealing with a giant ape, he should have no trouble over the next 12 (not 24) hours/episodes.

Tuesday February 14

Travel Guides – 9pm on Nine

What a shame there are no previews for this because we honestly can’t wait to watch it. The promos (which are hilarious and haven’t over-stayed their welcome) make it look like Getaway with more bogans, more snobs and a Here Come The Habibs-like family. Cue a few holidays from hell and this could be brilliant.

Thursday February 16

The Chase Australia: MKR Special – 7.30pm on Seven

Family Feud is responsible for this latest trend of daytime shows doing primetime editions. Ten threw All Star Family Feud together as alternative programming to the Olympics and all episodes were repeated over summer. It’s cheap filler that cross-promotes their early evening lineup so it’s no surprise that Seven is jumping on the bandwagon with its top-rating 5pm show offering yet another avenue for washed-up, I mean, fan favourite reality stars. How long will it be till Nine does a “celebrity” version of Millionaire Hot Seat? Hey, i’ve even got a name for it too … “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire”!

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