Orange Is The New Black – streaming on Netflix and Foxtel Now
Netflix is cheekily advertising this new series in cinemas across Australia, alongside ads for its new wrestling drama Glow. But because Foxtel originally held the TV rights in Australia, its new streaming service Foxtel Now has also made all of these new episodes available as a marathon. It’s confusing but good for consumers.
Season five takes place over just three days, as the inmates riot and take over Litchfield prison. Sounds intriguing, but I am still going to stick with just one prison show per year, the Australian–made (and superior) Wentworth.
A Royal Night Out – 8.30pm Sunday on ABC
Once upon a time, commercial networks aired movies at 8.30pm while the ABC offered something different with a British drama series. Nowadays, the Sunday movie has all but disappeared but Aunty, mindful of the huge ratings it gets for its British dramas all weekend, has decided to premiere a new British movie in this timeslot.
The movie, which is a fictional account of what Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret may have got up to when they left Buckingham Palace and joined in with commoners to celebrate the end of WWII, is a pleasant piece of fluff with Rupert Everett, playing King George VI, almost stealing the show.
Apple Tree Yard – 8.30pm Thursday on BBC First
At the same time as Emily Watson plays the Queen Mother in ABC’s movie A Royal Night Out, her new four-part BBC drama also begins. Watson is in familiar territory here, playing a repressed woman whose sexual desires lead her down a dangerous path as she embarks on a somewhat tawdry affair with a mysterious man played by Ben Chaplin.
The first episode indicates something very bad is going to happen as the couple embark on numerous sexual encounters, often in restrooms and public laneways. But despite this, you still won’t see what’s coming as it finishes with a surprise cliffhanger. Given how many times Emily Watson has been tortured on screen as the star of several movies from director Lars Von Trier, I shudder to think what could come next for the poor woman.
The Family Law – 8.35pm Thursday on SBS
Season two of this Aussie sitcom about a Chinese-Australian family is still as delightful as ever. Divorced dad Danny (Anthony Wong) has sold his restaurant to open a new Asian supermarket and live over it in a luxury apartment, which leaves former wife Fiona aka Mummy (Fiona Choi) feeling a bit left out. Meanwhile, Benjamin (Trystan Go) tries to become school captain while the real Benjamin Law cameos again in the series based on his family and books. There is lots to enjoy about this beautifully made series and the performances are still top notch – highly recommended.
Naked Attraction – streaming on Spike, Fetch TV
This male-skewed channel, only available on Fetch TV, is currently airing one of the most jaw-dropping shows you will ever see. Made for Channel 4 in the UK, this goes where no dating show has ever gone before, with zero pixellation and full frontal nudity, male and female, on display from whoa to go.
Prospective suitors are slowly revealed from the ankles up, leaving the first reveal to be their genitalia, which is discussed at length and shown in extreme close-up. And based on just that, somebody is rejected, and then has to walk out, still fully nude, to meet the person who doesn’t like their junk. Their final walk of shame off the set is about as humiliating as it gets (although I would still bet that people desperate to be on TV at any cost would still consider this to be worth it). SBS tried (unsuccessfully) this year with Undressed, which saw couples strip to their underwear before climbing into a double bed. Had they dared to be as audacious as this show, it may have gotten a lot more eyeballs (not to mention other bits).