Andrew Mercado’s TV Guide: Logie week special!

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

TV Week

59th Annual TV Week Logie Awards – Sunday 7pm on Nine

It’s so sad that sniping at this awards is an annual tradition, both before and after too. This year the “Logies shock” is all about the fact that there is only one woman (Jessica Marais) nominated, despite countless years in which women like Georgie Parker, Lisa McCune and countless others dominated the category. Oh, and according to News Ltd’s Annette Sharp, the nominees are also too young and too “scandalous” (oh Annette, but what would you write about if they led lily white lives?).

And let’s not forget the perennial whining that a “fan” magazine like TV Week asks its readers to vote for the Most Popular categories (now confusingly re-named Best while the peer-voted categories are Most Outstanding). Again I ask, what the hell is wrong with asking people who love TV so much they buy TV Week to have their say? This gives the industry the best of both worlds – and “popular” should not be a dirty word. So if you don’t like it, don’t watch it, but stop criticising a system which could not be fairer. And Kerri-Anne Kennerley going into the Hall of Fame – brilliant… and about time.

House of Bond – Monday 9pm on Nine

After the new season premiere of The Voice, Nine airs its new Western Australian dynasty drama – only this time, instead of the House of Hancock (which will never re-screen anywhere again thanks to Gina Rinehart’s court action), it’s House of Bond (and enjoy it while you can because Eileen Bond is also talking to her lawyers, although whether she can get the Supreme Court to sit for her on a Saturday like Gina did remains to be seen).

Although set in a similar location (and with the classy Sam Neill starring in both), this one seems more in the vein of Underbelly than House Of, especially after its tacky introduction (aka promo) which features bare boobs and the exquisite Rachael Taylor (as mistress Diana Bliss) saying “Fuck off”. Sadly, once the story actually begins, it becomes apparent that HOB has a much smaller budget than HOH and despite its mostly Perth setting, it appears to have been filmed entirely around Sydney. There is also no Rose Hancock for entertainment value – just Alan Bond (Ben Mingay) who comes off as an unlikable arsehole who is so filthy rich he has a colour TV in 1969 despite broadcasting not starting in Australia till 1975.

The usually reliable Adrienne Pickering never quite captures being Eileen Bond because she is too thin (and given Gina Rinehart’s objection to the way she was portrayed in this area, it’s understandable why Eileen gets to be so slim). Given the ratings disappointment of Brock and Hoges, it’s also easy to see why Nine is pulling out all the stops (and pulling off all the tops) to get the viewers in but if this one doesn’t work, the Aussie biopic will be as dead as the Bond Corporation. At least for a few years anyway.

Neighbours – Anzac Day 6.30pm on Eleven

Ramsay Street is one of the few dramas on TV that observes most Australian holidays in real time. And with episodes now screening simultaneously in both the UK and Canada (where it has just started broadcasting on gay network Out), that means viewers in the Commonwealth are about to be reminded about the importance of Anzac Day to Aussies. Neighbours has been including Anzac dawn ceremonies for several years now, mostly because of gay indigenous PTSD soldier Nate (Meyne Wyatt). He is now gone but it’s a nice touch that his former boyfriend Aaron (Matt Wilson) continues the tradition in his absence. And particularly since Anzac Day, once so important to Alf (Ray Meagher) on Home & Away, is not being celebrated this year in Summer Bay. Strewth, Alf, what’s the world coming to?

Peter Helliar: One Hot Mess – Wednesday 8.30pm on Ten

If you are a fan of This Is Us, this is not good news. Ten is “resting” its low-rating American drama after the Christmas cliffhanger and there is no word when it will come back. Instead, they’ve turned this timeslot over to a movie last week and this week it’s a stand-up comedy special from The Project co-host. Had they played this show last Wednesday, Peter Helliar could have been advertised as a Gold Logie nominee and if he wins, Gold Logie winner will make an even better promo. If he comes home empty-handed from Crown, however, viewers may prefer Seven’s new Aussie Property Flippers at 9pm while Nine brings back Britain’s Got Talent.

River – Friday 8.30pm on ABC

Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgard plays a troubled Detective Inspector called River, who is grappling with voices and visions in his head about a murdered workmate. Meanwhile, he is struggling to investigate a missing teenager, and an illegal immigrant situation. This BBC series, which was released locally to Netflix in 2015, earned huge praise from British critics, one of whom described it as “near-perfect” right up to its sixth and final episode.

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