Mediaweek TV Recommendations: 17-19 June 2016

FRIDAY
Orange Is The New Black – Streaming on Netflix and binging on showcase
The fourth series is “Express from the US” and screens simultaneously on the streaming service that produces it and the network which originally launched it in Australia. Litchfield Penitentiary is now bursting at the seams with a raft of new inmates but oddly, Ruby Rose is missing in action. Wish I could say I will be watching but I decided to only do one women’s prison series every year – and that means Wentworth, baby, all the way. [AM]

Percy – 1.10am on GEM
In December 1971, Sydney’s CBD screened its first ever R-rated movie when this British comedy opened in the tiny State Theatrette (because the much grander State Theatre upstairs was screening the movie version of Frankie Howerd’s TV series Up Pompeii – go figure). The-then racy movie, about the world’s first penis transplant, is now so tame it is probably screening on TV uncut. Featuring Elke Sommer and Britt Ekland, it is also memorable for having a soundtrack from The Kinks.  [AM]

Shelfie with Dan Hong – Streaming on ABC iView
Each week viewers send Sydney chef Dan Hong a photo of a shelf in their pantry. He chooses one and visits the viewer armed with two extra ingredients and prepares to make a meal out of what was on the shelf in the photo. The show is aimed at a twenty-something crowd and is clearly built on the notion that this is an audience with limited cooking skills/interest, so had Hong showcasing what can be cooked while on a budget with few skills in the kitchen. Hong is a wildly charismatic guy who understands exactly who the audience is and talks directly to them. It’s smart, entertaining TV. Fingers crossed it goes on to a second season. [DB]

SATURDAY
The Coroner – 7.30pm on ABC
This BBC production was screened over a fortnight in a daytime slot in the UK so getting a prime time slot down under on Aunty is quite the step up. Filmed in and around Devon and South Cornwall, the scenery should be worth the price of admission and the title is self-explanatory – but given its origins, keep those expectations low.  [AM]

The Amazing Race – 6.30pm on Fox 8
It has won an incredible ten Emmys for Most Outstanding Reality-Competition Program but instead of being dumped into a late night slot on Seven, it now moves to this family timeslot on Foxtel. This is Series 26 (from 2014) featuring “blind date” teams so if all goes well, expect series 27 and 28 (which finished in the US last December) to follow on Foxtel.  [AM]

Chasing Life – 9.30pm on Fox 8
Yet another ABC Family series , this time based on a Mexican telenovela about a sassy journalist who gets leukaemia. It stars Aussie actor Richard Brancatisano from last year’s local movie Alex and Eve (and let us never forget he played Prince Vittorio Seca in Home & Away).  [AM]

Van Diemens Land – 9:25pm on SBS2
The true story of Alexander Pearce, Australia’s most notorious convict who joined seven fellow convicts in escaping from Sarah Island penal settlement to face the unforgiving Tasmanian wilderness. This film starts dark, becomes bleak, and then becomes even darker and bleaker as the film goes on. It’s a criminally under-seen film that will absolutely stay with you for years to come. [DB]

SUNDAY
Sex Box USA – 10.20pm on SBS2
Based on the British original, nothing much changes with this American remake. A couple goes into soundproof box to have sex while the audience and hosts wait outside only to question them for details when they emerge. Ewww is right. Would be the most controversial show of the week if it wasn’t for The Briefcase starting on Nine from Monday.  [AM]

So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation – 6.30pm on Fox 8
Previously screened on Ten and Eleven, it looks like Foxtel has now grabbed the rights and they start with Series 13 which re-jigs the format to feature dancers aged between 8 and 13. Regulars Nigel Lythgoe, Paula Abdul and Jason Derulo are joined on the judging panel by 13-year-old Maddie Ziegler, the dance sensation from Dance Moms and all those incredible music videos from Sia.  [AM]

Undercover – 8.30pm on Fox 8
Is there anything more exciting than an acclaimed new BBC drama? Well how about if it stars Sophie Okonedo (The Slap), Dennis Haysbert (24) and Adrian Lester (Hustle)? And written by playwright Peter Moffat who also did two incredible series of The Village for BBC? Nothing more needed to be said – just watch it.  [AM]

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