Mediaweek Weekend TV Guide: Friday 16-18 September 2016

Recommendations by Andrew Mercado [AM] and Dan Barrett [DB]

FRIDAY
MacGyver
7:30pm on ONE
Next week in the US the 2016 reboot of McGyver will go to air. Undoubtedly people will come away from it saying it wasn’t as good as the original. Take the time tonight to watch the original series and understand just how unwatchable the show actually was. [DB]

SATURDAY
The Great Australian Spelling Bee
6.30pm on Eleven
Time to farewell this show which has suffered the indignity of being moved from Sundays to Saturdays on Ten before ending up here: Unwatched and unloved. Last year it screened on Ten on a weeknight and I criticised why anyone would put a family show like this on a school night when its audience has to go to bed early. But moving it to a family friendlier slot proved disastrous – so please don’t ever listen to anything I ever say again. [AM]

SUNDAY
Howard on Menzies
7.40pm on ABC
The first of a two-part documentary with our second longest serving Prime Minister looking more closely at the longest serving one. Howard proves to be an adept interviewer and seems to particularly enjoy some lighter moments with Bob Hawke and Barry Humphries. Fascinating stuff. [AM]

Doctor Doctor
9:30pm on Nine
Shows about country towns have always worked on Australian television. Over the last 60 years we’ve had Bellbird, Matlock Police, A Country Practice, The Flying Doctors, Blue Heelers, Seachange and McLeod’s Daughters. Now Nine has taken a bit out of several of those shows and put a fresh spin on it. And the result is hugely entertaining – and modern. The cast is incredible, particularly Rodger Corser as the morally corrupt lead character (unusual for a network drama) and Tina Bursill as his corrupt councillor mother who is on the take from a mining company. It’s touches like this that make its stories very topical, and that includes the family’s micro brewery and a diverse town that includes an Asian hospital staffer (Charles Wu) and a naughty Irish nurse (Shalom Brune-Franklin). Having watched two episodes, I’d say this is easily the best Aussie drama now on Nine’s slate. All things considered, it did pretty well in the ratings up against the Offspring finale and this encore screening should win it some more fans before it (sadly) goes head to head with another Aussie drama this Wednesday when Ten begins The Wrong Girl. [AM]

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