November 22: drama, dating, food and travel

TV critic Andrew Mercado lists what to watch on TV tonight and why.

Simply Nigella

Kevin Can Wait 8pm on Nine

Kevin James filmed 207 episodes of The King of Queens that play infinitum on ELEVEN. Now he’s got another CBS sitcom that is pretty similar, except this time his character is retired. It won’t be that funny, but it’s simple to follow and probably comes with canned laughter. Thank you, but no, I might check out Full Frontal with Samantha Bee on SBS Viceland instead.

Simply Nigella/Rick Stein: From Venice To Istanbul 8pm on ABC

This is Nigella Lawson’s sixth cooking series and it focuses on “comfort food” that’s easy to prepare and “makes you feel good”. Some British viewers criticised the show for being too easy, with “avocado on toast” being mocked on social media (“She’ll be teaching us how to make a cuppa next” said one wag). At least Rick Stein sounds a bit more ambitious with his travelogue, his 31st series! Both shows are from 2015.

First Dates UK 8.40pm on Seven

Last week, Seven beat Nine by just 0.1% and part of that victory can be attributed to this delightful dating show which aired two episodes last week. Tonight, the Australian version airs for the last time this year, only to be followed by the original UK version, which will continue throughout the summer. Note that the English show isn’t afraid to pair up oldies – let’s hope the Australian version also looks beyond all those young hotties in 2017.

The Affair 8.30pm on showcase

The third series opens with Noah (Dominic West) being released from prison after taking the fall for a crime he didn’t commit. Despite an ex-wife and ex-mistress, now it looks like he might get distracted by a sexy new French academic and a former prison guard (played by Brendan Fraser). And by distracted, I mean bedded. And bashed.

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