Andrew Mercado’s TV Guide: Bachelor, Batman + a cross-dressing brother

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

The Bachelor Australia – 7.30pm Wednesday on Ten

After just three massive weeks, Australian Ninja Warrior is coming to an end next Tuesday on Nine and will be replaced by The Block. Meanwhile, Ten wraps up this year’s MasterChef on Monday and hopes that there will be more buzz about Matty J, the new bloke looking for publicity, I mean love. The first episode of this franchise is always a corker, as all of the women try to make an impression as they arrive at a mansion awash in hanging flowers and candles. Twitter will go into meltdown as everybody passes judgment on these latest wannabes, but rest assured that the worst-behaved and most disgraceful will probably be assured a seat on the next series of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of here!.

Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe – 8.35pm Friday on SBS

This two-part miniseries from Lifetime claims to uncover the iconic star’s “secret life” but given there have already been countless books written and over 185 movie and television adaptations of her life, what secrets are there possibly left to tell? Having watched most of part one, I can safely say – nothing. Two amazing actresses – Susan Sarandon playing Norma Jean’s troubled mother and Emily Watson as her mum’s best friend – don’t get that much to do but leading lady Kelli Garner is rather good with her take on the legend. Mildly diverting, but there is nothing new to see here.

Batman – 6.40pm Friday on SBS Viceland

This classic 1966 TV series, revived in the wake of Adam West’s shock death, began last week so tonight should be episodes 3 and 4 airing together. It is Burgess Meredith’s first appearance as The Penguin (despite Mickey Rooney also being up for the role) and he would go on to become the most frequent guest villain, along with The Joker (Cesar Romero, who will arrive next week). The series, last sighted on Foxtel, hasn’t been seen on local TV for many years and is a smart addition to the Viceland lineup.

We Don’t Need a Map – 8.30pm Sunday on SBS and NITV

This documentary from director Warwick Thornton (Samson and Delilah) recently opened the Sydney Film Festival. It is an indigenous look at the Southern Cross and some of the controversial issues that have surrounded the stars, and its symbolic use and the Australian flag since the Cronulla race riots. It’s doesn’t take itself seriously and is experimental, but at 90 mins, it is maybe half an hour too long. Nevertheless, Thornton has some valid points to make about ancient and modern Australia.

Versailles – 8.30pm Thursday on SBS

This lavish series was renewed for this second season before its first one had even aired (and a third is now being made too). King Louis is losing it a bit this year, as he deals with poisonous potions, his cross-dressing brother, his influential mistress and then going to war. The French period drama, which shocked some conservative BBC viewers when it began, is upping the ante this time round by making sure there is more equality with the nude scenes – meaning, get ready for more male nudity to even the score, particularly episode two next week.

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