Andrew Mercado’s TV Guide: Sophie Monk, The Emmys + Countdown!

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


Classic Countdown – 6pm Sunday on ABC

Tony Abbott, Lyle Shelton and those oh-so-predictable News Ltd columnists are trying to confuse the gay marriage debate by making it all about radical gender education instead. So imagine their horror when they realise that the public broadcaster once tried to brainwash the youth of Australia, who spent far more time studying the looks and lyrics of Countdown than they ever did at school.

In the first episode, compiled from the year 1975, Countdown is awash with cross dressers and men wearing more makeup than any of the girls. Bon Scott even wears a dress. And a girls school uniform too, which is exactly the nightmarish scenario those three mothers from the TV commercial spend their lives worrying about. Well, you know what? Been there, done that and we all survived. Countdown did too and it is freakin’ brilliant to have it back in its old timeslot on Sunday night.

The Bachelorette Australia – 7.30pm Wednesday on Ten

Sophie Monk, despite endless opportunities, has never quite made it as a singer, actress, presenter or radio host. Luckily, she is a self-deprecating bogan and that has garnered her a lot of love from the general public, just not from the right man. Yet. So here she is, back where it all began for her, reality TV again. But it’s not how Sophie sees it, telling the press this isn’t a TV show, this is “real life”. And in Sophie’s world, that could be as close as she gets. So good luck, Sophie, and here’s hoping your bloke loves you. For real. And not just for the financial and media opportunities that will no doubt follow. Real life. Yeah right.

The Doctor Blake Mysteries – 8.30pm Sunday on ABC

It’s possible that dear old Aunty needs to see a doctor, and I don’t mean Dr Blake because he is too busy solving murders and finally getting it on with his housekeeper. No, I mean Aunty may need a check-up to make sure she isn’t going senile. Because why, why would she cancel her highest-rated Aussie drama? Surely, it’s not that ghastly “don’t get too popular” cringe again? During the last series, Doctor Blake got over a million viewers – and on a Friday night too. So I get why it’s moving to Sunday nights, but ending it when it screens in over 130 countries and wins its timeslot on BBC One? Oh, Aunty.

Vice Principals – 8.30pm Tuesday on comedy

HBO ordered 18 episodes of this comedy series upfront and split it into two series and so here we are exactly halfway at the second season premiere. Neal Gamby (Danny R. McBride) is hobbling around after last season’s cliffhanger and trying to figure out who shot him. Supporting cast members Walter Goggins and Busy Phillips are amusing, but if you don’t find Danny R. McBride funny, this will be a struggle.

The 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards – 10am Monday on Fox 8

Good luck to all the Aussies nominated this year, and good luck to their shows which are right up there with the best of them. Nicole Kidman in Little Big Lies? Amazing. Judy Davis in Feud: Bette and Joan? High camp. Director Kate Dennis for The Handmaid’s Tale. Incredible. Now pick which was the best one, in a field that also includes The Crown, Westworld, House of Cards, This Is Us and Better Call Saul. What a year.

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