The Six Wives of Henry VIII with Lucy Worsley – 7.30pm Saturday on SBS
Is there another English King that has had as many movies, TV series and documentaries made about him than as one?
In movies, he has been played by Eric Bana (The Other Boleyn Girl), Richard Burton (Anne of the Thousand Days) and Sid James (Carry on Henry). On television he has been portrayed by Keith Michell (The Six Wives of Henry VIII), Jonathan Rhys Meyers (The Tudors), Ray Winstone (Henry VIII) and Damian Lewis (Wolf Hall).
Now British historian Lucy Worsley is revisiting the sordid story and English critics were not kind when this aired last December on the BBC. The Telegraph called her attempt to find new info from this familiar tale as “annoying” while The Guardian described her as “carefully and slowly polishing a turd”.
Twin Peaks – streaming from Monday on Stan
Arguably the TV event of the year, this influential cult classic is back with 18 brand new and fast-tracked episodes, and all directed by series creator David Lynch. It’s all because of a throwaway line in the first series in which the ghost of Laura Palmer, during a dream sequence no less, whispered in Agent Cooper’s (Kyle MacLachlan) ear that she would reveal everything in 25 years.
And so here we are, 26 years since it went off air, with almost the entire original cast returning (barring Michael Ontkean and Lara Flynn Boyle, the first having retired from acting while the latter faded away to the size of a toothpick), and several actors that have died since the making of this new series (including Miguel Ferrer, “Log Lady” Catherine E. Coulson and David Bowie before he could reprise his role from the prequel movie).
As if all that isn’t exciting enough, new cast members include Aussie actors Naomi Watts and Gia Carides, as well as Laura Dern, Amanda Seyfried, Jim Belushi, Michael Cera, Ashley Judd, Jennifer Jason Leigh and singers Trent Reznor and Eddie Vedder. I am currently bingeing the first 30 episodes and panicking I might have to do an all-nighter this Sunday – that’s how excited I am.
The Wizard of Lies – 8.30pm Sunday on showcase
Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer star in an original HBO movie and the good news is that it is way better than The Family, a disappointing comedy they made in 2013.
This time they are playing another married couple, but there are no laughs here as they portray disgraced real life couple Bernie and Ruth Madoff. He was responsible for the biggest financial fraud in American history and according to this movie, his family was as clueless as all his investors. De Niro plays him as a weary sociopath almost relieved to be telling the truth. There is great support from co-stars Alessandro Nivola and Hank Azaria in a classy project from legendary director Barry Levinson.
The Real Housewives of Toronto – 8.30pm Sunday on Arena
Every time a Housewives series ends, another quickly takes its place and so with the Sydney “ladies” off being social (and still sniping at each other), it’s time for our cousins from the Northern Hemisphere to show us what they’ve got. Canada has already given us The Real Housewives of Vancouver but now it’s Toronto’s turn. There’s nothing much original here, with one married to a plastic surgeon, another wild party girl and lots of promises that the show will “exceed expectations”. Bitches, please, when it comes to this series, we’ve seen it all before.
Janet King – 8.30pm Thursday on ABC
The third series of this brilliant Crown Prosecution series sees Janet (Marta Dusseldorp) tackling match fixing after a cricketer commits suicide. Peter Kowitz, Damian Walshe-Howling, Andrea Demetriades and Anita Hegh are back along with new stars Susie Porter and Don Hany.
The first episode is a cracker and wastes no time setting up this season’s premise, with Janet out of her comfort zone in the world of sports (“What’s The G” she has to ask when being taken to the MCG). After last year’s sensational series, I am expecting big things again from Aunty’s best Aussie drama, especially after Seven Types of Ambiguity lost the plot after a great first episode.