Mercado on TV: From SBS delights to Seven’s raunchy new AGT

AGT may still be positioned as a family franchise, but it has gotten a lot more raunchy.

Sexting is a very hot topic on TV right now. Already a current plot in The Heights (ABC), Euphoria (Foxtel) and the upcoming HBO movie Share (August on FoxShowcase), it is also at the core of The Hunting (Thursday on SBS), a new Aussie drama with a top notch cast.

Richard Roxburgh (Nick) and Asher Keddie (Simone) play a married couples, Pamela Rabe (Ada) is their son’s school headmistress, and Sam Reid (Lamb Of God) an idealistic teacher. But it’s the young newcomers, some making impressive debuts, that drive the action, like Nassim (Yazeed Daher, who is also a standout on The Heights), Dip (Kavitha Anandasivam), Zoe (Luca Sardelus) and odious alpha male Andy (Alex Cusack).

It’s just four episodes long, but SBS has maddeningly only made the first three available for preview, so how it all ends is still a mystery. Certainly it is the best thing director Ana Kokkinos has done since Head On (1998), and is important and topical, although it could have benefitted from a few more lighter moments to make it less bleak.

One show that discovers humour in darkness is Waltzing The Dragon with Benjamin Law (Tuesday on ABC). After his biographical sitcom The Family Law, this is a chance to meet his real-life parents, who are hilarious, and join him on a road trip to explore the Chinese migration history to Australia. The result is absolutely delightful.

You won’t learn much from the all new (yet again) Australia’s Got Talent (Sunday on Seven), except what not to try at home. With 59 international adaptations of the show now running, international acts travel the world like a circuit, as do some judges. Another reality show hopper is The Bachelorette’s Apollo, who proves there is no PTSD from wooing Sophie Monk by setting himself on fire.

It may still be positioned as a family franchise, but it has gotten a lot more raunchy. One act gives out gifts to the judges, with “Chef and Entertainer” Manu getting a penis pump before the talent then drinks Nicole Sherzinger’s “urine”. The former Pussycat Doll isn’t offended, but how could she when she has already described a previous act as being so funny it caused her to “nearly shit” her “pants”. And the closing act is then an old bloke who paints portraits with his “willy”.

Seven are a bit obsessed with men’s bits next week, what with The All New Monty (Tuesday on Seven), and the original movie and The Real Full Monty UK (Sunday on 7flix). No word on whether Manu might be the next to strip next, but at least he has proved there is life beyond MKR, which is good news for those former MasterChef judges. Maybe all three could be judges on a reboot of Australian Idol? Just kidding, I meant everyone except George Colambaris.

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