TV & Radio Monday March 12

by Fiona Rae / 12 March, 2012
Kerry Fox shines in Aussie mini-series Cloudstreet, and a tense episode of Homeland. Aren't they all?


Homeland (TV3, 8.30pm). A tense episode of Homeland that is fantastically cryptic. A terrorist from the compound where Brody was held is captured, and it turns out to be one of his torturers. The CIA sets up an “enhanced interrogation”, which seems to involve pounding heavy metal music, flashing lights and the air-con turned down to very chilly. Brody is brought in to feed Saul with information for the interrogation, and then – like this would ever happen – petitions CIA boss Estes to have a face-to-face with the guy. Because this is drama, it does happen.

Native Affairs (Maori, 8.30pm). Not as sexy as it sounds. But it is very cool. Julian Wilcox returns with a new season of current affairs from the Maori and indigenous worlds.

Cloudstreet (Vibe, Sky 007, 8.30pm). There are high production values for this three-part adaptation of the beloved Australian novel about two families. It opens with separate tragedies, “a gorgeous and captivating start”, according to the Sydney Morning Herald (possibly talking about the camerawork, rather than the content) and then moves on to the house they share in Cloud St, Perth, from 1943. The families are two sides of a coin – the Lambs, who believe in a God of miracles, and the Pickles, who are fatalists. Kerry Fox plays Lamb matriarch Oriel, and she is “terrific” said the SMH, along with Essie Davis as Dolly Pickles. Author Tim Winton helped adapt the script, and his magical realist touches remain, including a pig that talks and a galah that poops shillings and sixpences.

Revenge (TV2, 9.30pm). The return of Lydia, who was one of Emanda’s first victims. Remember? She’s the one having an affair with Victoria’s husband Conrad, and she blames Emanda for outing the affair. Now Emanda is not the only one with revenge on her mind … So bad, it’s good.

Our War: 10 Years in Afghanistan (BBC Knowledge, Sky 074, 9.30pm). Another documentary series that uses raw footage taken by people who were there. The first episode follows soldiers in 3 Platoon, 1st Battalion Royal Anglian regiment, who were sent to Helmand province in 2007. The tour was filmed on a helmet camera worn by the platoon’s sergeant, who captured the moment when one of his men, a 19-year-old private, was killed in a Taliban ambush. The other two episodes follow soldiers from the Grenadier Guards and the 2nd Battalion -Princess of Wales regiment.

God Bless Ozzy Osbourne (Prime, 9.35pm). A two-parter that looks at the Birmingham rocker who helped invent heavy metal with Black Sabbath and lived a bacchanalian existence for longer than should have been humanly possible. He lost it all eventually, of course, but with wife Sharon – and a reality show – managed to claw his life back. There are interviews with his brothers and sisters, as well as Sharon and their children Jack, Aimee and Kelly. Sir Paul McCartney, Tommy Lee and Henry Rollins also comment.


John Tucker Must Die (Four, 8.30pm). A bloodless revenge-com: hell hath no fury like three high-school girls scorned by a dickhead. (2006) 5 – Diana Balham

Midnight Cowboy (MGM, 8.30pm). The end of the 1960s, and Hollywood was about to embark on another golden era of film-making: The Godfather, Mean Streets, Taxi Driver and Chinatown all followed shortly after John Schlesinger’s Midnight Cowboy, but so did Star Wars and Saturday Night Fever, so it wasn’t all a total bummer. Cowboy is the comedown after Hair – Jon Voight, all mouth and trousers, arrives in New York as a “stud for hire”; what he finds is a crumbling city and a sick Dustin Hoffman. Great performances by Voight (ironically, a native New Yorker) and Hoffman (originally from Los Angeles) hold it together and, of course, there’s the fun of seeing Hoffman’s famous “Hey, I’m walkin’ here!” scene. (1969) 9
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