• The Listener
  • North & South
  • Noted
  • RNZ

TV & Radio Thursday December 29

There's a freak storm on Benidorm, causing flooding and outbreaks of bingo, and Mythbusters stage the old escape from a sinking car trick.

TV






Cricket (Sky Sport 2, Sky 031, noon). The test between Australia and India is evenly poised after Australia's top order batting collapse. It's now up to the Indians to finish things off today.

Mythbusters (Prime, 7.30pm). Tonight: the old escape from the sinking car trick. We've always wondered about that one.

Big Fat Gypsy Weddings (TV1, 8.30pm). It’s a week of repeats and reality and here’s both: the series that goes inside the Traveller community screens again. It’s simultaneously frightening and amazing; anthropologists must love it.

Benidorm (TV1, 9.30pm). In a freak coincidence, a storm batters Benidorm, except when that happens, the English play bingo. Les/Lesley arranges the entertainment. Plus, there's a bit of a shock for Janice when Johnny Neptune turns up.

Absolutely Fabulous (TV1, 10.30pm). The episode is New Best Friend, with appearances from Lulu, Zandra Rhodes, Jo Brand, Britt Ekland, Miranda Richardson and Meera Syal.

Chuck (TV2, 10.30pm). Some reveals tonight, including what all those Gretas (the collective name for the spies who appear in the Buy More. One of them is Isaiah Mustafa, the Old Spice Guy) have been doing, and what Casey's been up to with Castle. Also, Chuck's sister Ellie might be getting an upgrade. Downside: Morgan Grimes is tranqued for nearly the whole episode.

FILM


Speed 2: Cruise Control (TV3, 8.30pm). And grinding to a halt. Keanu Reeves had the good sense to go touring with his band rather than return for round two. Sandra Bullock did, but later referred to this as “the biggest piece of crap ever made”. Tem Morrison is … a bad brown person. The bus was infinitely sexier than the ship: a very bad week for the cruising industry. (1996) 3 – Diana Balham

AVP: Alien vs Predator (Movies Greats, Sky 022, 8.30pm). Ordinary humans may find the idea of the aliens from Alien and the predators from, er, Predator meeting in a massive battle just gory and stupid, but deep within the amygdalae of fanboys this is considered awesome. To give the movie a human element, there are some actual humans, including Lance Henriksen and Ewen Bremner, but it’s mostly so there is dialogue between the icky killing sequences. (2004) 5

The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers (Rialto, Sky 025, 8.30pm). A Peabody Award-winning documentary about the man who released the so-called Pentagon Papers in 1971 exposing the secret history of the Vietnam War. It comes down firmly on the side of heroic, says the New York Times, although there are some who thought him a traitor. The Times' stories about Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers here. (2009)

Buffalo Soldiers (MGM, Sky 023, 10.15pm). “War is hell, but peace? Peace is f—ing boring,” says Joaquin Phoenix in this gleeful black comedy about US soldiers stationed in Germany just before the fall of the Berlin Wall. Phoenix is the smart alec who has a good thing going selling drugs to his bunkmates, and army-issue cleaning product on the black market. He does this under the nose of his weary supervisor, Ed Harris, whose wife he is bedding. Dangerous ground, and when super army guy Scott Glenn arrives, you know there’s going to be trouble, particularly when Phoenix claps eyes on Glenn’s daughter, Anna Paquin. Sharp satire anchored by a brilliant performance from Phoenix, but terrific turns from Harris, Glenn and Paquin. (2001) 9

RADIO


Summer Nights with Emma Smith (Radio New Zealand National, 7.06pm). We're sure Emma Smith has some good stuff coming up tonight; she had some good stuff last night, including a chat with Muppet historian and President of the Jim Henson Legacy Craig Shemin. Audio and other good stuff here.