W+E4DM Web Feature Portfolio Part 3 – The Best Stuff On TV This Week

This is part 3 of my Web Feature Portfolio for Writing and Editing for Digital Media. My articles are for ‘the Australian online magazine of culture and the popular arts’, The Enthusiast. My third article is for one of the regular columns in their ‘TV’ category, The Best Stuff On TV This Week.

Celebrity Masterchef – Wednesday, 7:30pm, Ch10

I know, I know, but my pleasures are simple: celebrities attempting gourmet imitations, the comfortable dinnertime-viewing format and Matt Preston’s facial expressions. But if Peter Rowsthorn doesn’t out-chef Fuzzy and Alex Lloyd, there’s little else to keep me watching a semi-final full of C-grade celebrities next week.

Hungry Beast – Wednesday, 9:00pm, ABC

Kind of like curated channel surfing, or someone browsing the internet at random for you (and their website goes hand-in-hand with the show). Learn how the US military’s grim robot future is already upon us, then watch a funny sketch about vegetarianism, then an assortment of sobering factoids, then another funny sketch, and so on. Not every little segment hits the mark, but the next one probably will.

John Safran’s Race Relations – Wednesday, 9:30pm, ABC

Media outrage over this has been surprisingly subdued so far. Maybe this week’s show will get there. He’s stolen and sniffed Eurasian underpants, donned semi-realistic blackface before going speed-dating and wanked over Obama in the spirit of Jewish/Palestinian (Jelestinian) unification. It’s like a Jewish-Australian (Jewstralian?) version of Jackass, but intelligent.

Beauty and the Geek – Thursday, 8:30pm, Ch7

This week sees the geeks getting a makeover, but won’t this undo the entire premise? No! For this is manufactured and unchallenging, but an overall trashy and fun ‘reality’ TV staple.

Q&A – Thursday, 9:35pm, ABC

Last chance before summer! Watch party politicians trying to dodge meaningful questioning, see bold/awkward audience questions and witness principled rants from the one non-politician guest. You can do it, David Marr!

Can We Help? – Friday, 6:30pm, ABC

Pete Rowsthorn is great, and interesting answers to interesting questions are brilliant. Especially when they involve surprising linguistic origins for various words. Or just an explanation of why men have nipples.

Beached Az – Friday, 10:10pm, ABC

You either love it or you hate it. It’s time to pick a side, if you haven’t already. Or, if you will, “puck a side, eh bro”. Of course, you could just watch what ABC has put up on YouTube, but that would defeat the spirit of this column now, wouldn’t it?

Dexter – Saturday, 11:05pm, Ch10

Season Three of Dexter has been a slow build for me, and it was an unsettlingly welcome relief to find Miguel in the ol’ room walled with plastic wrap, ready to face death by Dexter. This season finale will undoubtably find Dexter dealing deftly with the consequences of murdering his best man. There’s definitely some loose ends to tie up before he ties the knot. You know it’s a special show when you’re morbidly drawn to the exploits of such a monster, especially when he’s David from Six Feet Under. Also: among the best opening credits ever.

Newstopia – Sunday, 12:35am, SBS

Shaun Micallef has hit the mainstream after the success of Talkin ‘bout Your Generation, but even on repeat, Newstopia is an underappreciated earlier gem. The Micallef Programme was possibly better and less reliant on then-current affairs, but when it’s Micallef, it’s all gold. Gems. Golden gems.