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Free-to-air TV: Friday, February 1

Teen Dad, ABC2, 8.45pm

APPARENTLY, there is more to do in Liverpool, England, than steal cars and sign on to the dole. Reece, for example, found time to have a child with partner Kayleigh. They're young but bicker like an old married couple. This series studies the life of a teen father in England, and judging by this episode, it's bleedin' 'orrible. So it's a mystery why these lads procreate when they lack the resources to raise their little 'uns well. The dads also double as narrators. Reece's pronouncements sound scripted and insincere and I could feel the heavy hand of the director. Special mention must go to whoever managed to write subtitles for this lot of Liverpudlians.

The Doctor Blake Mysteries, ABC1, 8.30pm

IN ACCORDANCE with the Melissa George (''Don't call me Angel!'') edict on acting, I shall not mention Craig McLachlan's roles in Neighbours or Home and Away. Nor his turns in McLeod's DaughtersAlways Greener,Packed to the RaftersRescue Special Ops or an episode of Sons and Daughters as the unnamed ''student''. Only to say that no man has given more to Australian TV soap operas, and for that we are eternally grateful. The mercurial Dr Lucien Blake is a departure for McLachlan, but he wears his greying beard and severe side parting well. This new mystery series is set in 1959 in Ballarat, presumably the murder capital of Australia. Cameo corpses pop up all over town. This episode is more solid than spectacular, but it's handsome to look at and there are plenty of hints at Dr Blake's dark past to maintain interest. Sadly, his sleuthing is more Perry Mason than Sherlock Holmes. Here's a mystery for McLachlan: how did Mona make it to No.3 on the Australian charts and No.2 in Britain?

Better Homes and Gardens, Channel Seven, 7.30pm

AH, SINGAPORE, a paradise for foodies and garden lovers, a land of unspoilt beaches and spoilt lifestyle-TV presenters. The team has travelled north, and if the Singapore tourist bodies didn't help sponsor their trip you can string me up and cane me like a foul-mouthed plane passenger. Fast Ed feeds his Singapore noodles to some poor, unsuspecting natives. ''It's good? Lots of flavour?'' he asks one local. ''Yeah,'' says the man, who is then taken away and shot for lack of enthusiasm. There is something of the Stepford Wives about Better Homespresenters, with their gleaming smiles and glee. Even when showing off something that's less than spectacular, they can't help but turn it up to 11. 

Cowboy Builders, 7Two, 9.45pm

DERRYN Hinch has got nothing on scowling presenter Dominic Littlewood, who is on the hunt for a dodgy builder in Sheffield. ''Justice needs to be served and I'm the only person who can do it,'' he screams to the sky, veins pumping in his tiny bald head. Littlewood, who describes himself as ''an action man with a hectic schedule'', is judge, jury and wannabe executioner on behalf of hapless couple Craig and Jo Adams. In this reality show's climax, Littlewood bowls down the builder in a car park and mercilessly flogs him with a wet lettuce leaf. The real criminals here are the creators of Cowboy Builders.