Louis Theroux re-enters the murky world of porn to interview people he first met 15 years ago.
Louis Theroux: Twilight of the Porn Stars, ABC2, 8.30pm
LOUIS Theroux's expression ranges from mild disapproval to awkward embarrassment when he returns to the US's porn capital and revisits the people and themes of a show he made 15 years earlier. Given the ubiquity of porn on the internet, you would assume that someone, somewhere, is making a motser from it, but Theroux's interest is less in that part of the equation than in the psychological effects that making skin flicks has on the often already-damaged people who gravitate towards the business. The insights he flushes out aren't exactly revealing or surprising but it's when he leaves the set, where a cheesy and singularly unerotic scene is being filmed, and tracks down the people he interviewed in the earlier program that modesty turns into desolation. One of them has committed suicide, another has reformed himself after a prison sentence and another appears as messed up as when he was the king of ''extreme sex'' DVDs (don't ask). All up, it's not one of the better instalments of Theroux's show.
The Grammar of Happiness, ABC1, 9.30pm
WHO doesn't enjoy a good conspiracy, even if it improbably involves a missionary-turned-linguist we'd never heard of before, an Amazonian tribe that has resisted the incursions of the modern world, plus the theory of universal grammar - the widely accepted theory among linguists that human language is determined genetically rather than culturally? The makers of this documentary, Australia's Essential Media and Entertainment, have cleverly used the conspiracy hook to draw us into a scholarly debate that in every likelihood would not otherwise have reached beyond academic journals. American Daniel Everett was a devout missionary when he first decamped to the Amazon more than 30 years ago to save the Piraha tribe. Realising they didn't need the lessons of God, he began studying their language, identifying some peculiar traits (no words for colour, numbers, nor tenses) and controversially claiming their language lacks recursion, the ability to build an infinite number of sentences within sentences. The latter claim set him on a collision course with revered intellectual Noam Chomsky. If Everett's claim that culture rather than genetics had shaped the Piraha language, the theory of universal language would be undermined. The issues come to a head when a team of cognitive scientists from MIT are prevented by Brazilian authorities from visiting the Piraha to gather fresh evidence. The film presents an interesting case study of anthropology and theories of language, while strongly suggesting the debate Everett is losing has less to do with science than political correctness.
The New Normal, Channel Ten, 9pm
SADLY, the new normal plays much like the old normal did, according to this disappointing sitcom about affluent gay couple and expectant dads David and Bryan and their extended clan. Despite its promise of forging new territory, it's let down by stereotyped characters, predictable storylines and sitcom-101 dialogue. Tonight's Thanksgiving episode is a reckoning of family bonds, the family we were born with and the one we choose, which plays out in a very conventional way.