Winners & Losers: season finale, Channel Seven, 8.30pm
CHANNEL Seven's gal-pal drama ends its second series with an engagement, a wedding, a mystery, several departures and - gasp - a death. As befits a season closer, it's an incident-packed affair. Dot (Anne Phelan) crossly conceals a secret; Dr Doug (Tom Wren), coping badly with his break-up with Sophie (Melanie Vallejo), morosely hits the bottle as she prepares to fly out to rebuild her clinic in Kenya. Meanwhile Frances (Virginia Gay) and Jonathan (Damien Bodie) farewell their partners, Zach (Stephen Phillips) and Rhys (Nick Simpson-Deeks), who jet off to new jobs. Jen (Melissa Bergland) and Cal (Mike Smith) reunite, and Matt (Blair McDonough) and Bec (Zoe Tuckwell-Smith) share dreams about their new home. There's a lot of hugging, a few tears, even some dancing. But then comes the sequence that might sit more comfortably in a crime drama: a shoe stomps on to the road, glass shatters, a tyre squeals, a foot slams on a brake and a gun is cocked. Suddenly we're out of the 'burbs and the world of barbecues and slap-bang into Underbelly territory. When it's all over, one character doesn't survive to see another season. But what is likely to continue is the show's reliance on its most valuable asset: the convincing rapport that has developed between its central quartet of female friends. When they get together, the on-screen energy lifts. Through its 2012 season, the show has earned itself a loyal audience and it has also enjoyed an appreciable boost on Tuesday nights recently from the popularity of its lead-in, The X Factor. Winners & Losers bows out for the year having earned a prominent position in Channel Seven's line-up for 2013, its star now shining a little brighter than long-time performer, Packed to the Rafters, which has seen a slump in its once-unassailable numbers, no surprise after five seasons and the departure of so many original cast members.
Why Poverty?: Give Us the Money, ABC2, 9.30pm
THE second episode of this five-part documentary series focuses on rock stars Bob Geldof and Bono and their efforts over three decades to raise money to help fight poverty in Africa. The men's commitment to the cause and investment of time, energy and effort is clear. They're aware that their celebrity is a currency and they're happy to trade on it. As well as schmoozing political leaders, they've studied the politics and the economics, and turned the campaign for debt reduction into an unlikely global cause. But at the same time as it chronicles the musicians' extracurricular activities, the film questions the effectiveness of their strategies and allows space for their critics to be heard as they accuse the men of arrogance, and of assuming a prominent role that should rightfully be held by Africans.
Three Men in a Boat: The Best Bits, ABC1, 8.30pm
SINCE their first trip down the Thames together in a wooden skiff in 2006, Rory McGrath, Dara O Briain and Griff Rhys Jones have covered a lot of ground in their journeys along various waterways. As they've paddled, rowed and sailed around Cornwall, Ireland, Scotland and the Dalmatian coast, there's been a litany of mishaps, a fair amount of joshing and bickering, and a lot of laughter. They've encountered storms, fog, lochs and roiling seas. They've donned costumes, cooked crayfish and scallops, sung Gilbert and Sullivan, learnt sword-dancing in Croatia, attempted hammer-throwing in Scotland, raced gondolas in Venice and challenged Germans to a cricket game. Clearly, even though Griff does get a bit grumpy, they've had a fine time, and this highlights package makes the most it. Avid followers of their escapades will probably have seen it all before, but people who have enjoyed their company are likely to enjoy this nostalgic ride.