Free-to-air TV: Wednesday, December 26
Wedding Band is a reliable pleasure thanks to the great chemistry between the cast.
Wedding Band, Channel Ten, 7.30pm
I WOULD love to know who the actual band is that provides the music for Wedding Band. They are tight. And so adaptable! Regardless of what transpires in any given ep, you're guaranteed some cracking numbers, from all points on the musical dial. Tonight's ep, for instance, opens with a rockin' country tune for a rich person's white-trash-themed wedding, moves into a 1990s retrospective then goes out with a big Time of My Life (also the title of this episode). Elsewhere, in a better-than-average instalment devoted to life without the boring bits, the band auditions for female co-lead-singers, Roxie must plan a party for her high-school nemesis, Barry goes in search of his old prom date, and Tommy meets his dream girl - the iTunes ''snippeter''. As always, the actual subject matter is familiar - ageing kiddults desperately clinging to their youth - but great chemistry between the cast, a smart script and those tunes make it a reliable pleasure.
Grimm, Channel Seven, 8.30pm
IT'S always fun trying to guess which fairytale is going to be messed with, and how, when those words appear at the beginning of each episode. In tonight's first instalment, it's clear the ''what'' is Hansel and Gretel. But what weird form will it take in this iteration? Well, no spoilers here (although it's much more gruesome than the Hansel and Gretel I remember). We can tell you that in the secondary plot thread, Nick is worried his secret identity is putting Juliette in danger (a common problem among superheroes, even essentially un-super ones like Mr Grimm). Should he tell her?
Wild Vets, Channel Seven, 7pm
LIKE RSPCA Animal Rescue, only with decidedly undomesticated animals, both in zoos and in the wild, these New Zealand vets tend to all creatures great and small. And their adventures are full of interesting detail. For instance, I loved that the animal handlers use real blowpipes - which you put to your mouth and blow through - rather than air rifles to tranquilise ferocious animals (Max the lion needs his teeth checked). It seemed much kinder, somehow. There are loads of bad puns in the narration, as tends to be the case with these shows. The surgery scenes are a bit challenging if you're the squeamish type, but these are all happy endings. There are also, of course, cool animals: the aforementioned lion, some amorous lemurs and a warty giraffe.
Cricket: Second Test: Australia v Sri Lanka, Channel Nine, 10am
FOR cricket tragics, there's nothing like cricket on the radio (even to the point of watching the match with the sound down and the trannie on). But if you enjoy the game without being fully across its finer points - or even quite understanding where silly mid on is - then the Channel Nine commentary is a must. For most televised sports, the commentary tends to veer between being an entertainment and a nuisance. It rarely adds to your knowledge or appreciation of what you're watching. But not so with the cricket (or the Tour de France). Howzat! reminded us how much Nine's coverage changed the way cricket was broadcast, and watched: lots of cameras, lots of angles and, these days, lots of technology to illuminate what's happening on a big field, with a very small ball. (Indeed, Snicko, Hotspot, et al, have become more than viewing aids. They're an integral part of the way the game's played.) And that detailed visual coverage grants the commentators the opportunity to really explain to us what's going on. Field positions and their purpose are analysed. A batsman's stroke is dissected. Footwork, position on the pitch and the angle of the bat, are all revealed to the attentive viewer, enriching our expertise and enjoyment. Sure, there's lots of spruiking for tacky memorabilia, but if you have the time to really sit down and watch (as you will today - it's a holiday!) this most mysterious of sports gradually becomes intelligible.