Free-to-air TV: Wednesday, January 16
Serbia's Ana Ivanovic will be among a stellar Australian Open field. Photo: Getty Images
Australian Open Coverage, Channel Seven, from 10.30am
NOTHING says January in Melbourne like bashing Jim Courier. We had some friends around at the weekend and talk turned to Channel Seven's coverage of the Australian Open. (Yes, OK - I brought up the subject.) Before anyone could say: ''Why do we need a former American player doing courtside interviews that seem to go on and on and on …'' someone said ''Why do we need a former American player doing courtside interviews that seem to go on and on and on when we have plenty of local former players who can do courtside interviews that seem to go on and on and on?'' I like Courier; he's smart, thinks well on his feet, has a sense of humour, inside knowledge of the game and experience of the tour. He gets it; I value his insights. So what was our friends' beef? He's too chummy with the players. Many of them are boring. Why do we need to hear from them anyway? We watch to see them play, not to listen to them. Why bother interviewing them at all when they're breathless and likely to spout a bunch of cliches? That Sharapova girl represents everything that's wrong with the world; who cares what she has to say? And the interviews are toooooo loooooong. The bad news for our friends is that Mr Courier is back and he will be courtside. So will Newk, Fitzy, Our Lleyton, Stubbsy and Woody the Shorter. Yay. My main beef with the coverage is the relentless spruiking of Seven's shows starting after the tournament. If I see another ''cross'' to the giant outdoor screen showing yet another ad for yet another kitchen-based reality TV-cum-game show … C'MON!
Cherry Healey: How to Get a Life, ABC2, 9.30pm
DESPITE the promise of the title, How to Get a Life doesn't offer much advice to improve how you live; the BBC series seems to be more about peeking into other people's lives and finding reasons to be dissatisfied with your own lot. In this opening episode, host Cherry Healey sets out to examine modern relationships in a world where (apparently) ''anything goes''. In her quest to decide whether being single - footloose, fancy-free - makes you desperately sad and lonely, or being settled - married, with kids - makes you desperately sad and boring, Healey stalks and interviews a young couple into threesomes, singles who constantly chase sex (one boasts 170-plus conquests, another has only 80 or so), a young fellow looking for The One and twin sisters on different sides of the single-settled divide. Healey - 31, attractive, bubbly, degree in drama education - has a string of these immersive documentaries under her belt: Drinking with the Girls, Cherry Has a Baby, Cherry Goes Dating, Cherry Gets Married. Anyone else sense a trend here?. Her doco Like a Virgin, in which she followed a young woman as she planned to lose her virginity, caused a minor furore in Britain. It's voyeuristic stuff, self-reflection dressed up as social analysis and mildly entertaining, but there's not a lot to chew on. Next week, Healey targets Britain's obsession with popping pills.