The Good Wife, Channel Ten, 8.30pm
FROM the marvellously crisp editing to the seamless interweaving of plot lines, The Good Wife is a masterclass in television from its first moment to its last. And unlike last season, where there were definite fluctuations in quality - the feeling sometimes that everyone was doing it by the numbers - this season has been close to flawless. No wonder so many quality actors are lining up to guest star. Indeed, the cameos this year have included Laura Tierney, Marc Warren, Kristin Chenoweth, Amanda Peet and Christina Ricci. Tonight, in an episode written by Michelle and Robert King, Stockard Channing makes her first appearance, as Alicia's mother. If you thought she was formidable as the first lady in The West Wing, wait until you see her here.
Home and Away: season finale, Channel Seven, 7pm
ONE of the more interesting moments in Channel Seven's recent ''upfronts'' - the spruiking of its schedule for the next year - was the love it lavished on Home and Away. H&A tends to be the Jan Brady of Seven's schedule: not as cute as Cindy, not as glamorous as Marcia, but with special qualities that make it precious. Like Neighbours, the sunny soap remains an international cash cow for the network. Unlike Neighbours, though, it also continues to perform remarkably well at home. Screening five nights a week, 40-plus weeks a year for 25 years, it still draws an audience other networks can only dream of. A million viewers is not uncommon. What's more, it's successful as a cross-platform property, with more than a million Facebook ''friends'' and 2 million-plus episodes downloaded every month. Next year, fans can contribute potential characters and storylines. For the moment the characters have plenty to deal with, as this year's season comes to a close in a 90-minute extravaganza. All good soap season finales must have at least one of the following: a wedding, a birth, a death, or a massive plane crash/car crash/explosion/fire/shooting. We know that Roo's on-again, off-again wedding was back on. So we're guessing it might feature. There are no births on the horizon but a very acceptable substitute is the choice resident hottie Casey must make between his two potential love interests. As for a death, possibly by explosive means, well, you'll just have to watch and see.
A Moody Christmas, ABC1, 8.30pm
I WANT to love this show. Everybody else does. I can absolutely see what Trent O'Donnell and Phil Lloyd are trying to do, and I applaud them for it. The classic Aussie Christmas - the heat, the flies, the drooping decorations, the simmering family tensions, the relatives you wish weren't - are ripe for satire. But for me, as we reach the penultimate ep, it remains too broad, too obvious, and consistently less than the sum of its parts.
Why Poverty? Stealing Africa, ABC2, 9.35pm
EVERY one of the documentaries screening this week as part of Why Poverty? is excellent. But this strikes a particular chord. Opening in a Stepford-like picturesque village in Switzerland, home to Ivan Glasenberg, chief executive of industrial giant Glencore, we quickly swing to the crux of the matter. Glencore owns copper mines in Zambia, a nation dependent on mining taxes for its economic survival. Unfortunately for Zambia, but very fortunately for Glencore, the company has organised things so it pays almost zero mining tax to the host nation, while simultaneously managing to produce multibillion-dollar profits, channelled through that Swiss village where the tax paid is equally meagre, for very different reasons. So, from a purely parochial viewpoint, this is the argument over our own super-profits tax writ hideously large. What all these documentaries are hoping, though, is that we can move beyond the parochial and give a damn about what's happening in the poorest nations, and there's plenty of material here to provoke and outrage.