Pay TV: Weekend, February 2
Underemployed, MTV, 9pm
WHILE MTV is rightly pilloried for serving up garbage such as Jersey Shore, it also deserves praise for continuing to invest in decent little scripted comedy-dramas. This one, created by Craig Wright (Dirty Sexy Money, Six Feet Under) and starring Michelle Ang (Neighbours, Outrageous Fortune), doesn't get off to a flying start, but it has potential. It follows the trials of five university friends from Chicago who, 12 months after graduation, find themselves in a world of disappointment and humiliation. Aspiring novelist Sophia (Ang) is working in a doughnut shop; Daphne (Sarah Habel) works as an unpaid intern at an advertising agency; Miles (Diego Boneta) is no closer to his dream of becoming an underwear model. Those with the most pressing issues are Raviva (Inbar Lavi), who has returned from Los Angeles nine months' pregnant, and her ex, the environmentally aware Lou (Jared Kusnitz), who has to swallow his pride and take a job at his father's chemical company to support her and the baby. The performances are good, but the dialogue has none of the snap, crackle and pop with which you would expect a seasoned playwright and TV veteran such as Wright to sprinkle a pilot script. Fingers crossed that it gets better.
Banged Up Abroad marathon, Nat Geo Adventure, 12.30pm
SIX episodes of Nat Geo's ever-compelling series of cautionary tales. It begins with the story of Australian Tim Schrader, who moved to Bangkok to teach English but wound up in prison after being caught trying to smuggle heroin into the US.
Curiosity: Your Body on Drugs, Discovery, 7.30pm
Doctors watch drug users take heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana, and record the immediate effects the substances have on the users' bodies and brains.
Autopsy: Most Shocking Cases, Bio, 9.30pm
Dr Jan Garavaglia takes a fascinating look at autopsies that made shocking revelations.
Classics Boxing, ESPN2, midnight
George Foreman goes the distance with Evander Holyfield in 1991.
Labyrinth, SoHo, 8.40pm
THIS two-part mini-series adaptation of the best-selling novel by British writer Kate Mosse has been very much a tale of two settings. What happens in 13th-century France is quite captivating. The ruthless, cruel and treacherous Simon de Montfort (John Lynch) is leading a Catholic army in a bloody war of extermination against the heretical Christian Cathars - and that's only part of the mediaeval action. De Montfort and his adversaries are also fighting for possession of books that contain the secrets of the Holy Grail. It's a fairly piquant stew of sex, lies, religious fanaticism and wholesale slaughter. Unfortunately, the present-day strand is thin gruel. This part follows archaeologist Alice (Vanessa Kirby) through a dull conspiracy-thriller plotline in which she's threatened by a killer priest and other Grail-obsessed psychos while trying to come to terms with the fact she seems to be a reincarnation of our 13th-century heroine, Alais (Downton Abbey's Jessica Brown Findlay). It really starts to drag at the end, despite the best efforts of John Hurt and Australian cinematographer Robert Humphreys (Somersault, Unfinished Sky). It would have been much better if the entire story had been set in the 13th century - but then the book might not have caught the updraught of The Da Vinci Code and this mini-series might never have been made.
Out of the Ashes, Nat Geo Wild, 7.30pm
A POIGNANT but mostly uplifting documentary following the recovery of Victoria's wildlife populations in the weeks and months after the Black Saturday bushfires.
Sherlock, UKTV, 8.30pm
Benedict Cumberbatch's Holmes and Martin Freeman's Watson solve mysteries in 21st-century London.
Britain's Hidden Heritage, LifeStyle, 7.30pm
Tonight's episode looks at a hydroelectric house built by a Victorian-era inventor.
Off Their Rockers, Comedy, 7.30pm
Australian oldies pull pranks on unsuspecting young whippersnappers.