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Thursday, April 10


Janet King, ABC1, 8.30pm

The title of the ABC's Crownies spinoff could be the world's greatest sleep aid. Janet … snore. Luckily, ''Janet King'' is the only forgettable thing about Janet King, from the glossy opening credits that reek of the polished treachery of Gotham City (our very own Sydney, naturally) to a storyline that reaches a penultimate thrill this week with all sorts of twists and hunches. Marta Dusseldorp is as impressive as ever as the senior crown prosecutor with a spine of steel, facing down corruption on a level technically known as ''mega''. Damian Walshe-Howling, meanwhile, puts the subtle creepiness (which made his presence as the love interest in The Time of OurLives so jarring) to good use as prosecutor Owen Mitchell.

Mexican Fiesta with Peter Kuruvita, SBS One, 7.30pm

''I don't really think I knew what Mexican food was until I got here,'' says Peter Kuruvita, which really begs the question: what the bloody hell were you doing filming a TV cooking show about it, then? Sigh. Kuruvita is not the only TV chef guilty of indulging in the naif abroad act, but his efforts are doomed to lack the special insight of, for example, Luke Nguyen in Vietnam that would lift his efforts above the quotidian. I cannot really blame Kuruvita for saying ole to the mole: Mexican food is as figuratively hot as a habanero, and he makes an effort to get down with its distinct regionalism, but, ultimately, Kuruvita dishes up the culinary equivalent of Postcards. They eat iguana! They eat insects! It flits along merrily enough, with folksy home cooks sharing their tips with the ever-appreciative host, who gads about with a backpack in the pretence he doesn't have a camera crew to do that kind of thing for him.

Law & Order: SVU, Ten, 9pm

The Special Victims Unit (read: sex crimes investigators) get an interesting one this week when a naive rising gridiron star from Georgia visits a New York college on a recruitment drive and winds up in all sorts of trouble. It is the ruggedly masculine culture of college football that comes under the investigators' spotlight, which gets top marks for topicality on the heels of Missouri college football star Michael Sam's recent self-outing.




The Tomorrow People, Fox8, 7.30pm

A reasonably interesting teen sci-fi series based on the 1973 British show of the same name. Actually, it's not sci-fi at all - just superhero fantasy in sci-fi drag. Teen Stephen Jameson (Robbie Amell) is one of the titular Tomorrow People, a bunch of folks with mutations that empower them with telepathy, telekinesis and teleportation but which somehow prevent them from killing people. Stephen learnt all this from fellow Tomorrow Kids John (Australian Luke Mitchell) and Cara (Peyton List), who live in hiding from Stephen's uncle Jedikiah, who heads a shadowy organisation dedicated to hunting down and possibly killing every last Tomorrow Person on Earth. So Stephen will join up with John and Cara to fight his uncle, right? Maybe, but tonight he starts of working for Jedikiah. It's all very action-packed and - if you accept the preposterous premise - quite well constructed. Unfortunately, it's full of misleading nonsense. One mutation does not a new species make - blondes are still homo sapiens, after all.

Break'n Reality, Studio, 7.30pm

Documentary series following three B-boys as they prepare for last year's BC One breakdancing championship. Tonight French B-boy Lilou is in his father's home province in Algeria - where he finds he is a huge source of pride for relatives and local dignitaries.



The Social Network (2010) Go, 9.30pm

The world of online start-ups, high-tech innovation and venture capitalism is essentially a new boys' club, one where men advance each other and create institutions to safeguard their positions.

It is telling that screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and director David Fincher bookended their take on the rise and rise of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) with calm and accomplished dissections of his failings by women: first Rooney Mara's insulted former girlfriend and then Rashida Jones' jury expert.

In between, you see how the frantic Zuckerberg is always reaching for something he does not have, even as it reveals his flaws. From Harvard to Palo Alto, the film echoes previous dissections of wealth and power, such as Citizen Kane, with Zuckerberg's most enduring relationships with those who ultimately sue him, including former partner Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) and the privileged Winklevoss twins (Armie Hammer). Justin Timberlake adds a seductive jolt as Sean Parker, a charismatic enabler.

Death Proof (2007) Action Movies (pay TV), 1.30pm

Death Proof began as one half of Grindhouse, a three-hour-long compendium featuring faux exploitation films by Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez (Sin City) that served as a mixture of imitation and tribute to the nasty B movies on which the pair grew up in the 1970s and '80s. The exercise in fandom did so poorly upon release in the US that it was shelved and scenes were added to Death Proof so it could stand alone, making it a trying experience. It is overflowing with talk, mainly between two groups of young women who are connected by the charming maniac, Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell), who stalks them in his engorged muscle car.

They talk about sex as they drive around town, but any empowerment derived from their ready assessments of pleasure and possibility is neatly struck down by the leering camera. A good car chase can only rectify so much.