FREE TO AIR
The Biggest Loser, Ten, 7.30pm
It has taken 11 weeks, but The Biggest Loser: Challenge Australia has whittled the original 14 contestants down to four, who compete in the first of a two-part finale. While it is easy to sneer at a bunch of fatties running around, I have nothing but admiration for Craig, Sharon, Toni and Katrina. As someone who has never knowingly said no to ice-cream, I find the effort required to lose the amount of weight they have astounding. (Take Craig, for instance. Once known as a huge beer drinker, he has so far lost an astonishing 46.4 kilograms.) And among all the hoopla and talk of journeys, it is easy to overlook the fact The Biggest Loser has really made a difference in these people's lives - it is not just the weight loss, it is the rediscovery of self-esteem, and that should be applauded.
How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life), Eleven, 9pm
Don't get attached - this anaemic US comedy was cancelled last year after one season. However, if you enjoy jokes that fall flat, annoying characters and a five-year-old who is more mature than her 30-something parents, then go right ahead. Tonight, Max is convinced things are about to go pear-shaped in his personal life because his business is booming. Polly, meanwhile, decides it is time to move out from under the parental wing, while her former husband, Julian, moves in with his new lady love. Urgh, I can't go on. And neither should you.
Parenthood, Seven, 9.45pm
Parenthood does great family melodrama. The emotions are big, the problems are big and the soundtrack (which kicks off nicely with Joy Division's Isolation tonight) is pitched perfectly to squeeze out a tear as (insert character's name here) marriage falls part/fiancee leaves/long-lost father appears/fails to take out the bins. And so it is with the Bravermans, as Amber goes on a long reckless drive to recover from a broken heart, Camille returns home from Italy, Julia and Joel grapple with cracks in their marriage, Sarah comes knocking on Amber's door with chicken soup (but she's not home, see previous road trip), while Adam and Hank bond overs Hank's possible Asperger syndrome. Gah!
Junk Gypsies, LifeStyle Home, 8.30pm
Texan sisters Amie and Jolie Sikes started out collecting and selling rustic Americana and general junk. So successful was their venture, they branched out into interior design and event organising, creating unique looks using, well, rustic Americana and general junk. Tonight their friends the Clampits (really) want their living room done over in retro-western style. Some of the sisters' ideas are a little underwhelming - such as using shotguns to blast old metal mop buckets full of holes to make light shades. Others, though, are more interesting. They put castors on the floor tom from an old drum kit, turning it into a nifty storage solution, and they use scrapbooking techniques to make a nice display of old family photos.
The Face, Fox8, 9pm
The Face is getting a bit lopsided now: Team Cheyenne is down to three girls and Team Nicole just two, while Naomi Campbell still has all four of the girls with whom she started. If it keeps going this way, it will be an all-Team Naomi final. Perhaps Nicole Trunfio should have been allowed to replace Susan, who left for health reasons last week. Still, Trunfio is full of vim tonight, showing the remaining girls how to create poses while bouncing on a trampoline. The amazing shots she produces make it look easy. Of course, it's not.
Legion (2010) Go, 9.30pm
Paul Bettany is a tall, lean, imposing English actor with classical training that took him into Royal Shakespeare Company and West End productions before he did all kinds of things for Hollywood filmmakers. He played a spectral best friend to Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind, flogged himself as a sociopathic monk in The Da Vinci Code, and let an ageing Harrison Ford somehow beat him in a fight in Firewall. His strangest gambit, however, has been to uphold the avenging lead in B-movie genre fantasies. He fought vampires in the post-apocalyptic Priest, and in Legion he's the Archangel Michael, fallen to Earth to protect the baby that will be mankind's saviour when God apparently decides to start the whole human project over and possessed creatures and armies of angels bring forth destruction. It's ludicrous fare, shoddily made, and not even Bettany's stern, somehow straight, face can save it.
City of God (2002) Masterpiece Movies (pay TV), 10.15pm
With a focused historical scope and intensity that bear comparison with Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas, Fernando Meirelles' movie records a kind of Darwinian experiment in which guns and crushing poverty are put together and violent crime results. Based on a novel by Paulo Lins, who grew up in the Rio de Janeiro favela of Cidade de Deus where the film is set, City of God follows the government housing project from the 1960s to the 1980s. From the start, crime is the only option for the young, and the picture captures the fearsome high they experience with every robbery - it's a life in which planning for the future means acquiring a more reliable weapon. Li'l Ze (Leandro Firmino da Hora), an adolescent killer, organises the disaffected into an efficient gang and embraces the cocaine business, while in contrast Rocket (Alexandre Rodrigues, in a wonderfully naturalistic performance) simply wants to survive, meet a girl and maybe learn how to take photographs so he can get a better job. The odds are against him.