Following the bean: Simon Reeve.

Following the bean: Simon Reeve.


The Block Fans v Faves, Nine, 7.30pm

After thousands of members of the public have pawed their objets d'art and soft furnishings in the ''open house inspections'' for the latest renovations, will it be the fans or the faves who win this year's The Block in tonight's final episode? Will their New York-style warehouse apartments drive up the prices of non-celebrity renovated warehouse apartments? Is there a final controversy? Does anybody care?

Tea and Coffee Trails with Simon Reeve, SBS One, 7.30pm

Presenter Simon Reeve is in Vietnam this week, a country which, surprisingly, supplies much of the world's coffee. But this is not gourmet coffee. Vietnam produces millions of beans that go into instant coffee, mostly headed for Britain. It is an industry that provides a livelihood for millions of farmers and one that has been crucial to the region's economic development. Even small-time farmers are reaping the rewards, as the yield is better than most local crops. But it is a story that looks set to have an unhappy ending. The methods of farming most Vietnamese use are not sustainable. Lack of education in the use of water and fertiliser, coupled with climate change, means coffee farming is becoming less viable, threatening the local environment as well as the region's economic future. Reeve meets industry experts hoping to change attitudes and educate the industry to diversify from low quality, low value coffee, in this fascinating look into one of the world's most traded products.

Mom, Nine, 8.40pm

This new comedy from Chuck Lorre about a dysfunctional mother and daughter shows great promise, despite the occasional obvious comic set-up and similar tone to Lorre's Two And A Half Men. The female leads here are terrific - Anna Faris as Christy, a newly sober single mum trying to get her life together and mend her relationship with her equally trashy mother, Bonnie, played by West Wing's Allison Janney. The rapid-fire banter between the two is a highlight, thanks to the sharp writing and tight script. With lines like ''Mom, I've watched you lick cocaine crumbs out of a shag carpet'', it's wilfully politically incorrect, yet less in-your-face than Two And A Half Men. And the child actors - Sadie Calvano as teen daughter Violet and Blake Garrett Rosenthal as son Roscoe - refreshingly un-hammy.



Silicon Valley, Comedy, 8.30pm

Young computer whiz Richard Hendricks (Thomas Middleditch) has created a revolutionary compression algorithm that could make him billions - or nothing at all. Pity he couldn't also write one that could compress all the intriguing aspects of Mike Judge's latest satirical comedy creation into 200 words. It's a wide-ranging lampoon that takes in everything from the vanities and delusions of tech billionaires who style themselves as world changers to the jealousies, insecurities and social ineptitudes of the worker-ant geeks who keep the tech world ticking. Tonight's first episode isn't packed with laugh-out-loud moments, but it's full of droll dialogue and acerbic observations about an industry that has, in effect, become the new Hollywood. Judge, himself a former software engineer, created the series with his long-time collaborators John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky (King of the Hill), and they've surrounded amiable everyman Richard with a bunch of variously endearing and obnoxious characters played by the likes of Kumail Nanjiani, Martin Starr (Freaks and Geeks), Matt Ross and Zach Woods. Good stuff.



The Page Turner (2006), SBS One, 11.10pm

The subtitles might well be superfluous in The Page Turner, French writer/director Denis Dercourt's compelling psychological study of the need for revenge. Nearly everything the filmmaker is trying to communicate is conveyed by his coolly invasive framing, the relentless dread-laden tempo of the plot and the penetrating glances, hopeful half-smiles and tense physical contact of the two protagonists - Ariane (Catherine Frot), a successful concert pianist mounting a comeback, and Melanie (Deborah Francois), the young woman who stands guard at her back as she plays, ready to turn the pages of the score. The latter has never forgiven the former for carelessly ruining a childhood audition, effectively ending her hopes of pursuing a classical career, and anger has given way to destructive bitterness. Dercourt has captured two lives unnaturally intertwined and while they circle each other - prey and predator - he never gives in to cliched release. His film is as much about love as it is revenge.

Rise of the Guardians (2012), Family Movies (pay TV), 6.30pm

If you can get past the broad accents - Alec Baldwin's avuncular Santa Claus has a thick Russian one, while Hugh Jackman's wary Easter Bunny favours Australian colloquialisms such as "rack off" - this animated children's adventure does a fine job of connecting familiar figures with traditional mythology. There are few of the winking gags usually aimed at parents, and a terrific vocal performance by Jude Law, as Pitch Black, your basic bogeyman beneath the bed, gives this adventure an uneasy fascination. Mr Black tries to end childhood joy by destroying the life-affirming rituals - Christmas day, Easter eggs, the Tooth Fairy - that bring pleasure to children, and it is the little-recognised Jack Frost (Chris Pine), who must band together with the senior figures to save adolescent happiness. Peter Ramsey's film is about the waning power of belief in a secular world.