Critics' Choice: How to Stay Married, War & Peace, and more
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Critics' Choice: How to Stay Married, War & Peace, and more

HOW TO STAY MARRIED
Series premiere ★★★★
Thursday 8.30pm, Ten

The middle-age parental gender-role switch that revived Matt LeBlanc's sitcom career in Man with a Plan is reworked here to a distinctly Australian rhythm. Lisa McCune and Peter Helliar bounce evenly off each other as a tired, disillusioned couple navigating their first teenager and trying to maintain the spark in their relationship. Series regular Phil Lloyd and guest stars Geraldine Hickey and Judith Lucy add considerable comedic muscle.

Peter Helliar and Lisa McCune bounce evenly off each other in <I>How to Stay Married</I>.

Peter Helliar and Lisa McCune bounce evenly off each other in How to Stay Married.

WAR & PEACE
Series final ★★★★
Thursday 9.30pm, SBS

As with Pride and Prejudice, screenwriter Andrew Davies has artfully distilled this literary classic into a reverential six episodes of television drama. Even without having read the weighty tome, many viewers will be aware of the epiphanies of Tolstoy's pioneering antihero, Pierre Bezukhov. Paul Dano conveys these beautifully in this conclusion that runs the full gamut of the human experience and serves as an inspiration to have a crack at the book.

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NOLAN: THE MAN AND THE MYTH
★★★½
Tuesday 9.30pm, ABC

Unlike Impressionist painter, John Russell, the first Australian artist to be profiled in this series of four, the subject of this documentary is a household name. In his own words, and in the reflections of his family and colleagues, Sidney Nolan emerges as a man equally driven by ambition as he was passion and thank goodness for that. This is an interesting analysis of his work and influences, and of the Australian art scene during his prolific lifetime.

INSIDE DAME ELISABETH'S GARDEN
★★★½
Thursday 8.30pm, Lifestyle

It's been 90 years since Keith Murdoch bequeathed his bride one helluva wedding present: a 60-hectare property on the Mornington Peninsula. Cruden Farm was originally just that – a farm and cottage – but Elisabeth Murdoch's passion for horticulture (and some unwelcome input from Edna Walling) soon saw it transformed into a garden showcase. In this anniversary special, we tour the garden and learn about its history with input from various family members (including Rupert) and – most importantly – head gardener for almost 50 years, Michael Morrison. MH

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