HDTV Heads-Up: May 19-25
TV3 hopes it will have a breakout hit in Sons of Anarchy successor Breakout Kings, which will premiere 9.30pm on May 23.
The HD drama from the producers of Prison Break updates the it-takes-a-thief-to-catch-a-thief scenario by teaming recidivist prison escapees with US Marshals to capture other convicts on the lam.
“Kings quickly overcomes the cliché that drives the pilot by adding a twist or two and focusing on character development,” said The Hollywood Reporter.
“It’s not Wire or The Shield but falls comfortably within that basic-cable safe zone where a little edge and bountiful entertainment pass the time just fine.”
However, while Variety thought ”the playful banter among cops and robbers thrown together on the same side has its moments, the characters aren’t strong enough, initially, to set off any alarms”.
And the New York Post said being “dumb and mind-numbingly silly” is bad enough “but what makes it all-the-more terrible is that all this silliness has been stolen from other mind-numbingly-silly shows”.
Other HD highlights for the week include:
✮ TV2 celebrating Shortland Street’s 20th birthday with a 90-minute episode on May 21, returning characters in storylines spread across the week and, on the May 25 anniversary, a 20 Years of Bloopers special (albeit not in HD, for obvious reasons) that will be hammocked between American Idol’s semi-final and grand finale.
✮ CSI’s return on May 19, on an 8.30 double-bill with House to spruce up Saturday nights on TV3 (which also will include the resumption of Ice Road Truckers at 7.30).
✮ Rachel Hunter visiting Sumatra in the return of Intrepid Journeys on May 22, in what will be the off-the-beaten-path travel hit’s first season in HD (TV One, 8.30).
✮ The Blind Side having its network HD premiere on May 20 (TV2, 8.30) while re-running in HD that week are Walk the Line on the same night (TV3, 8.30), Hitman on May 21 (TV3, 8.30) and Quantum of Solace on May 24 (TV One, 8.30).
✮ A double-episode of Revenge on May 21 (TV2, 8.30) and the season finale of The Almighty Johnsons on May 23 (TV3, 8.30).
✮ Modern Family screening twice a week from May 20, when season one re-runs replace Would I Lie to You? (TV3, 7.00).
✮ Ewen Gilmour retracing his great-great grandfather’s journey through Prague and Germany in search of his Funny Roots on May 22 (TV3, 8.00).