HD Highlights: August 13

Season Premiere: Grey’s Anatomy (TV2, 8.35, 5.1) The careers and relationships of Seattle Grace’s finest hang in the balance – who will sink and who will shine? Chances are anyone remotely interested in this sudsfest already will know, thanks to TV2 taking almost a year to screen the “latest” season (season nine goes to air next month in the US) — and it’s not even prepared to treat fans to a two-hour premiere as ABC did in the US (instead, it’s double-billed with the return of sister show Private Practice). Entertainment Weekly called the disaster that launches season eight “ridiculous … A huge sinkhole opened up in the middle of a Seattle street, swallowing up an unhappy couple in the middle of a fight, as well a father and son, and who knows what other poor, unfortunate souls that we never even saw. But juxtaposed against that nightmare was exactly what the show does portray rather accurately (most of the time): the relationship drama. I’m talking, specifically, about the simmering mess between the show’s two main couples—Derek and Meredith, and Owen and Cristina—all of which was very believable.” ✭✭✩

Network Movie Premiere: Predators (TV3, 8.30, 5.1) There’s plenty of running and screaming in the latest instalment of this sci-fi franchise, which returns to the jungle setting of the original – only in an alien world where humans have become the game for a Predator hunt. It looks sensational in HD and the storyline intrigues and excites until mid-point, when it starts to grind towards a climax that’s less a resolution than an excuse to unleash another sequel. Nimrod Antal (Vacancy) directs Adrien Brody, Topher Grace and Laurence Fishburne. (2010) ✭✭✭

SoHo Highlight: The Newsroom (Sky 10, 8.30, 5.1) Worth a look just to see how bad a writer of the calibre of Aaron Sorkin (The Social Contract, Moneyball) can be when he has too much creative control. This cable news drama is as stifling and self-important as it is static. At least Sorkin’s The West Wing compensated for its smugness and sermonising with pace, panache and production values whereas The Newsroom’s season premiere, which Sky first screened last month, is stagey, stilted and stupefying. For one of the best – and funniest – analyses of The Newsroom’s failings, see Tim Goodman’s in The Hollywood Reporter. ✭✭✩

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