HD Highlights: August 3

SoHo Cinema: Bernard and Doris (Sky 10, 8.30, 5.1) HBO’s 2008 dramatisation of  tobacco billionairess Doris Duke’s relationship with her gay butler, to whom she left her fortune, was given white gloves treatment by critics. “Susan Sarandon is at her scrappy, sexy best as tobacco heiress Doris Duke — think Paris Hilton with brains and genuine hotness,” said Rolling Stone. “And this is Ralph Fiennes like you’ve never seen him, as Bernard Lafferty, a secretly alcoholic, furtively gay Irishman who stumbles into a job as her butler … They create an intimate love story that manages to be hilarious and heartbreaking, often at the same time.” The New York Times likened it to “the most delectable kind of Vanity Fair article, one that doesn’t leave you feeling guilty or venal or vaguely nuts for reveling in the particulars of great wealth even as you are made fully aware of all the isolating negatives”. ✭✭✭✭

Sky Movies: Hereafter (Sky 20, 8.30, 5.1) Hereafter bypassed local cinemas after suffering box office purgatory in the United States but the Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon, The Queen) screenplay is one of Clint Eastwood’s finest films as director. It follows three lost souls wrestling with the meaning of death: a cursed San Francisco psychic; a Paris journalist who’s had a near-death experience; and a London lad whose twin brother’s just died. How their lives intersect makes for one of last year’s most engrossing, thought-provoking and richly satisfying surprises. Matt Damon, Cecile de France and Bryce Dallas Howard star. (2011) ✮✮✮✮✮

The Big Bang Theory (TV2, 7.30) While Sheldon settles a score with his nemesis, Star Trek’s Wil Wheaton (guest starring as himself), Wolowitz begs Leonard to get Penny to set him up with one of her friends. ✭✭✭✭

Supernatural (TV2, 10.35) Two Leviathans take on the form of Sam and Dean, and frame them for a series of murders. While the brothers take refuge with a surveillance expert, Bobby tries to figure out how to kill the Leviathans. ✭✭✭✭

An Idiot Abroad (TV3, 11.10, R) Karl Pilkington visits Chichen Itza in Mexico, which he thinks too much like the pyramids and not as interesting as a lady tourist who fainted nearby. He also tries his hand at Mexican wrestling, ponders the country’s take on Easter and looks for Mexican jumping beans. As Metro (UK) said: “Excruciating — but excruciatingly funny.” ✭✭✭✭

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