HD Highlights: August 9

Series Premiere: Dogs in the City (TV3, 8.30, 5.1) Canine expert Justin Silver helps dog owners with dilemmas, starting with a celebrity skateboarding bulldog, YouTube sensation Beefy, that is driving a wedge between its owners. It sounds like lifestyle fodder for an off-peak slot but US critics gave it two paws up. “Alert to every deranged impulse of his clients, Mr Silver brings his lessons home with vigor and wit,” said the Wall Street Journal. And the appeal of this Carol (CSI) Mendelsohn production lies beyond just the mutt-mad. Said the New York Daily News: “It’s definitely a great New York show, with footage of dogs all over town. Watching this show feels like walking around Manhattan, and you don’t have to be a dog person to think that’s fun.” ✭✭✭✭

Season Premiere: Episodes (TV One, 10.10) Four months on from last week’s season finale, Beverly, Sean and Matt are all at odds. But with the premiere of their show just around the corner, they have to find a way to continue working together. “Still fun, but the innocent first moments last season were better,” reckoned Newsday whereas The New Yorker argued Episodes “has a sly subversiveness that deepens over time, like mercury poisoning: it’s an adult farce that is at once frothy and acerbic.” And USA Today said it “offers the comic pleasures, not just of clashing cultures, but of contrasting comic styles”. However, Variety thought the premiere “a breezy but uninspired half-hour defined by Matt LeBlanc’s willingness to portray Matt LeBlanc as a swaggering jerk”. ✭✭✭✭✭

❑ Rescue 1 (TV2, 8.00) The chopper crewmen have their hands full with five badly injured patients after a car crash near Waiuku, and a massive motorcycle pile-up leaves injured bikers all over the road. ✭✭✭

❑ Inside NZ: Nazi Hunter (TV3, 9.30) Did New Zealand give a home to genocidal killers? Kiwi Nazi hunter Wayne Stringer investigates how many of the 47 “displaced persons” who originally came here at the end of WWII were war criminals. “We needed to substantiate whether or not these military policemen killed Jews voluntarily – or were they somehow compelled to commit these atrocities?” producer John Keir says. ✭✭✭✭

❑ Fringe (TV2, 10.35, 5.1) The dying Observer comes to see Walter and Peter, who must take extreme measures to learn what secrets he hides and determine if he knows where Olivia is. ✭✭✭✭

❑ The Unit (TV3, 11.45, 5.1) While Jonas and the team continue to try to rescue Jonas’ daughter from Syrian captors, Mack has the opportunity to carry out his revenge on Ryan for his affair with Tiffy. Part two of two. ✭✭✭✭

Sky Movies Greats Premiere: Firewall (Sky 22, 8.30, 5.1) Paul Bettany makes life hell for bank boffin Harrison Ford in this hi-tech thriller: his gang holds the IT guru’s family hostage until he helps them to steal $100 million using little more than a fax scanner and an iPod. It’s far-fetched but fun and enthralling. 24’s Mary Lynn Rajskub, The Unit’s Robert Patrick and Virginia Madsen co-star; Richard Loncraine (Wimbledon) directs. ✭✭✭✩

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