HD Highlights: September 10

Season Pemiere: Shameless (TV2, 11.30, 5.1) It’s summertime and the Gallaghers are hustling. Far better than the UK original, this “black-as-coal comedy” returns for another late-night HD run. One US critic reckons summer brings out the best in the Gallaghers: “The warm weather brings with it a slightly more relaxed tone. The Gallaghers are still under constant threat of financial ruin – or, worse, being split up by social services – but overall the show seems to be enjoying their hustles more, and finding more ways to have comedy spin out of the kids, and Kev and his girlfriend Veronica, rather than just leaning on Frank to make things funny.” Moreover, as the Chicago Sun-Times says: “Almost nothing about this series is conventional. That’s part of the appeal. We’ve seen poor people go through tough times on TV, but not like this. The boundary-pushing story lines are edgy and uncomfortable. The characters are, well, unapologetically shameless, but you end up loving them for it. The show’s a tornado, and you can’t help but get sucked into its riotous vortex.” ✭✭✭✭✩

Movie: X-Men: The Last Stand (TV3, 8.30, 5.1, R) The grandeur with which Bryan Singer directed the first two X-Men movies is missing from this superhero pastiche. Tower Heist director Brett Ratner’s take isn’t without surprises or spectacle but never feels as muscular. Hugh Jackman, Anna Paquin, Halle Berry, Ian McKellen, Ellen Page and Kelsy Grammer star in a screenplay that was the mutation of two graphic novels: Astonishing X-Men and The Dark Phoenix Saga. (2006) ✭✭✭✩

SoHo Highlight: The Newsroom (Sky 10, 8.30, 5.1) The News Night team finds parallels between the Egyptian uprising and a teacher protest in Wisconsin. The AV Club said creator Aaron Sorkin’s “romantic streak can drive (and has driven) The Newsroom off the rails, but there are times when his hopelessly idealised vision of broadcasting done right can be stirring. And Amen, the best episode of the series so far, has more of those moments than not.” ✭✭✭✩

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