Tonight in HD: June 26

Season Highlight: The Middle (TV2, 7.30, 5.1) Sue finds a kindred spirit in her awkward school guidance counsellor (guest star Whoopi Goldberg), who inspires her to reinvent herself; Frankie is ecstatic when she and Mike buy a much needed new bed but is gobsmacked when her stubborn husband insists on assembling it himself; and Brick attempts to call the President to outlaw the Presidential Fitness Challenge, which would force him to accomplish some strenuous physical exercises at school. “Basically, if The Middle is looking for an episode to send to the Emmy voters, this is the one,” said the AV Club. “It’s just that good.” ✭✭✭✭


Season Highlight: The Closer (TV One, 11.05, 5.1) Several old cases come up for review, including one Provenza closed years ago with his former partner, Detective Andrews. Beau Bridges was Emmy-nominated for his guest turn as a transsexual cop. “Here was a show in which a gifted actor was presented a wonderful opportunity and he rose to the occasion,” said HuffPost TV. “The Closer is one of those procedurals that has a deft touch with the comic episodes. Oh yeah, there are occasions when it gets a little bizarre — and this episode might have gone there but it didn’t. Instead, we had a terrific twist in more ways than one.” ✭✭✭✭

Home & Away (TV3, 5.30) Casey visits his father; Roo and Harvey realise Mel’s losing it; Liam thinks about moving to the city with Hayley. ✭✭

Friends (TV2, 6.30, R) Chandler is upset when a men’s magazine prints Ross’ cartoon, as both he and Ross claim to have started the joke; Phoebe antagonises Monica and Rachel with her candour. ✭✭✭

Shortland Street (TV2, 7.00) Ula makes the hardest decision of her life; Sarah wants to be challenged; Wendy chooses to follow her heart over her head. ✭✭✭

Highway Cops (TV One, 8.00) There is holiday hell on the highway; police are forced to babysit a teenager; an officer struggles with young drunk women in Invercargill. ✭✭

Suburgatory (TV2, 8.00, 5.1) George meets a woman at the Chatswin Farmer’s Market named Eden and is immediately attracted to her and her healthy eating habits. Alica Silverstone guest stars. ✭✭

Funny Roots (TV3, 8.00) Irene Pink travels to her mother’s homeland, Niue, where she discovers what life would have been like if she’d grown up in Niue, before performing a stand-up comedy set. ✭✭✭

Intrepid Journeys (TV One, 8.30) In Papua New Guinea, Pamela Stephenson-Connolly wears traditional face paint, takes a long river journey in a dug-out canoe, and has a close encounter with a crocodile. ✭✭✭

The Mentalist (TV2, 8.30, 5.1) Season premiere: Jane, in prison for killing his nemesis, must prove that the man he shot really was Red John. ✭✭

NCIS (TV3, 8.30, 5.1) Tony and Ziva search for a missing soldier and a Navy chaplain after a marine is murdered; Jimmy Palmer reveals who his best man will be at his wedding. Jamie Lee Curtis guest stars. ✭✭

GCB (TV2, 9.30, 5.1) Pastor Tudor gives the congregation a startling assignment, Gigi makes an indecent proposal, and Sharon discovers the secret to weight loss. ✭✭

Hawaii Five-O (TV3, 9.30, 5.1) Steve investigates a Navy SEAL’s murder; Chin Ho worries when Kono starts hanging out with some dirty cops. William Baldwin guest stars. ✭✭

Sky Movies Premiere: Lottery Ticket (Sky 20, 8.30, 5.1) Sky’s latest obscure African-American comedy concerns how the blue-collar winner of a $370 million lottery draw tries to keep his prize secret from opportunistic friends, family and neighours. Village Voice thought it a “formulaic but vibrant ensemble comedy” while the New York Post said “Ice Cube’s well-worn performance as a wise old geezer is the only bright spot in a movie that otherwise fumbles every opportunity to be funny, exciting or insightful.” (2010) ✭✭

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