HD Heads-Up: August 30-September 5

Two HD comedies from the creator of Cougar Town and Scrubs premiere on TV2 the same week TV3 launches a lightweight crime drama.

Motive, which goes to air at 8.40 on September 4, is a Canadian series that TV3’s secured through its NBC Universal pact.

The show’s been renewed for a third season but hasn’t rated well as a summer filler for ABC in the US.

Each episode opens with a murder that reveals the victim and the killer, and over the course of the hour flashbacks show how the investigators solve the case.

People Weekly thought it “smooth and diverting” while the Philadelphia Inquirer said “the fractured loop-de-loop narrative creates not just surprise but suspense”.

Others, however, were less impressed: “reasonably smart, reasonably interesting and reasonably well acted without being particularly good” (New York Times); “instead of being a whodunit, Motive is a ‘whydunit,’ which, except for the appeal of the show’s star, amounts to a ‘who cares‘” (San Francisco Chronicle); “you’ve heard of open-and-shut cases. Motive is more like open and yawn” (TV Guide).

From Cougar Town’s Bill Lawrence comes Ground Floor (TV2, 7.30 Monday) and Undateable (TV2, 8.00 Wednesday).

He created the former with 2 Broke Girls’ Greg Malins, an Upstairs Downstairs workplace comedy about a banker who falls for a building maintenance worker.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, “The show succeeds with a likeable cast [including Scrubs’ John C McGinley] and some good jokes and manages to overcome the premise and the laugh track.”

Ground Floor doesn’t make much of an impression initially,” the New York Times cautions. “But stick with it for three or four episodes and it grows on you.”

But Variety thought it “more of a slacker than an overachiever” while the SF Chronicle dubbed it “the new worst show of the fall season”.

Undateable is a singles comedy that The Huffington Post described as “essentially a bar-hangout comedy, with an ‘older guy teaches younger guy the ways of the dating world’ element thrown in for good measure …

“The show is ultimately about a battle between two different sub-strains of masculinity — the uncaring superficiality of the serial dater versus the open-hearted, goofy risk-taking of the classic romantic.

“If you’ve seen any of Lawrence’s other shows, you know which side is ultimately going to win — and that it wasn’t really a fair fight to begin with.”

Also new in HD for the week starting August 30 are the BBC wildlife special Snow Babies (TV One, 4.55 Sunday) and the weight loss documentary My Baggy Body (TV One, 9.35 Wednesday). 

The Guardian thought the latter “a happy story of sorts, following the travails of three people who have lost colossal amounts of weight: 43st between them.

“This admirable accomplishment, however, has left them encumbered by rolling folds of surplus skin, which this programme tracks their efforts to shed.”

The same week TV2 will launch an 8.30 Thursday movie slot with the network HD premiere of The Lucky One following the network HD premieres of Anonymous (TV One, 10.40 Saturday), One For the Money (TV2, 8.30 Sunday)American Reunion (TV3, 9.00 Sunday) and Dinner for Schmucks (TV3, 8.40 Tuesday). 

Other coming attractions in HD include Bride and Prejudice (TV2, 7.00 Saturday), Conviction (TV3, 10.25 Saturday), Funny Games (TV2, 10.40 Sunday), Bride Wars (TV3, 8.40 Monday) and Click (TV2, 9.00 Friday).

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