HD Heads-Up: Die Hard 4, The Good Wife, Lie to Me

“Yippie-ki-yay!” won’t be the first word that springs to mind when watching the network HD TV premiere of the latest in the surprisingly enduring but increasingly risible Die Hard franchise (TV3, 8.30pm Monday).

Fourth time around, John McClane (Bruce Willis) is a middle-aged dinosaur of a cop who tries to thwart cyber-terrorists led by Timothy Olyphant (Deadwood).

What ensues is a lot like one character’s description of the unstoppable hero: “There’s tough – and there’s stupid.”

The good news is the superior predecessors have just been re-issued on Blu-ray for $30 each, which is $20 off their original release price, as has another action ace from the same era, Speed.

Despite dating to 1987, the Die Hard movies have delivered robust ratings over the past month for TV3, particularly since two went head-to-head with TV One’s popular re-run of Band of Brothers.

Next week TV3 will replace its Monday movie with the HD procedural combo of CSI and NCIS: Los Angeles.

This week it beds in two more HD dramas: the second-season premiere of Lie to Me (8.30pm Wednesday) and the launch of The Good Wife in the 9.30pm Tuesday slot it’s developed for edgy fare with a strong female skew (Outrageous FortuneNurse Jackie, The United States of Tara).

The Good Wife stars Julianna Marguiles (who also can be seen in TV One’s re-run of Canterbury’s Law 90 minutes later) as the humiliated spouse of a disgraced politician who has to revive her law career after his hits the skids.

Most critics thought it a great Wife“promises to be that Holy Grail of television: a good criminal procedural that barely disguises the insightful, multilayered human drama that lies beneath” (Los Angeles Times); “imaginatively explores how one scorned spouse struggles to get past a life-shattering scandal” (New York Times); “a smartly conceived and well executed legal drama with a strong star (Julianna Margulies) at its core and, even better, a terrifically timely hook” (TV Guide); “it doesn’t win many style points for originality but nor does it seek to squeeze into unflattering hipster clothes” (Variety).

Marguilles won both a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild award for her portrayal while the cast, which includes Matt Czuchry (The Gilmore Girls), Josh Charles (Sports Night), Christine Baranski (Cybill) and Chris Noth (Law & Order: Criminal Intent), earned a SAG nomination for best ensemble performance.

The Good Wife, which was created by Michelle and Robert King (In Justice, he also scripted the shot-in-NZ Vertical Limit), also was nominated for a Writers Guild of America award for best new series.

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