HD Highlights: August 28

Season Premiere: Southland (TV One, 11.05, 5.1) Lydia and her new partner hunt a cleaning lady’s killer; John and Ben rescue an officer during a bank robbery shootout. “You could almost call it a television miracle, not just that the superb cop procedural Southland is about to launch its third season on Tuesday, but, more important, that it has pretty much maintained its quality despite being batted around by NBC before getting rescued by TNT last year,” said the San Francisco Chronicle. “There are some small changes in the show under the TNT banner. The focus, in general, is a bit narrower, but nothing in the way of highly detailed characterisation has been lost.” Entertainment Weekly observed “every crime–murder, bank robbery, changing lanes without signaling–is a mini-masterpiece of LA noir” while the Wall Street Journal said “the exceptional writing and pitch-perfect acting of Southland is not to be missed”. Another reason to tune in is this is the first season to air here in HD (the series was meant to have been in HD from the outset but screened in SD because of a delivery snag.) ✭✭✭✭✩

Coastwatch (TV One, 7.30) An operation along the Kapiti Coast nets a load of illegal paua; a massive search and rescue operation is launched in Te Anau; and the Coastguard responds to a medical emergency. ✭✭✭

Kings Cross ER (TV3, 8.00) A young man overdoses on Ketamine while a foreign student gets viciously head butted during a messy street brawl. ✭✭✭✩

Sky Movies Premiere: Fright Night (Sky 20, 8.30, 5.1) Fright Night is a fun, freaky re-make from Craig Gillespie, the director of Lars and the Real Girl. It’s not as offbeat but is still too loose and absurd to make the most of its premise: a geeky teenager who’s now cool because of his ‘hot’ girlfriend suspects his new neighbour is a vampire. With less unruly bloodletting, Fright Night could have been as fabulous as Colin Farrell’s Fanged One. Star Trek’s Anton Yelchin, Toni Collette, Imogen Poots and David Tennant co-star. (2011) ✭✭✭

Sky Movies Greats Premiere: From Paris With Love (Sky 22, 8.30, 5.1) This violent thriller, about a loudmouth spy (John Travolta) who stalks terrorists in Paris with his boy scout-sidekick (The Tudors’ Jonathan Rhys Meyers), may be  relentlessly imbecilic and repugnant. But fans will be hoping the movie fares better on Sky than it did on Blu-ray, where the theatrical aspect ratio was cropped from 2.35:1 to 1.78:1. Pierre Morel (Taken) directs a screenplay based on a story by Luc Besson (Transporter, Taken, La Femme Nikita). (2010) ✭✩

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