HD Highlights: July 16

Series Finale: Desperate Housewives (TV2, 8.30, 5.1, F) “The eight-year-long saga that has titillated, intrigued and, reportedly, sparked an epidemic of eating disorders among middle-age female viewers, comes to a melodramatic close, the conclusions of its rambling narratives neatly tying up life’s biggies (births, deaths, marriages and careers) in a pink bow of post-feminist pathos,” said The Age. “Occasional viewers will, as always, feel up to date with the dilemmas of the grand dames of Wisteria Lane, and rusted-on fans will be rewarded with a dignified – and teasingly open – end to their epic journeys.” Echoed USA Today: “This was a finale that unambiguously left the major characters settled and happy. It may have struck some as sappy and pat (we probably could have done without the birth/wedding/death musical montage), but with this type of show, a happy ending is what most fans want to see.” Or, as The Hollywood Reporter put it: “The long-running ABC series says goodbye to Susan, Gaby, Lynette and Bree with its typical twists, gasps and laughs.” Left unresolved, however, is after anchoring Monday nights for eight years, what will TV2 replace it with in 2013? ✭✭✭✭

Modern Family (TV3, 8.00, 5.1) Said The AV Club of this episode, in which the households fall out just as Alex has to undertake his school project on family harmony: “What Modern Family can do so well is create an escalating snowball of farce that, when everyone ends up in the same place, unleashes a storm of comic possibilities. This episode may not be the pinnacle of that style, but it unfolds with a sense of ease, confidence, economy, and generosity that any sitcom would be proud to match.” ✭✭✭✭

Sky Movies Premiere: Drive Angry (Sky 20, 8.30, 5.1) Steer clear of this virulent nonsense unless you’re in the mood for retro raunch and carnage. A grisly, grotesque, shoddy throwback to road movies of the ‘70s, it stars Nicolas Cage as a fugitive from hell seeking retribution for his murdered daughter and abducted granddaughter, armed with a sawn-off shotgun, a ’69 Charger and a calendar-chick sidekick. Patrick Lusser (My Bloody Valentine, Apollo 18) directs; Amber Heard, David Morse and William Fitchner co-star. (2011)

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