HD Highlights: July 25

Season Highlight: The Slap (TV3, 8.30) Harry stands to lose everything it all because of the slap. He tries to downplay this to his wife Sandi, who is increasingly agitated, but the truth is he can’t shake the fear growing inside him. “The reliable Diana Glenn is exceptionally well cast as Harry’s understandably nervous wife Sandi, but the episode belongs to [Alex] Dimitriades and his dynamic portrayal of the muscular, snarling Harry, none of whose rough edges have been smoothed for television,” said The Age. “Which should also serve as a warning to those offended by vivid and graphic sex.” Incidentally, this episode won, for its direction, one of  The Slap’s five Australian Academy Cinema Television Arts (AACTA) Awards; another was the best lead actor in a TV drama prize for Dimitriades — whose last acting award was for Head On, a 1998 adaptation of another novel by The Slap’s Christos Tsiolkas, “Loaded”. Says Dimitriades: “How he manages to crawl inside the heads (and under the skin) of all these different characters is just amazing. He manages to somehow really get to the core of Australian society – what lurks beneath and within the hearts and minds of us all.” ✭✭✭✭

Castle TV (One, 9.30, 5.1) In part one of two, Castle and Beckett pursue a ruthless killer who turns out to be part of a sinister, international conspiracy. Castle and Beckett are joined on the case by a smart, sexy CIA operative who has a complicated past with Castle. The genre mocking continues, said the AV Club: “Last week, Castle paid loving parody tribute to the hard-boiled detective fiction that reached its apotheosis in the 1930s and ’40s, and this week, the show got its Tom Clancy on. This was the first part of what the ABC promo announcer has been breathlessly calling ‘the Castle two-part event!’ ‘Event’ might have been overselling it a little, but by the time the hour was up, I can’t say that I minded having another hour of this to look forward to.” The L Word’s Jennifer Beals and Drop Dead Diva’s Josh Stamberg guest star. ✭✭✭

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