HD Highlights: September 9

SoHo Highlight: Hell on Wheels (Sky 10, 8.30, 5.1) “Slaughterhouse focuses on the repercussions of Elam killing Schmidt, the man who killed a prostitute, for Lily,” says Paste magazine. “The easiest show to compare Hell on Wheels to has been Deadwood, clearly, but Slaughterhouse somewhat distinguishes it from that show, probably more than any other episode has before. With most of the cast of Deadwood, the show allowed the audience to see the kindness in a majority of the show’s characters. Even a pimp/murderer/woman-beater like Al Swearengen had moments where he showed that he too had a heart underneath all the anger and darkness. But Slaughterhouse shows the exact opposite. Even the most seemingly innocent characters, like Lily and the McGinnes brothers, show that inside they have the capacity to do evil things. As we see the level of depth in all of Hell on Wheels’ characters and as we see some interesting character combinations and rivalries sprouting up, the show is becoming much stronger than its first season ever hinted it would be.” ✭✭✭✭

Sky Movies Premiere: Tower Heist (Sky 20, 8.30, 5.1) Action practitioner Brett Ratner (Rush Hour) stumbles with this caper comedy about the employees of a posh, Big Apple condominium who conspire to rob the penthouse of the Wall Street rogue who swindled them. Tower Heist has the makings of a fun, far-fetched romp with a topical twist but becomes so absurd and extreme that you’re tempted to check out long before the ineptly executed climax. Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Alan Alda, Casey Affleck, Matthew Broderick and Tea Leoni star. (2011) ✭✭✩

The Big Bang Theory (TV2, 7.00, 5.1, R) It’s Valentine’s Day, and Leonard can only bring one guest on a trip to see the world’s largest and highest energy particle accelerator in Switzerland. Will it be Sheldon or Penny? ✭✭✭✭

❑ Modern Family (TV3, 7.00, 5.1, R) When Claire finds a dirty picture on the computer and assumes it’s Luke’s doing, a guilty Phil doesn’t necessarily correct her. ✭✭✭✭

NZ’s Got Talent (TV One, 7.30) Series Premiere: Judges Rachel Hunter, Ali Campbell and Jason Kerrison begin their search for the next Kiwi superstar in a variety show that TV One hopes will be its next Dancing With the Stars. It’s already got the thumbs up from the NZ Herald, which, without irony, dubbed Hunter “the most talented performer in the first programme”. ✭✭✭✭

❑ The Big Bang Theory (TV2, 8.00, 5.1, R) Sheldon misses his chance to meet comic book legend Stan Lee (guest starring as himself) when he winds up in traffic court after getting a ticket because of Penny. ✭✭✭✭

❑ Nothing Trivial (TV One, 8.30) Catherine and Mac face parent traps, as Catherine fears for Celeste, and Mac goes to war with Jo over custody. ✭✭✭

Movie: Ghost Town (TV3, 8.30, 5.1, R) Ricky Gervais’ movie directing debut opens as a novel and engaging take on a parallel universe in which lying doesn’t exist, until one overweight, snub-nosed loser exploits his discovery for romantic and career conquests. But then the screenplay he wrote with co-director Matthew Robinson sacrifices its fable-esque magic for broad, religious satire that’s not inventive enough to sustain even barely 90 minutes. Jennifer Garner and Tina Fey co-star. (2009) ✭✭✭

Offspring (TV One, 9.30) Nina and Patrick’s relationship takes an unexpected turn as Nina comes to terms with not being Proudman. ✭✭✭

❑ Homeland (TV3, 10.40, 5.1, R) After his attempt to sever ties with Abu Nazir, Brody finds himself reliving his captivity, and recommits to his mission. ✭✭✭✭✭

❑ The Good Wife (TV3, 12.20, 5.1, R) As Alicia works with Will on the appeal of a death row inmate, she agrees to a conjugal visit with Peter in order to get information from him since her client was convicted under Peter’s regime as state’s attorney. ✭✭✭✭

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