Tonight in HD: July 11

Series Premiere: The Slap (TV3, 8.30) Family and friends aere enjoying Hector’s 40th birthday BBQ until a game of backyard cricket results in Harry, Hector’s cousin, slapping Hugo, who is not his son. “Each of the show’s eight episodes presents the point of view of a different character who was at the scene of said slap, and tracks how the incident, and their reaction to it, ultimately affects them,” the Herald on Sunday’s Nick Grant said. “On the evidence of the first episode, this is a well-crafted show: the large cast of actors are all very good, the direction keeps things moving and it looks great. But it remains to be seen how well the central conceit, that a single slap forces the characters to confront some fundamental, unpalatable truths about the lives, will hold up over the course of the remaining seven episodes.” Raved The Age: “Quite simply, The Slap is a triumph. It might seem a little giddy to base that assertion on only the debut episode, which shows the suburban barbecue at which the titular event occurs, lighting a moral firestorm among a group of friends and relatives. But rarely is Australian drama so assured in its exposition-free storytelling.” ✭✭✭✭

Season Finale: The Big Bang Theory (TV2, 8.00, 5.1) In this double-episode send-off, Howard faces double trouble when NASA moves up his launch and he has to meet Bernadette’s father; some awkward pillow talk by Leonard may change his relationship with Penny; when Howard and Bernadette decide they want to be married before his NASA space launch, the gang rushes to put on a wedding. NASA astronaut Mike Massimino, who guest stars as himself, told the Los Angeles Times the scene on the launch pad plays out is pretty close to reality: “The conversations [in the last episode], believe it or not, are pretty realistic of what you might talk about laying on your back on top of a rocket.” ✭✭✭✭

MasterChef Australia (TV One, 4.45) In this MasterClass, Matt teaches the contestants about raw food, and Gary makes gnocchi and lamb stew. ✭✭

Home & Away (TV3, 5.30) Bianca has a psychotic episode; Sasha thinks Casey’s bad behaviour is because of her. ✭✭

Friends (TV2, 6.30, R) Chandler finds the perfect engagement ring and loses it; Rachel gets her wish to get Paul to reveal his emotions, but seems to have opened the flood gates. Bruce Willis guest stars. ✭✭✭

Shortland Street (TV2, 7.00) Brooke learns her lesson; TK struggles to find his voice; Jasmine takes back the power. ✭✭✭

Two and a Half Men (TV2, 7.30, 5.1) On the 200th episode, Alan is showered with love and affection upon returning from the hospital, but Zoey isn’t so sure it’s deserved. Seinfeld’s Jason Alexander guest stars. To learn more about the challenges of reaching this milestone, view The Hollywood Reporter’s video interview with creator Chuck Lorre. ✭✭

The Block (TV3, 7.30) The couples begin their first room renovation and Mark challenges them to build a wall to his exact measurements – with a prize that will turn the competition upside down. ✭✭

Happy Endings (TV2, 9.00, 5.1) Alex signs the gang up to participate in the ‘Northside Kickball Classic’ tournament. However, self-appointed manager Max has a struggle on his hands if he is to bring his players up to scratch. ✭✭

Castle (TV One, 9.30, 5.1) When a famous dog trainer is killed, the investigation keeps coming back to a charismatic reality TV star. ✭✭

Breakout Kings (TV3, 9.40, 5.1) Two inmates escape by poisoning another inmate and hiding in his coffin, but, once outside, there is friction between the two men. ✭✭

Nikita (TV2, 10.30, 5.1) From behind bars, Ryan uncovers patterns that reveal how Oversight gets its funding. ✭✭

Sky Movies Premiere: Love, Wedding, Marriage (Sky 20, 8.30, 5.1) Dermot Mulroney (J Edgar, My Best Friend’s Wedding) made an absymal directorial debut with this romantic comedy about a newly-married marriage guidance counsellor who learns his parents are divorcing. “Performances range from wooden to hysterical, and it’s largely due to Mulroney’s inexperience behind the camera,” said Variety in one of the movie’s kinder reviews while the New York Daily News observed: “What’s most baffling is that such a canny actor is so unable to direct his own cast.” Mandy Moore, Immortals’ Kellan Lutz, James Brolin, Jane Seymour, Christopher Lloyd and Alyson Hannigan star. (2010)

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