Tonight in HD: July 4

Season Highlight: Two and a Half Men (TV2, 7.30, 5.1) Kathy Bates guest stars as the ghost of Charlie Harper, who pays a visit to Alan’s hospital bedside after Alan suffers a minor heart attack. “I suppose it was for a lark, a few laughs, Kathy Bates agreeing to the stunt-casting of herself playing the ghost of Charlie Harper in this week’s Two and a Half Men episode titled Why We Gave Up Women,” Entertainment Weekly observed. “Well, I hope she had some giggles on the set, because they certainly weren’t on the screen.” Meanwhile, Charlie Sheen, who played Harper before being being booted off the series, has had the last laugh, with his new show, Anger Management, last week setting a comedy cable record for its US premiere. ✭✭

Series Finale: Bikie Wars: Brothers in Arms (TV3, 8.30, F) The confrontation leaves six bikers and one innocent bystander dead. But the tragedy of Milperra is far from over. As this special section of The Daily Telegraph shows, the Bandidos and Comancheros are still making headlines across the Tasman. If you tuned into this six-part dramatisation too late, it will be released August 1 on Blu-ray. As well as a making-of short, it will have extras about make-up, costumes, stills, designs and, of course, the bikes (which apparently weren’t always fair dinkum). ✭✭✭✭

MasterChef Australia (TV One, 4.45) The contestants face a mystery box challenge where the winner will pick the ingredient for tomorrow’s invention test. ✭✭

Home & Away (TV3, 5.30) Natalie learns about Brax’s past; Sasha is excited about a possible romance blossoming between her and Casey; Xavier is concerned about Jett’s behaviour. ✭✭

Friends (TV2, 6.30, R) When a fire damages their apartment, Rachel and Phoebe must choose between living temporarily with Joey or Monica;Ross gets into trouble for dating a student. ✭✭✭

Shortland Street (TV2, 7.00) Phoenix puts himself on the line for a stranger; Maxwell gets an unexpected visitor; Bree sets her sights on heartbreak. ✭✭✭

The Block NZ (TV3, 7.30) Series premiere: Four couples come together for the very first time as they are sent on a treasure hunt around Auckland. At stake, $25,000 and the first pick of the four houses. ✭✭

2 Broke Girls (TV2, 8.00, 5.1) Max’s other job with Peach may be in peril. ✭✭

The Big Bang Theory (TV2, 8.30, 5.1) Howard’s wedding plans are in jeopardy after the guys throw him a bachelor party and details of his sexual history are leaked online. ✭✭

Happy Endings (TV2, 9.00, 5.1) White lies snowball when the gang goes to incredible lengths to avoid a pesky old friend. ✭✭

Castle (TV One, 9.30, 5.1) When a woman is found dead in a car belonging to the mayor, the investigation threatens to bring down his administration and possibly even Beckett and Castle’s relationship. ✭✭

Breakout Kings (TV3, 9.35, 5.1) A modern-day Bonnie and Clyde escape from prison and go on a crime and killing spree. After the pair murders a cop, the Breakout Kings race to catch them before they kill again. ✭✭✭

Nikita (TV2, 10.30, 5.1) Nikita and Michael locate Nikita’s father, Richard, but the reunion does not go as Nikita had planned. ✭✭

Sky Movies Premiere: 5 Days of War (Sky 20, 8.30, 5.1) Hollow Hollywood heroics undermine an otherwise gripping and thought-provoking take on Russia’s invasion of Georgia in 2008. Told from the behind-enemy-lines perspective of war correspondents, it leavens torn-from-the-headlines clichés with powerful and unsettling scenes of carnage and geopolitical outrage. Renny Harlin (12 RoundsDeep Blue Sea) directs Rupert Friend, Emmanuelle Chriqui and Richard Coyle. (2010) ✭✭✭

Sky Movies Greats Premiere: Hostel (Sky 22, 8.30, 5.1) Grotesque torture porn from Cabin Fever director Eli Roth. As the New York Times so keenly observed,  “Hostel is motivated by an adolescent urge to shock. And while it’s true that no civilised person will remain unscathed by the film’s relentless bigotry – this is one of the most misogynistic films ever made – Mr Roth’s gory spectacles are too calculated to deliver the transgressive jolts they so obviously seek.” Men in Trees’ Derek Richardson stars. (2005) 

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