Tonight in HD: June 2

SoHo Highlight: Mad Men (Sky 20, 8.30, 5.1) A depressed Betty tries to make things uncomfortable for Don and Megan; Roger tries to take out some secret weapons for a meeting with a prospective Jewish client; Don makes a snap judgment that angers the creative department. The Hollywood Reporter thought this one of creator Matthew Weiner’s lesser efforts: “It was an episode that seemed to gather itself, make a point while setting up plotlines, then end on time. That’s all. There’s no harm in that; such episodes come along at least twice in the season run of very good shows. But there was a heavy-handedness to the thematic illustration of self-interest in the episode – like the writers backed up a truck full of references to selfish behavior and dumped them into the room for ease of use.” Esquire was even more to the point: “In an otherwise stellar season, this episode kind of sank like a stone.” Echoed The Huffington Post: “Worst episode of the season … and not just because of Betty.” But even on an off day, you can expect Mad Men to be better than 90% of what else is on the box. ✮✮✮✮

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (TV3, 8.30, 5.1) Russell asks a former colleague (Elisabeth Shue) for advice on a case involving the death of a man’s ex-girlfriend. Entertainment Weekly said the plot was irrelevant: “The crimes committed could have been ones we’ve seen a thousand times before. What mattered this night was the impression Elisabeth Shue made in her first appearance in joining the series. She was awfully good. Shue’s Julie Finlay — don’t call her ‘Jules,’ call her ‘Finn’ — is a blood-spatter expert so good, Ted Danson’s DB Russell called her ‘a blood whisperer.’ And that, readers, is one reason this show isn’t as good as it used to be: lousy turns of phrase such as that. Nope, what’s propping up CSI these days is Danson, the comforting steadiness of George Eads’ Nick, and now Shue.” ✮✮✮

TradeZone Gone Fishin’ (TV3, 5.30) ✮✮✮

Hyundai Country Calendar (TV One, 7.00) A couple who’ve kept native tussock on their Southland farm believe making a profit and protecting the environment go naturally together. ✮✮✮✮

ITM Fishing Show (TV3, 7.00) The Coromandel Competition comes down to a last minute dash to catch a big kingfish. ✮✮✮

Ice Road Truckers (TV3, 7.30, 5.1) The race is on to make it to Prudhoe before a wicked storm turns fierce. ✮✮✮

Movie: Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (TV One, 10.10) The late director Sidney Lumet (The Verdict, Dog Day Afternoon, Fail-Safe) was 83 but hadn’t lost his touch when he made this intelligent, atmospheric, agonisingly suspenseful thriller for adults. It stars Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ethan Hawke as deep-in-debt brothers whose victim-less plan to rob their parents’ jewellery story goes tragically awry. (2007) ✮✮✮✮

Movie: Away We Go (TV3, 10.30, 5.1, R) After the glossy hollowness of Revolutionary Road, director Sam Mendes was back on the right track with this captivating comedy about a couple on the cusp of parenthood criss-crossing America in search of a place to call home. Offbeat and observant, it has wondrous leads, memorable characters and a witty script, but is undermined by a fairy tale ending that seems at odds with the couple’s quest for equanimity. The Office’s John Krasinski, Maya Rudolph and Maggie Gyllenhaal star.  (2009) ✮✮✮

Sky Movies Greats Premiere: Déjà Vu (Sky 22, 8.30, 5.1) Director Tony Scott (Unstoppable) is more restrained than usual as he focuses on the Einstein-ish intricacies of this ingenious but ultimately unconvincing time travel thriller about a government agent (Denzel Washington) investigating the bombing of a New Orleans ferry with the help of Big Brother wizardry that puts him in the past and the present at the same time. Val Kilmer, Person of Interest’s Jim Caviezel and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol’s Paula Patton co-star. (2006) ✮✮✮

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