Tonight in HD: May 12

SoHo Highlight: Mad Men (Sky 10, 8.30, 5.1) Said The Hollywood Reporter of episode five: “In a rousing return to form, the Far Away Places episode of Mad Men was its most ambitious this season and one that, given the last couple of overly-obvious efforts, would normally cause serious worry about its ability to pull off not only an LSD episode – a cliché landmine if there ever was one – but also a fractured narrative, the deepening of current motifs and subtle transformations of character spread throughout the cast. Bravo.” But Advertising Age thought it “an abrupt swerve away from the usual. Instead of interwoven storylines, we got three versions of one 24-hour period in the summer of 1966, told in quick succession with minimal bleeding into each other. The action’s linchpin is Don’s decision to take a spur-of-the-moment trip to check out an upstate New York Howard Johnson’s. By rejecting Roger’s suggestion that the two go together and by bringing Megan along instead, he sets in motion Sterling’s revelatory acid trip and a disastrous client presentation for Peggy. Don’s own tale shows further generationally-enhanced cracks in the foundation of his marriage, manifesting in a frustration increasingly fraught with violence.” ✮✮✮✮✮

Movie: A Serious Man (TV3, 10.30, 5.1, R) It won’t just be “goys”, or non-Jews, who’ll be left echoing the hero’s plea, “What does it all mean?” Set in 1967, Joel and Ethan Coen’s A Serious Man stars Michael Stuhlbarg as a Jewish academic whose family life is disintegrating as fast as his faith and profession. It’s an amusing, intricate, picture-perfect evocation of the Coen brothers’ banal suburban youth – there’s a great running gag about F Troop — but ultimately their No Campus for Old Men relies too much on idiosyncratic esotericism. (2009) ✮✮✮

TradeZone Gone Fishin’ (TV3, 5.30) ✮✮

Hyundai Country Calendar (TV One, 7.00) A hunter turns his hobby into a fulltime job, working from a helicopter in Fiordland. ✮✮✮✮

ITM Fishing Show (TV3, 7.00) Matt takes a couple of Kiwi blokes out for their first, big-game fishing experience. ✮✮✮

Terra Nova (TV3, 7.30, 5.1, F) Series finale: The 11th Pilgrimage arrives in Terra Nova, and the mysterious Phoenix Group in 2149 makes its move to pillage the past with the help of Lucas and Mira. In the US, this episode and last week’s screened as a two-hour finale, prompting Entertainment Weekly to confess: “I was really surprised how much Terra Nova had improved for its closer. Sure, a few skeptics of the show will say it wasn’t enough. But for me, the two-parter directed by 24 vet Jon Cassar  was easily the best entry of the season.” ✮✮✮

Movie: Aliens vs Predator: Requiem (TV3, 8.30, 5.1, R) Hopefully the next entry in the Alien vs Predator franchise will be AVP: RIP. This sci-fi slasher is a gore chore that not even a new, hybrid monster can enliven. Vfx sibings Greg and Colin Strause (Skyline) direct their first feature; Rescue Me’s Steven Pasquale, Hawaii Five-0’s Reiko Aylesworth, Luck’s John Ortiz and True Blood’s Sam Trammell star. (2007) ✮✮

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