Tonight in HD: May 17

Season Highlight: Fringe (TV2, 10.30, 5.1) Bolivia and her team call upon their counterparts from This Side to help track a serial killer who “drains the brain of happy memories”. US critic thought episode two of season four especially memorable. HitFix said this “often stunning episode … is the show at its empathetic best”  while the AV Club called it “a terrific hour of television, making excellent use of the resources Fringe has available to them right now, both behind the camera and in front” (and went on to compare it with The Firefly and Lysergic Acid Diethylamide as one of the series’ three best episodes). Said the Los Angeles Times: “I’m always partial to the Flashback episodes or Singing Film Noir episodes, but One Night in October definitely skyrocketed to one of my top five episodes of Fringe.” Former producer Brad Anderson (The Machinist) directs. ✮✮✮✮✮

Movie: Casino Royale (TV One, 8.30, 5.1, R) One of the best 007 adventures in years rejuvenated Her Majesty’s top secret agent with a true-Brit grit makeover and a high-stakes mission to thwart the bankrolling of terrorism that was more grounded than the usual global megalomania. Yet for all its much-ballyhooed realism, Casino Royale still can’t resist ludicrously extravagant stunts. Daniel Craig, Eva Green and Judi Dench star; Martin Campbell (GoldenEye) directs. (2006) ✮✮✮✮

Home & Away (TV3, 5.30) John and Sid join forces; Indi and Romeo struggle with the mistakes they’ve made; John questions Harvey about the validity of his involvement in the Eco Park. ✮✮

Friends (TV2, 6.30, R) A bored Ross creates havoc in Joey and Chandler’s lives; Rachel is disturbed by her date’s inappropriate relationship with his sister. ✮✮✮✮

Shortland Street (TV2, 7.00) A broken heart endangers the Jefferies family; Lana’s eaten up by doubt; Phoenix’s best efforts threaten Chris. ✮✮✮

Once Upon a Time (TV2, 8.30, 5.1) Emma hires Ruby to be her assistant after she quits Granny’s diner, and Red Riding Hood longs to join her true love, but becomes imprisoned when a bloodthirsty wolf wreaks havoc on her village. ✮✮

The Finder (TV3, 8.30, 5.1) When new tracks are leaked from late rapper J-Stryke, music mogul Big Glade and his business savvy lawyer ask Walter to find the source of the illegally released music. 50 Cent guest stars; Bones’ David Boreanaz directs. “The Finder’s eighth episode continues to smooth out the show’s rough edges – without losing the eccentricities that make The Finder, Walter Sherman [Geoff Stults], such an interesting character,” Eclipse magazine said. “A well-paced hour with plenty of character beats, a decent amount of action and some twists that rank up among the best on any kind of mystery series this season.” ✮✮✮

SoHo Highlight: Girls (Sky 10, 8.30, 5.1) Hannah worries about the efficacy of condoms; Marnie plans a day for the girls at a women’s health clinic. Time said Vagina Panic “really dealt with the group as a group. And as a result, where the pilot felt more like a prologue, or a brief indie movie, this felt like an episode of a TV show. And it was better for it — sharper, funnier, more focused, more TV-like, in a good way.” Slate said it was “rich with good lines and striking moments” — and noted the “amazingly awful sex scene that opens this episode”, one that Paste magazine agreed “is not funny at all but it’s one of the few moments where I’ve actually been impressed by Girls.” ✮✮✮✮

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2 Responses to “Tonight in HD: May 17”

  1. Crash Course, the Greg Murphy late night TV2 show is, in HD ? Ditto, the gorgeous Angie Harmon in Rizzoli and Isles? Both shows featured Dolby surround sound but picture didn’t seem quite HD sharp.

  2. Both are in SD, probably with simulated 5.1 audio. TVNZ isn’t distinguishing series with true 5.1 from faux 5.1 in its publicity. Season two of Crash Course was HD but the first, which is being repeated, was SD (being a local series, its native audio will be stereo because the show’s low budget wouldn’t extend to the cost of a 5.1 mix). Bear in mind the accuracy of TVNZ’s HD info is always questionable because of its hit-and-miss programme management system. Case in point: Despite being billed as being in HD, Casino Royale went to air in SD.

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