Tonight in HD: November 17

SoHo Highlight: Treme (Sky 10, 9.30, 5.1) Of all the outstanding series on SoHo, this newcomer from The Wire’s David Simon is the best — although it’s so painstakingly executed that it needs to screen in double-episodes to reward patience with momentum. As the New York Times observed: “This is an elliptically told tale, and it takes a few episodes for the plot and the characters to pick up steam. Some of the stars of Treme, notably Wendell Pierce and Clarke Peters, were in The Wire, but this is not a Bayou version of that show. Hard-core Simon fans will be disappointed if they expect multiple homicides, drug rings and city hall conspiracies.” In episode two, Albert takes the law into his own hands and LaDonna gets good news about her missing brother. There’s also a rooster sacrifice on live radio that almost rivals the flying turkeys calamity on WKRP in Cincinnati. And if you’re overwhelmed by the rife New Orleans references, follow Dave Walker’s New Orleans Times-Picayune column for clarification of everything from the relevance of the episode’s title, Meet de Boys on the Battlefront, to the meaning of “Pride on Bourbon Street”. ✭✭✭✭✭

Rove LA (TV3, 9.30)

Friends (TV2, 6.30, R)  The trip to Barbados culminates in some romantic complications, and Monica tames her humidity-ravaged hair. ✫✫✫

Shortland Street (TV2, 7.00) Ula secures a second chance; Rachel reverses into trouble; Wendy’s good deed backfires. ✫✫✫

The X Factor USA (TV3, 7.30, 5.1) Another performance elimination round. ✫✫✫

Rove LA (TV3, 9.30) With The Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons, Grammy-winner Pink and “patron saint of nerds” Chris Hardwick. ✫✫✫✫

Chuck (TV2, 10.30) The mission to take down Volkoff reaches a dangerous new level and big changes loom at home. The AV Club thought this one of the more satisfying episodes because it had been conceived as a likely season finale: “It allowed the show, which has been off the rails for a few episodes, to recalibrate itself to its inherent, shall we say, Chuck-iness. It was a brisk, sweetly comic hour of television that brought all its characters to a resonant conclusion. Any clunkiness can be chalked up to residual problems with the season as a whole.” ✫✫✫✫

Rapid Response (TV One, 11.30, R) ✫✫

Underbelly: The Mr Asia Story (TV3, 11.45, R) Terry Clark’s drug empire starts to unravel when he is arrested for murder in the UK. ✫✫✫✫

Criminal Minds (TV One, 12.00, R) ✫✫

The Vampire Diaries (TV2, 2.40, R) ✫✫✫

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