What to Watch: March 15 - 21

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TV.com's pick of the best TV shows on Aussie screens this week.

The Mentalist
This week's episode centres around the stony-faced Kimball Cho (Tim Kang) whose performance as the strong, silent type in the California Bureau of Investigation is always a refreshing change to the often emotional performances that are usually associated with American drama. He is drawn back to his past when a member of his former gang, the Avon Park Playboys, is found murdered. When things escalate it's Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) who will be pivotal to solving it of course. Directed by Australia's John Polson.

Airs: 8:30pm Monday on Nine

Very funny episode this week when Sarah (Cindy Waddingham), Adam (Adam Zwar) and Wilfred (Jason Gann) head north to Queensland to visit Sarah's nudist parents in sugar cane country. They take a train trip which sees Wilfred holed up in a cargo carriage beside a talking cockatoo (Stephen Curry in a very funny cameo). Also making a guest appearance as our hero's father is City Homicide's David Field.

Airs: 10pm Monday on SBS ONE

Premiere. If you remember the 2005 film of the same name, this might be one for you. This small screen series from the Starz Network, inspired by the hit film, is notable largely for the casting of Dennis Hopper as record producer Ben Cendars. Like many of its ensemble cast he's pretty unlikable here. The story is fragmented, focusing on disparate clusters of characters across the suburbs of Los Angeles. Ambitious, unforgiving and droll -- it feels like it desperately wants to be a quality cable drama when it grows up.

Airs: 8:30pm Tuesday on Showcase

Last week Sayiid (Naveen Andrews) conspired with Locke (Terry O'Quinn) to overturn the harmony of the temple and the smoke monster was unleashed on those who stayed in their futile sanctuary. This week our attention turns to Ben (Michael Emerson) who will find himself on the outer for having killed Jacob. In two weeks, Seven viewers will get two episodes to put them back in sync with 7TWO.

Airs: 8:30pm Wednesday on 7TWO

Burn Notice
Jeffrey Donovan is so darned cool as Michael Westen, it's hard not to get sucked in by this show's attitude, exotic setting and insider spy tips. Australian Chris Vance (Prison Break, All Saints) guest stars as a plum-in-mouth Brit who is keen to recruit Michael, but the main thrust of the episode is a hunt for a child predator living surreptitiously amongst local gangs. Michael goes in undercover as a red-shirted operator who sounds an awful lot like Clint Eastwood. And why doesn't this show give Sharon Gless more to do, please?

Airs: 10pm Wednesday on TEN

Cougar Town
A comedy it may be, but Jules is getting to be just a tad ridiculous. This week she wants to break it off with a cute young guy, because he is falling for her. It's not the fear of commitment that is so out of whack here but Courteney Cox's mugging and the caricature performance to which she is quickly descending. A handful of laughs at best.

Airs: 8:30pm Thursday on Seven

Australia's Funniest
Special. Want to know what's worth catching at this year's Melbourne International Comedy Festival? Or maybe you just want to see what you're missing out on. This exclusive one-hour special is an indispensable guide to the picks of the festival, with Wil Anderson, Dave Hughes, Adam Hills, Peter Helliar, Josh Thomas, Denise Scott, Charlie Pickering, Frank Woodley and more. At 10pm anarchic Canadian comedian Tom Green selects his favourites.

Airs: 9pm Thursday on Comedy Channel

The first two episodes have been broad fun as the Visitors settle over the planet and begin to recruit many to their cause. Against this, Erica (Elizabeth Mitchell) has wised up to their plans, not realising her own son has already crossed over to the dark side. But it's beginning to drag. Where are the rodent-swallowing aliens we loved with the original series? This episode is sluggish and doesn't tell us much more than what we already knew. Hope it picks up.

Airs: 8:30pm Sunday on Nine

Premiere. This drama by the writer of Primeval is based on a 1974 British series in which a plague hit the UK and wiped out most of the population. Now after Bird Flu and Swine Flu it feels a whole lot easier to believe. This is another ensemble tale as a handful of Britons come to terms with the reality that they may be the only survivors of the "European Flu". Not so big on effects, but a satisfying two hours, featuring Julie Graham (Casualty, William and Mary), Max Beesley (Hotel Babylon), Phillip Rhys (Nip/Tuck, 24) and Freema Agyeman (Doctor Who).

Airs: 9:30pm Sunday on Nine

Comments (1)
Mar 15, 2010
the episode of the mentalist your talking about aired last week, the least you can do for your pay is a little research

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