Are you ready to enter another world?
Are you ready to enter another world?

What's On TV: Twisty Netflix series is a sci-fi spectacle

FOR lovers of reality TV, this is the week they've been waiting for.

All three free-to-air TV networks are making a big splash with the return of their signature franchises - in case you missed it among the hundreds of promo ads they've been running throughout the tennis and cricket.

If the confected drama of My Kitchen Rules is your thing, the next three months will be wall-to-wall with so-called team bust-ups and Pete Evans pretending to have a slice of credibility left.

Or maybe Married At First Sight is more your thing - watching strangers trying to make a go at romance while surrounded by cameras and producers whispering suggestions in their ears.

But if you would rather spend your nights watching something else - anything else - then here are the other offerings on TV this week.


(Netflix, from Friday at 7pm AEDT)

Taking its cues from the likes of Ghost In The Shell and Blade Runner, Netflix's bold sci-fi series is a spectacle based on a 2002 novel by Richard K. Morgan. Boy band-haired Joel Kinnaman stars as Takeshi Kovacs, a former resistance fighter whose consciousness has been uploaded into a new body 250 years into the future. Kovacs has been tasked by an uber-rich industrialist with solving his murder, because here, death doesn't have to mean you stay dead.

Visually dazzling, the first episode is directed by Miguel Sapochnik, famous for helming Game Of Thrones' "Battle of the Bastards". There's a lot going on with twisty subplots that take a while to settle in, but sci-fi fans will find plenty here to enjoy.



(Ten, Sundays to Wednesdays at 7.30pm)

Not exactly highbrow TV, you'd only tune into I'm A Celeb to see some B-listers and other lower alphabet people you've definitely never heard of (Simone Holtznagel is apparently someone we're supposed to know?) eat animal testicles or have creepy crawlies poured over their heads. There will be no dignity found here.

The casting of Bernard Tomic will likely draw Australians who want to delight in seeing the one-time tennis prodigy turned el-brattus get his comeuppance, while conveniently forgetting his massive payday. But the real question is why respected actor Kerry Armstrong, winner of two Australian Film Institute Awards and a peer-voted OUTSTANDING Logie, would debase herself in the jungle - she's the female lead of Lantana, one of the best Australian films of all time, for god's sake. She deserves better.

Someone offer Kerry Armstrong a respectable job, please.
Someone offer Kerry Armstrong a respectable job, please.

(Hayu, from Wednesday, January 31)

Rose McGowan isn't shying away from the headlines. In a five-part documentary series, the outspoken actor-cum-activist wants to ignite a cultural revolution when it comes to harassment and sexual abuse in Hollywood. The series will follow McGowan in the lead-up to the release of her book, Brave. As one of the most vocal voices of a movement, the series seeks to give you an insight into a personality that has some people asking whether her confronting approach is helping or hindering the process of change.

A slice of Rose McGowan’s life.
A slice of Rose McGowan’s life.

(Ten, Tuesday at 8.30pm)

If you've got a quandary that needs solving, leave it up to Dave Hughes and his celebrity mates to work it out for you. You know, deeply agonising problems like "How do I tell my girlfriend she has a moustache?" and "What should I do when my partner won't kiss me?". The agony uncle panel show is Hughes' defection back from Nine to Ten and he'll be joined by Julia Morris, Harley Breen, Anne Edmonds and Nazeem Hussain in the first episode. Expect nothing but the most serious, considered and psychologically sound advice.

This looks like a group of learned people. Definitely.
This looks like a group of learned people. Definitely.

(Lifestyle Food on Foxtel, Wednesday at 8.30pm)

Nadiya Hussain utterly captivated the world when she won the sixth series of The Great British Bake Off for her inventive bakes and natural charm. Now a veritable celebrity - she baked the Queen's 90th birthday cake and was a judge on Junior Bake Off - Nadiya returns to TV screens in Nadiya's Food Adventure where she travels around the UK, meeting farmers, fishermen and producers. This week she's in the Peak District where she'll turn Derbyshire oatcakes into samosas and tackles a cod burger. Yummers.

We dare you to resist Nadiya’s charm.
We dare you to resist Nadiya’s charm.

(Amazon, from Friday, February 2)

Six years after FBI agent Emily Byrne disappears while hunting a notorious serial killer, she is found in a cabin in the woods with no memory of the missing time. She returns home to find her husband has remarried and her young son barely remembers her. Questions soon arise over where she's really been all this time when she's implicated in a new series of murders. If you're looking for a thrilling, puzzling mystery designed to make you question what you're seeing, give Absentia a go.

Can you trust what she says?
Can you trust what she says?

(Stan, now)

One from the archives, the still brilliant and addictive Veronica Mars has been streaming on Stan since late last year. The breakout role for star Kristen Bell, Veronica Mars only ran for three years but 14 years after its debut, it still has passionate, devoted fans - and it's held up really well. Initially driven by her best friend Lilly's murder, the show was also a sharp and fully realised portrait of a divided community populated by the mega rich and those who work for them. This is one plucky and prickly teen detective who's way cooler than Nancy Drew could ever hope to be.


Private eye, she’s watching you.
Private eye, she’s watching you.

Share your TV and movies obsessions with @wenleima on Twitter.

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