Top five TV picks of the week

Five upcoming shows that should keep couch potatoes glued to their seats over the next seven days.

A memorable scene from the 50 years of Corrie: Leanne Battersby's (Jane Danson) hen do. Photo / Supplied
A memorable scene from the 50 years of Corrie: Leanne Battersby's (Jane Danson) hen do. Photo / Supplied

Pick of the week: Coronation Street 50th Anniversary

The 50th anniversary of Coronation Street was actually back in late 2010, as its first broadcast was on British television on December 9, 1960.

But with the lag in screenings here, we're getting the commemoration extras in the same year as some other significant British 50ths - James Bond films, the Rolling Stones and Queen Elizabeth II, among them.

So there's wall-to-wall Corrie on One over the weekend. And that's as well as tonight's instalment and tomorrow night's pivotal episode.

The Friday the 13th show comes with a tragedy which has echoes of a similar one which struck the street in 1967. The cliffhanger gets a quick follow-up with a screening on Sunday at 7.30pm, and then another next Thursday, which is an episode which was filmed live for its broadcast in Britain.

On Saturday night, fans can see the highs and lows of the Corrie knees-up. At 7.30pm it's a Come Dine With Me Coronation Street special, which features four of the soap's former stars. Julie Goodyear, Philip Middlemiss, Tupele Dorgu and Ken Morley the reality show's guest stars in a programme which astounded many UK critics for the crass behaviour of Morley, who played Reg Holdsworth between 1989 and 1995 ("Last night Ken Morley made a fairly convincing case that he's the most witlessly obnoxious man on the face of the planet," said The Guardian).

For something more reverent, there's a repeat screening of a telefeature about the show's early days, The Road To Coronation Street (8.30pm) which screened here at the time of the show's actual 50th birthday. It won praise from TimeOut TV critic Greg Dixon, who described it as "a shortish, beautifully rendered dramatisation of the possibly mythical beginnings of the longest running soap on British television".

It tells of how Tony Warren, a young gay failed actor, blagged his way into Manchester's Granada Television and convinced the bosses that he was a writer with a good idea for a new style of show. It gathers the original cast, which featured Corrie battleaxes Ena Sharples and Elsie Tanner among others.

The biggest dollop of Corrie nostalgia comes on Sunday night with Coronation Street: 50 Years, 50 Moments, a two-hour countdown of the show's greatest moments of its five decades, which have included 39 births, 114 deaths, 51 different barmaids and 88 weddings - not all of them Ken Barlow's.

It's certainly one for those who don't think the street has quite been the same since Hilda Ogden departed.

When: Various times
Where: TV One
What: Nostalgia by the pint

Finals pick: Desperate Housewives

This is where it all ends for Bree, Lynette, Gaby and Susan. After eight years, many illicit affairs, several divorces, and who knows how many murders, the curtains are being drawn on Wisteria Lane.

It's been an entertaining over-the-top ride one that included an affair with the gardener (Gaby), a faked pregnancy (Bree), and turning to housewife striptease to make ends meet (Susan). In the two-hour season finale the drama continues with Bree's court case revealing some sordid secrets and Mrs McClusky, who is suffering from cancer, saying goodbye to her friends.

Meanwhile, Tom makes the decision to reconcile with Lynette but sees her with another man. Most importantly, the fate of the four favourite desperate housewives will be revealed.

When: Monday, 8.30pm
Where: TV2
What: No longer desperate

Crime pick: Investigator Special - Who Killed The Crewes?

The case of murdered farmer Scott Guy has enthralled and baffled the country. But in the 70s it was the murders of farming couple Jeanette and Harvey Crewe that made headlines.

Farmer Arthur Allan Thomas was convicted of killing the couple but nine years later was pardoned.

So, asks investigative journalist Bryan Bruce in another one of his specials, if Thomas didn't do it, who did?

By delving into old documents that have been archived for 40 years, uncovering new information that is key to the case, and posing questions such as who fed baby Rochelle for five days until the bodies were discovered, Bruce attempts to get to the bottom of New Zealand's most famous unsolved murder.

When: Tuesday, 8.30pm
Where: TV One
What: A rural whodunnit from the past

Health pick: Embarrassing Bodies

It might make you squeamish, but people have a hankering to watch a show about the awkward ailments of other people, so tonight TV2 is bringing back popular British medical show, Embarrassing Bodies, for a third season. The team, made up of Dr Christian Jessen, Dr Dawn Harper, and Dr Pixie McKenna, are back to provide some medical attention to a new blushing array of embarrassed patients, all suffering from some surprising conditions. Tonight, Dr Christian sees a man with an unwelcome bend; while Dr Pixie and Dr Dawn head out in the mobile clinic offering advice on the discomfort of flatulence. Plus, with half of Wale's population failing to go to the dentist regularly, they're joined by Dr James Russell for some dental advice.

When: Tonight, 8.30pm
Where: TV2
What: More doctorly advice

Doco pick: The Savoy

The Savoy is one of the oldest and best known of London's hotels, and in 2007 it shut its doors to have a makeover, re-opening in 2010. Not only was there a whopping 220 million ($430 million) refurbishment, which includes new furniture and beds, lots of gold-leaf details and much more. The Savoy was taken over by the Canadian hotel group Fairmont, which has brought about some policy changes. This two-part series - part home-makeover show (taken to a new extreme) and part social and cultural commentary - takes a look behind the glittering facade as the Savoy attempts to regain its crown as a leading luxury hotel. It tells the stories of its staff and charts the journey from temporary closure to grand re-opening.

When: Friday, 8.30pm
Where: Prime
What: British institution gets a makeover

- TimeOut

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n1 at 30 Jul 2014 14:11:18 Processing Time: 514ms