TV picks of the week: The Good Wife returns

SIx shows that will keep TV addicts glued to their screens in the coming week.

Julilanna Marguilies in The Good Wife.
Julilanna Marguilies in The Good Wife.

Drama pick: The Good Wife

When: 11.15pm Tuesday
Where: TV3
What: Return of top US legal series

The dropping of Fox shows from TV3's line-up has an upside - the long-awaited return of Juliana Margulies as Alicia Florrick in the third season of this smart legal-political drama (the fifth series has just started in the US).
The opener picks up on the morning after season's two finale with Alicia'putting her personal troubles aside to defend a Muslim student charged with murdering a Jewish classmate.

Local pick: Fair Go Ad Awards

When: Wednesday, 7.30pm
Where: TV One
What: Crowning of the ad winners and losers

Exactly what it means for New Zealand, that two of the most memorable ads of the past 12 months have been about drinking and drugs, may require some reflection. But, leaving the sociology aside, it's hard to deny the genius of the New Zealand Transport Agency drug-driving ad which has been nicknamed "Blazed".

Directed by Taika Waititi, and featuring one of the young boys who starred in Kiwi underground film Shopping this year, its humour comes from the truth and poignancy of the scenario in which the kids find themselves - left waiting in parked cars, while their parents get blazed inside.

Whether it can beat out other memorable ads for this year's Fair Go Ad Awards crown will be revealed on Wednesday night. The finalists for the best and worst categories are still under wraps, but TimeOut is hoping the Health Promotion Agency ad affectionately called "Yeah, Nah", which has spawned the colloquial phrase "no more beersies for you" will also be in the top five.

Kim Dotcom's appearance in Orcon's "First World Internet" ad (the one where they're kind of mocking charity appeals) is still up for debate as annoying or genius, as is ASB's Brian Blessed series - the ones with the shouty man who is keen on celebrating everything in life ("No biggie? Yes biggie!").

Gordon Harcourt and Pippa Wetzell will be marking the end of their first Fair Go season together by weeding through all the nominations from the public, and presenting trophies for the winners and losers.

Of course there will also be a few ad spoofs from the Fair Go team (including the Westpac "Old Flatties" one, with a bunch of older folk trying to get along in a shared house situation), and Amy Kelley will discuss the hot topic of comparative advertising, while Hannah Wallis will get all nostalgic about some favourite ads from the past, including taking a look at a Roses chocolates jingle that puts a fresh spin on the Thank You Very Much song, the brand first used in the 80s. Originally written by Paul McCartney's brother, Mike, and released by band The Scaffold in 1968, it also became the New Zealand Telethon theme tune in the 70s.

Whether any 2013 ads will have the longevity of ads such as Toyota's Bugger, ASB's Goldstein, or Lotto's Wilson the dog remains to be seen, but the awards are always an intriguing insight into the advertising that has permeated the nation's consciousness.

Beer, insurance, banks, cars, supermarkets, energy companies and anything involving the All Blacks always feature widely, so a win for a public safety ad would be a noteworthy first.

Crime pick: The Body Farm

When: Wednesday 9.30pm
Where: Prime
What: Cadaver country

The BBC's cold case series Waking the Dead got the chop in 2011 after nine seasons. The Body Farm, which is the further adventures of Waking the Dead's forensic pathologist Dr Eve Lockhart (Tara Fitzgerald) is its brief one-series spin-off.

Here, Dr Lockhart has taken off to the country where she's set up a team of fellow forensic boffins at a private experimental facility, where bodies donated to science can be studied as they decompose in a variety of settings. But they can't keep her on the farm counting maggots.

In the first episode Dr Lockhart is called back into town by DCI Craig Hale (Keith Allen) to help with a gruesome case that has left a bathroom in a derelict flat covered in human remains after an apparent bomb blast.

Reality pick: Bear Grylls: Escape From Hell

When: Wednesday 7.30pm
Where: Discovery
What: Other folks vs wild

Having possibly exhausted his Man vs Wild possibilities, the one-man reality television industry has turned his attention to a new format.

And though that title and the star's Christian faith might make you wonder if he's off to trap some wildlife to grill in the fiery pit below, this six-part series simply has him replicating the real-life accounts of real survivors who found themselves trapped in life-threatening situations a long way from civilisation.

In the first episode, Grylls is in the Guatemalan jungle reliving the experiences of an archaeological team attacked by bandits as they excavated Mayan ruins, a British scientist lost in the wilds of Malaysia, and the ordeal of two Frenchmen in the Amazon rainforest. Ever wanted to know how to hunt a tarantula? Here's your show.

Comedy pick: Real Husbands of Hollywood

Comedian Kevin Hart.
Comedian Kevin Hart.

When: Mondays 8.40pm
Where: Comedy Central
What: Reality spoof

Before getting a late-career revival with this year's hit Blurred Lines, singer Robin Thicke was part of the entourage in this faux-reality show created by comedian Kevin Hart. The semi-scripted, semi-improv show follows the pair's group of mates living a fairly high life in Los Angeles while married to often more-famous spouses.

For Thicke, that's action film star Paula Patton, while the RHOH crew also includes Nick Cannon (Mr Mariah Carey) as well as Boris Kodjoe and Duane Martin.

Though the various Real Housewives franchises pit the women involved in a perpetual rich-bitch catfight, Real Husbands has the blokes suffering self-esteem problems in between the fake drama. Thicke left the fraternity after this first series.

Awards pick: 2013 MTV EMA

Singer Miley Cyrus.
Singer Miley Cyrus.

When: Monday 9am (live, plus repeats throughout day from midday)
Where: MTV
What: Europop's big night
Being called the MTV European Music Awards and being broadcast from Amsterdam you might think this prize fight might have less of an American accent.

Some hope - the line-up includes Kings of Leon, Snoop Dogg, Imagine Dragons, The Killers, Katy Perry, Thirty Seconds to Mars and - be very afraid - Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus.

The presenters will include Iggy Azalea, Ellie Goulding, Carice van Houten and special guest Ron Burgundy while the leading nominees are Justin Timberlake and Macklemore and Lewis.

Australasia's representative in the best worldwide act award is Justin Bieber's Aussie mini-me, Cody Simpson, who got the nod ahead of Lorde because he got more votes from his fans. Boo!

Follow @nzherald_ent on Twitter for all the latest entertainment news.

- TimeOut

- NZ Herald

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