Picks of the Week: Shortland Street & Home and Away
No matter your daily soap preference, you can guarantee there's going to be some explosive action in this week's final cliffhanger episodes.
While the residents of Home and Away's Summer Bay remain blissfully unaware of Montgomery's plan for revenge, over at Shortland Street Josh is finding himself, and his hero complex, under increasing scrutiny.
Tomorrow night, as the year comes to a close on our favourite Aussie soap, all of Kyle and Tamara's planning for the Summer Bay music festival is coming together nicely, and it's off to a great start - though seeing Kyle's impressive performance has Tamara wondering if they could be more than friends, and there's plenty more in the way of complicated love triangles and teen angst to play out in the campgrounds.
Poor Ricky leans on Heath and Bianca as she is kept at the hospital over pregnancy complications and fears about the baby, but there will be a bigger surprise thrown at them yet.
And things are tense between the twins and their father, Ethan, after they tell him they're content living with Hannah, and feel comfortable for the first time since their mum died. What will Ethan do in response?
Meanwhile, in the hospital corridors of Shortland Street, Bree may not have been able to go through with donating her own kidney, but she's certainly determined to help her sister, Brooke, find a donor, and who better to turn to than Josh?
Once again, his desire to help and be needed gets out of control as he sneakily destabilises a car-crash victim who is also listed as an organ donor.
That car-crash victim just happens to be Dayna's mother, which brings the troubled teen back into the world of the Coopers, and, despite her past troubles with the family, Wendy can't help but feel sympathy and concern for Dayna. The concerns of Roimata, Harper, and TK about Josh escalate, and they convince Grace that he needs to be banned from treating patients while he is investigated. They have no firm proof of Josh's crimes, but they're determined he won't be allowed to hurt anyone else in the meantime - until Evan remembers something he saw while cleaning at the hospital.
And adjusting to life at home for the time being, Chris and Rachel see-saw as Rachel tries to come to terms with the new Chris - the relaxed, new-age man who wants to learn some new skills, host lunches and parties, and have another baby so he can be a stay-at-home dad.
They end up hosting this year's Christmas party at their bach - and that's where the action really unfolds, as Josh's desperation gets the better of him. Likely outcome? The permanent departure of one or more of the show's characters.
When: Wednesday, 7pm
Home and Away
When: Friday, 5.30pm
What: Seasonal cliffhangers
Reality pick: New Zealand's Got Talent
Last week, in a surprise twist, because Rachel Hunter couldn't decide who to put through, three acts were added to the finalists group, bringing the total to 13 instead of 12. The finalists seem to fall into two camps - singers and dancers. The influence of choreographer judge Cris Judd is clear in the calibre of acts like IDentity, Mayo and Silhouette coming through, but we reckon singers James Lee, Oceana Olsen and The Black Trio are in with a chance, too.
Now the public have voted and in Sunday's final decider, we'll see the top three acts all perform once more before it's revealed who will take home the big prize of $100,000 and the Toyota Rav4. There'll also be an assortment of special guests, some of whom appeared earlier in the series, and the judges will be performing too - let's hope Judd finally gets to show off some moves.
When: Sunday, 7.30pm
Where: TV One
What: Prize time
Magic pick: Tricked
It seems we're obsessed with magicians at the moment - Dynamo, The Illusionists, David Blaine, they've all been capturing local imaginations.
Now here comes another show, from a young British magician who seems to be the next king of misdirection, mentalism, and sleight of hand. In his first TV series, Ben Hanlin entertains unsuspecting celebrities and the public alike with various set-ups that range from tricking the members of boy band Blue into thinking one bandmate has died in a crash, to falling off a 10-storey building, bailing out of a moving taxi then seemingly teleporting back into the driver's seat. He cuts up a shopper's credit card before making it reappear in a sealed bag of sweets. When he's not doing crazy stunts, he's playing games, reading minds and convincing actresses to give him their phone numbers.
When: Tuesday, 7.30pm
Where: TV One
What: More tricks up sleeves
Drama pick: Spies of Warsaw
A classic spy tale full of intrigue and romance, this new adaptation of Alan Furst novel stars David Tennant as a French military attache and Janet Montgomery as a lawyer for the League of Nations. Set on the eve of World War II and darting between Paris, Poland and Berlin, the series follows Colonel Jean-Francois Mercier (Tennant), who is based at the French Embassy in Warsaw.
He is drawn into a world of abduction and betrayal in the city's back alleys and diplomatic salons, working in the shadows to try and figure out where allegiances lie - and just who is spying for who.
The threat of war and an uncertain future is palpable, yet it doesn't stop people from fighting or falling in love - and Mercier can't help but be drawn to a mysterious League of Nations lawyer, a Parisian woman of Polish heritage.
When: Monday, 8.30pm
What: The romance of spies
Comedy pick: Auckland Daze
It's tough out there in the entertainment world, and the boys of Auckland Daze do a great job of sending up people on all sides of the camera.
Based on exaggerated versions of their own experiences, the second series follows Millen, Jimmy, Glen and Fasi as they continue to wade through the swamp of show business.
Jacqui wants Millen to move in with her, but he doesn't want to leave his Mum, Wanda; Glen, who's still shacked up with Wanda, is struggling with a lack of recognition for his stunt work on a new film; Jimmy has a job as a body double, but director Alan Dale is trying to push him off the sobriety wagon; and Fasi is invited as a guest on Brendhan Cosgrove's panel show, unaware that he's being set up for national humiliation.
When: Thursday, 10.05pm
Where: TV One
What: Making it big