Top five TV picks of the week: Bells and betrayals

Bella and Luke are preparing to tie the knot. Photo / Supplied
Bella and Luke are preparing to tie the knot. Photo / Supplied

Pick of the week: Shortland Street

It's been quite a year on Shorty. There was the epic helicopter crash to mark the 20th birthday celebrations - and to use up their pyrotechnics budget it seems.

There have been many departures, too, including Callum, Nicole, Maxwell, Bree, Paige, and Daniel. And there have been romantic hook-ups, relationship breakdowns, and the introduction of many new cheats, liars, and a few good folk, too.

It wouldn't be the end of a Shortland Street year without a wedding to pull everyone together in a big melting pot of intersecting personal dramas. Tomorrow night, ditzy but warmhearted and beautiful Bella should be walking down the aisle with her own special beast - oddball surgeon Luke.

Despite endless challenges (Brooke cancelling their venue accidentally, for example) and a well-meaning but often distracting family, the pair have stuck together and it seems Bella's wish for a special winter wonderland occasion will come true.

Jasmine will be there for her sister, instead of eloping to Columbia with Angel, and it seems all this talk of love overcoming obstacles may see Murray and Wendy reconciling after all. But this is Shortland Street, and we all know the wedding plans won't run smoothly. There's going to be a much greater challenge to face before it's happily-ever-after for Bella and Luke. Chris and Vasa will receive a saddening piece of news, too, and Lana will exacerbate Josh's discomfort by revealing his true feelings to Roimata.

Zac is revealed as one of the most manipulative creeps and terrifyingly clever assailants that Shortland Street has ever seen - which is saying something, considering Hayley's crazy mindgames with Chris, Rachel and Phoenix earlier in the year. Zac is playing TK, Josh, Roimata and Sarah like pawns in his own twisted game of chess, moving suspicions from one person to the other in order to keep his identity under wraps, and he seems unstoppable.

Exactly who his next victim will be, or what his end-game is, remains to be seen, but you can bet that Zac will play with all the wedding guests like a master puppeteer, and the mixture of alcohol, large SUVs and a forest setting will suit him perfectly.

When: Friday, 7pm
Where: TV2
What: It's cliffhanger time

Finale pick: Homeland

Even with Abu Nazir now dead, there are still many unanswered questions as this week's season two finale plays out. Little is known about the episode since it is screening in the United States this weekend. However, even though the terrorist kingpin has been taken out you can't help but think Brody still has something else cooking.

And although Carrie and Brody are lovers, with the way it ended last week are they about to go into business together, too? Because, after all, she would do almost anything for him. Or is he just relieved to have the burden of Nazir off his shoulders and to be free from his sham marriage?

And what of Saul? He's out of a job thanks to some paper-pushing thuggery from Estes. And are there some startling revelations to come about him, too? And what of mysterious Peter Quinn, who started off as repellent but is now more intriguing than ever?

When: 8.30pm, Monday
Where: TV3
What: The set-up for season three

Animal pick: Our World: March of The Dinosaurs

One for the little and big kids alike, this two-part docu-drama is set 65 million years ago during the Cretaceous period in the far north of Canada. Narrated by Stephen Fry, the film relates facts about dinosaurs that have been brought to light by recent discoveries in North America, including proof of the T. rex having feathers.

Using CGI effects, March of the Dinosaurs shows what these prehistoric beasts looked like, how they lived and what brought about their demise. It follows the journey of a young Edmontosaurus called Scar as he and his herd make the perilous trek south to warmer climes as the chilly Arctic winter starts to bite.

They encounter land and water predators, extreme weather and everything from volcanic wastelands to dangerously thin ice, which is not ideal terrain when you're one of the biggest creatures to walk the Earth.

When: 4.55pm, Sunday
Where: TV One
What: A jurassic journey

Cooking pick: Jamie's 15 Minute Meals

After a hard day at the office, instead of resorting to a toasted sandwich or grabbing takeaways to feed the family, let your old mate Jamie serve you up some quick inspiration. His brand-new series is all about fast, everyday food as he prepares two yummy family meals during each episode. As well as being quick and simple, Oliver's creations also focus on reducing the calorie content and being nutritionally balanced. And as he goes about making the meals in real time, he offers tricks of the trade to help home cooks rustle up something special in no time at all.

On the menu in the first episode are chilli con carne meatballs, and then sticky kicking chicken with watermelon radish salad and crunchy noodles. You'll have to fend for yourselves with pudding, but after that 15-minute whirlwind in the kitchen you deserve an icecream from the dairy.

When: Saturday, 7pm
Where: TV3
What: Quick and easy food

Comedy pick: Threesome

A new British sitcom from UK's Comedy Central begins this week, taking a not-uncommon premise and injecting a bit of whimsy and oddity via its likeable central trio.

Alice (Amy Huberman) is about to turn 30. Determined to prove that hitting the milestone is not going to make her a boring old woman, she ropes her boyfriend, Mitch (Stephen Wright) and gay best friend, Richie (Emun Elliott), into a wild night of debauchery. When it comes to home time, the men hazily agree to Alice's suggestion of a threesome.

Fortunately, their relationships somehow remain intact when they wake but Alice soon finds there's another unexpected birthday gift on the way - she's pregnant.

Are the young party lovers ready to be parents? Who's the father? And if they do keep the baby, how will they present their parenting triangle to their families, or to the world?

When: Thursday, 9.30pm
Where: TV One
What: One mohter, one baby, two fathers

- TimeOut

- NZ Herald

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