(ABC and iview - Wednesday, July 10 at 9pm)
ABC’s lowkey comedy Squinters is back – and it’s the mundanity of the daily commute that makes this series so casually watchable. It’s low commitment and, sometimes, that’s exactly what you want.
When everything else is so tense and high-octane, Squinters’ chilled vibe is quite appealing.
The format follows the workers of an Amazon-like distribution company on their morning and afternoon commutes as they gasbag about their days. It’s like eavesdropping on someone at the pub, if that someone had all their dialogue written by witty scriptwriters.
Sam Simmons and Mandy McElhinney are joined by an impressive line-up of new faces, led by American comedy actor Kristen Schaal, whose unique voice is best known for playing kooky and obsessive Mel in Flight of the Conchords.
Also along for the ride are Steve Peacocke, Claudia O’Doherty (Love), Justine Clarke, Ernie Dingo and Lamorne Morris (New Girl).
AZIZ ANSARI: RIGHT NOW
(Netflix - Tuesday, July 9 from 5pm AEST)
At the height of the wave of Me Too accusations coming out of Hollywood, Aziz Ansari became an unlikely turning point for the movement – the subject of a tell-all interview from a 20-something woman who accused Ansari of not reading her body language and pressuring her into sexual acts on a date.
It was a complicated story and it sparked conversations about enthusiastic consent and the imbalance of expectations in dating. In the ensuing melee, Ansari issued an apology and then laid low for 18 months.
When he started doing stand-up again, his comedy set became a comeback tour. But in stark contrast to Louis C.K., Ansari is contrite, humbled and infinitely grateful that he’s allowed to be in the spotlight. It’s a thoughtful show and it reflects a man changed.
The Netflix special, directed by Spike Jonze no less, is that tour and it’s a fascinating look at a path forward for a man whose place in the Me Too pantheon was never that cut-and-dry to start with.
(SBS On Demand - now)
Young filmmaker Dylan River has followed his famous father, Warwick Thornton, behind the camera with his web series Robbie Hood. River was the cinematographer on Thornton’s incredible Sweet Country, so you know he’s going to be doing something exciting.
Inspired by the classic folktale of Sherwood Forest and River’s youthful antics, Robbie is a 13-year-old teenager in Alice Springs who, with his friends, bend the rules to right some wrongs.
The short-form series, six episodes at roughly 10 minutes each, is sharp and sweet, an authentic story about growing up in remote communities and all the challenges that entails. Perfect viewing for NAIDOC Week.
TO DIE FOR
(SBS World Movies - Sunday, July 14 at 11.25pm)
As black as tar, Gus van Sant’s 1995 satire of fame and ambition is every bit smart now as it was then. Of course, today, Nicole Kidman’s ruthless Suzanne would probably a reality TV wannabe or Instagram influencer.
Suzanne desperately wants to be a famous TV journalist, and she’ll stop at nothing to remove every obstacle in her way.
To Die For is dark, outrageous and deliciously pleasurable, even when the murderous intent is high. Maybe especially then. It’s one of Kidman’s most memorable turns from the 1990s and it deserves a rewatch.
MY LIFE IS MURDER
(10Play - Wednesday, July 10 from 12pm for 48 hours)
If there’s one person you want solving your murder, it’s Xena the Warrior Princess. Sorry, that should have read Lucy Lawless. Well, technically her character Alexa Crowe, an oddball but whip-smart former homicide detective.
Just because she’s a civilian doesn’t mean she’s going to give up her sleuthing ways, so her ex-colleague brings her on as a consultant, because the one thing these procedural crime shows need, it’s a character who seems to be the only person who can solve the crime.
My Life is Murder relies heavily on Lawless’ charisma and screen presence to make it stand out.
The first episode will be available to stream this week, but only for 48 hours, and then it will be broadcast on Channel 10 next week.