Tuesday, 14 August 2018

What’s on TV: Sunday, May 13

What’s on TV: Sunday, May 13
05 May

Finally, Australia has delivered on its patriotic duty of an Olivia Newton-John biopic, a two-part romp through the life and times of Our Liv. Even those who agree with her father’s comment that, “I always thought Liv’s voice was a little reedy” might enjoy a fun ride with the cast trying to out-act their wigs and gruesomely expository dialogue keeping the audience up to date with the rapid passing of the years. Morgan Griffiths plays ONJ as a fresh-faced ingenue, while Delta Goodrem takes over from 22 onwards, her bland and anodyne talent perfectly suited to the role. The production is hamstrung by the protective approach to Newton-John’s nice girl reputation (the “’70s version of Doris Day”, as Rolling Stone put it at the time). By the time she and her manager embark on some mild canoodling on the couch it’s a hallelujah moment. Still, file it under enjoyably bubbly Australiana. LD

Movie: Girls Trip (2017)

Premiere Movies (pay TV), 8.30pm

Happy to include every type of movie African-American women might relate to in a single film, Malcolm D. Lee’s hit zestfully moves from raunchy allusions to family paeans with a break in the middle for bedtime prayers. It’s a comic melodrama about four friends in their 40s with issues – Sasha (Queen Latifah) is a former journalist struggling to support her gossip website, Lisa (Jada Pinkett Smith) has lost her spark due to family demands, Ryan (Regina Hall) is in a brand-like celebrity marriage that’s not as glossy as advertised, and firecracker Dina (Tiffany Haddish) is hoping to get “white girl wasted” – who find satisfaction on a weekend trip to a music festival in New Orleans. Emotionally broad if shameless, the leads tie it together with generous, interlocking performances, headlined by a breakout turn from Haddish, a comic whose freewheeling persona supplies spicy asides and hair-trigger fireworks. CM

Eurovision Grand Final

SBS, 5am

The political machinations that secured Australia a Eurovision entry must have been complex indeed, but it certainly gives the sizeable tribe of homegrown Euro-tragics an added reason to get out their moon boots and glitter cannon this year with Jessica Mauboy representing a nation that was nowhere near Europe last time I checked. Myf Warhurst and Joel Creasey return once more to the presenter’s chairs vacated by Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang in 2017, Warhurst in the Bruce McAvaney role, Creasey responsible for amping up the camp. The grand final starts screening from 5am, so set the alarm early, or – better still – don’t go to bed. LD


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