Suzi and Vonni’s guest bedroom and en suite in The Block. Photo: SuppliedFREE TO AIR
The Block, Nine, 7.30pm
Hooray! This more-painful-than-usual series of The Block has come to an end, which means we get to say adieu to bothersome Blockheads Vonni and Suzi and Whitney and Andy, and perennial fixtures Keith and Shelley, who should really take a well-earned rest. Last series’ finale saw winning contestants Darren and Deanne Jolly make the biggest profit yet, bagging nearly $1 million. Given that this series’ location, the old Saville Hotel in South Yarra, has presented one of the most challenging builds to date, it seems unlikely that any of these apartments is going to beat the Jollys’ record. But Block history has shown us that anything is possible.
Kebab Kings, SBS, 8.30pm
We’ve all been there … found ourselves hungry at 2am after a few too many and stumbled into the nearest kebab joint. Why on earth anyone would allow themselves to be shown on national television making this rather inglorious post-partying pilgrimage is beyond me, but then, such people form the fodder of this curiously engaging show. The three-parter documentary, narrated by Shane Jacobson, tells a tale of two kebab cities – Sydney, home to OzTurk, a 24-hour kebab shop on George Street – and Melbourne, where Smith Street Kebabs is run by Indian couple Mustafa and Zareena Mohammed. The Melbourne clientele are a marginally better behaved bunch but the overall picture is not a pretty one. The owners come off better – OzTurk is run by Turkish couple Fatima and Nafi, along with their son Ufuk, and Fatima is dubbed Mama for good reason – she treats customers like her own children, and often lets the homeless eat for free. This humanism balances out some of the more tawdry footage, which feels as grubby as an episode of What Really Happens in Thailand.
The Good Wife, Ten, 9.30pm
The glamorous Vanessa Williams (Ugly Betty, Desperate Housewives) joins the cast in the recurring role of Courtney Boalt, billionaire businesswoman and prospective donor to Peter Florrick (Chris Noth) as he amps up his presidential campaign. Realising that his chances of winning are real, Florrick must also consider moving back in with Alicia (Julianna Margulies) to present a united family front to the public. Annabel Ross
When Turkeys Attack Animal Planet, 8.30pm
Home-video footage, tongue-in-cheek narration and a horror-movie aesthetic make decent idle viewing for those who’ve just stuffed themselves at Thanksgiving dinner. Here, we see a procession of large and exceedingly ornery turkeys attacking practically anything that moves – including roosters, peacocks, snakes, mail trucks and Australians. Americans who work with turkeys in various capacities provide insights, along with their own eccentricities.
Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) GO!, 8.30pm
Ultimately, whatever the doomsayers say, one of Rupert Murdoch’s few major business setbacks was trying to bring his concept of the media to China. That hiccup provided the inspiration for the 18th ‘‘official’’ Bond movie, Roger Spottiswoode’s Tomorrow Never Dies, where Murdoch is libellously morphed into Elliot Carver (Jonathan Pryce), who likes to create the news his media covers and is happy to wage World War III just to get a foothold in China. A tired rehash of at least 10 Bond movies, all better, one of the few pleasures in Tomorrow is spotting all the obvious steals: the underwater theft of a nuclear missile from Thunderball, the blond German nasty from For Your Eyes Only, and so on. The only real contribution to the Bond cinema legacy is the car-park chase, Bond lying on the back seat of a driverless BMW, steering via a remote in his mobile phone. The rest of the technology, whiz-bang in its day, wouldn’t sell for a dollar at a Sunday market now.
The Night of the Generals (1967) Fox Classics (Foxtel), 8.40pm
In Nazi-occupied Poland, a prostitute is brutally murdered. Awitness sees a German general descend the stairs from her room. Major Grau (Omar Sharif) of military intelligence quickly discovers that three Warsaw-based generals have no alibi and, despite pressure to shelve his investigation, he begins the dangerous task of seeking justice. General Tanz (Peter O’Toole) is the hero of Leningrad, a man with a passion for cleanliness and torching resistance fighters. General von Seidlitz-Gabler (Charles Gray) is a spineless career officer and Kahlenberge (Donald Pleasance) is a man whose anti-war rhetoric sounds appealing until he callously dismisses violent death as a career hazard in the sex trade. Director Anatole Litvak and his screenwriters, including Joseph Kessel (Belle de Jour), boldly introduce sequences set decades in the future, where we see how individual Nazis have become successful cogs in a new Europe. There is also a plot thread about an aged inspector (Philippe Noiret) trying to solve a murder that was never officially solved at the time. But his searching pales in comparison with watching Germans once committed to world domination morphing into revered capitalists of not dissimilar intent. The Night of the Generals was controversial in its day and certainly the implied sexual barbarity is still upsetting. But perhaps the film shocked more because it stood in stark contrast to the many war entertainments of the time that highlighted great escapes from PoW camps. Scott Murray
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