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Sydney Morning Herald

Monday March 21, 2011

Melinda Houston

Marngrook Footy Show The Big Bang Theory Hungry Beast City HomicideMarngrook Footy ShowABC2, 7.30pmDespite the extensive analysis of AFL on telly these days, indigenous players remain woefully under-represented. Here, that's all you get: indigenous commentators and former players running their own show, their way,with great humour, energyand intelligence.You get everything you want from a footy show - news, analysis, previews - in a bright, entertaining package but without off-colour jokes. And with not one but two female reporters. Plus, there's a regular (and often hilarious) music segment and tonight Ross Wilson drops by to get the AFL season off to a rip-roaring start.The Big Bang TheoryNine, 7.30pmTonight the gang is on a road trip and what fun it is. First up, Sheldon - self-appointed travel supervisor - conducts an extended PowerPoint presentation. Then they're off on a journey enlivened by, among other things, an impenetrable guessing game and a duet of Hey Paula.With Penny and Leonard, Sheldon and Amy, Bernadette and Howard, this is quietly evolving into some kind of rom-com. But thanks to a wonderful array of quirky characters and some great writing, we hardly even notice. And when we do, it's such fun we don't care.Hungry BeastABC1, 9.30pmAn ambitious project with an interesting brief, Hungry Beast didn't quite come together last year.Combining commentary with comedy is harder than it looks. Then there's the challenge of letting a bunch of young amateurs hone their skills in prime time. The result was always going to be patchy.On the upside, season two was nominated for both a Walkley and an AFI award, so they're clearly doing something right. And even when it felt clunky, rushed or just plain naive, there was something admirable about tackling current affairs with fresh eyes, fresh faces and in a television format that was genuinely trying to move away from the safe and familiar.Hungry Beast remains an experiment, a work in progress, and in that regard we can expect it to remain hit-and-miss. But the two short previews available for this debut episode are promising. Marc Fennell and Monique Schafter present diverse stories on the theme of "secrets", both confidently and engagingly told, that will make you see the world around you just a little bit differently.City HomicideSeven, 9.30pmThe emphasis is firmly on the homicide, with the body count going through the roof as this local crime series draws to a close. The overarching narrative - bad man framed by bad cop - has given this tidy six-parter a really nice shape, with the various corpses all playing their part (as it were) in driving that plotline and providing a satisfying case du jour. And both those strands have been full of surprises.As always, elegant camerawork and editing make this a pleasure to watch. And while John Howard and Marcus Graham are standouts as, respectively, a hard-bitten editor and a smarmy lawyer-turned-politician, the core cast (particularly David Field) more than hold their own.Tonight is the penultimate episode and just when it seems like everything's wrapped up, the writers - and Marcus Graham's attorney-general - still have some tricks up their sleeves.

© 2011 Sydney Morning Herald

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