FOURTH SEASON: Amy Brenneman stars as Dr. Violet Turner in Private Practice, from MOnday at 8.30pm on M-Net and M-Net HD.
FOURTH SEASON: Amy Brenneman stars as Dr. Violet Turner in Private Practice, from MOnday at 8.30pm on M-Net and M-Net HD.
I WON!: Minute to Win is on M-Net and M-Net HD on Friday nights at 7.30pm.
I WON!: Minute to Win is on M-Net and M-Net HD on Friday nights at 7.30pm.
TAG: Jerseylicious, Style, Tuesday at 9.10pm.
TAG: Jerseylicious, Style, Tuesday at 9.10pm.
SHARP: Denis Leary (Tommy Gavin) in Rescue Me, M-Net Series at 9.30pm.
SHARP: Denis Leary (Tommy Gavin) in Rescue Me, M-Net Series at 9.30pm.

Well. That, as they say, is one hour of my life I will never get back.

The other night, on a rare Friday we didn’t go out, my friend sent me an SMS saying “God, have you watched Minute To Win It?? Can’t believe it’s what they are showing on a Friday night.”

Quite. Which is just another argument for going out instead of staying home in front of the telly.

I didn’t watch it then but kept it in the back of my mind for column fodder, and recorded last week’s episode (M-Net, 7.30pm). The game show is hosted by Guy Fieri, whom viewers will know if they watch the Food Network (Guy’s Big Bites, Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives – which I love, by the way – all these insane places in the US serving the most amazing food, no wonder they are all fat).

Contestants have to progress through a series of levels playing games which have to be completed in 60 seconds, and can quickly win a substantial amount of money.

These include things like balancing soda cans on their bevelled edge, sorting M&Ms by colour using only one hand, cup stacking and something involving an egg, a cup of water, a tin dish and a broom. The whole thing has a weird vibe to it which reminds me of the game show in that wonderful but freaky movie Requiem for a Dream, but I am more disturbed that someone paid another someone (or several someones) a great deal of money to come up with the ideas for these games. Really?

To paraphrase Obelix once again, these Americans are crazy.


Rescue Me (M-Net Series, 9.30pm): Ooh! Drop current toy (as in reruns of season five on Sony) and grab new one (season six) with both hands. I did consider watching out the last five episodes of season five, not only because this is one of the few TV series that can actually handle repeat showings without ever losing its razor-sharp edge, but because when it’s been a while between seasons I need to refresh my memory. But then I realised that I can’t possibly wait a whole five weeks – it’s an eternity – to start the new season, plus I remembered what happened at the end anyway. Tommy got everyone drinking again and his uncle Teddy’s wife Ellie got squished by an 18-wheeler truck.

Teddy went mental because he blamed Tommy for Ellie driving drunk, confronted him at the bar, shot him and left him for dead. Well obviously Tommy didn’t die because there would be no new season, duh, which deals with the aftermath of this near-death experience, no doubt involving many of the dead people he hangs out with on a regular basis. The triangle between Tommy, Janet and Sheila continues, although Sheila keeps it in the family and starts dating someone close to Tommy. Katy is still holding her parents emotional hostage, and Colleen might be lurching in the Gavin family’s drunken footsteps.


Private Practice (M-Net, Monday at 8.30pm): Get out the tissues because everyone is going to be mourning the loss of Dell after the car crash in the season three finale. Okay, what else? Charlotte and Cooper got engaged, and Pete and Violet are planning their wedding. Lord, that woman irritates me. Sam and Addison have hooked up as well, and I think that means every character has slept with every other one now so these relationships should settle down.

Deadliest Warrior (Sony Max, Tuesday at 9pm): This sounds good on paper but I am also aware that some of the programming on this channel makes me cringe with embarrassment on behalf of people I will never meet.

Like they did with animals on Discovery once, dramatic CGI re-enactments using 21st-century scientific deductions and expert opinion, this documentary series examines which historical and modern warriors would prove most lethal should they meet on the battlefield.

Each episode will pit two of civilisation’s most feared warriors against each other (zombies vs vampires, William Wallace against Shaka Zulu, Vikings vs samurais), examining in depth aspects such as weapons, armour, strategy, skills and even diet, and culminating in an epic computer-generated dramatisation of a battle.

Jerseylicious (Style, Tuesday at 9.10pm): I cannot wait to hit the button to “record all episodes in this series”. This is my all-time favourite reality show and I have been waiting impatiently for season three. Naturally I am thrilled it has landed a full month earlier than originally promised, and only a few weeks after it premiered in the US. It picks up where season two left off, with the team from Gatsby having won the best hair and make-up trophy at New Jersey Fashion Week, a competition I still believe was rigged.

Gayle and Alexa will continue to butt heads as their professional competition heats up, and Olivia is back with muscle man Mikey but Tracy, who ditches the Glam Factory and comes back to Gatsby, continues to be a thorn in her side.

Since these two recycle boyfriends and take all their work jealousies to new heights, we can expect plenty of eye-clawing and big hair-pulling.

Gigi and Frankie have split, she’s lost weight and finding out what it’s like to be single. But I think she’s always going to go back to Frankie, even if he is a chauvinist, emotionally challenged jerk who uses too much hair product and rarely smiles.

Gayle is also dipping her toes in the dating pool, and looking to expand her business with Anthony, whose own salon is flourishing. I am so excited I can hardly sit still.

Blue Bloods (M-Net, Thursday at 7.30pm): I really hate it when M-Net argues with me. Two weeks ago it screened episode five (with the Muslim bomber) in place of episode three, but episode three was correctly available on DStv on Demand.

A flurry of e-mails back and forth and M-Net assured me there had been no error, despite my insistence I had seen it with my own eyes. Among its logic was that no one had complained.

Except me, of course. Last week was episode four and at the time of writing I had no idea what to expect last night – episode three, in which Erin, Frank, and Danny try to find justice for a rape victim?

A repeat of episode five in its correct place? Or episode six where three teenagers die from a drug overdose and Danny sets out to find their narcotic source? As a result I can’t even hazard a guess as to which episode will be on next week.