What to Watch: The Iris’ Weekly TV Picks (23rd September-28th September)

Need to catch a TV break and don’t know what to watch? Simon takes us through his top picks on must-see shows and films for the week. Click through to see what’s showing for your entertainment needs.

Wednesday 23rd September 2015

Scream Queens-Ten-9pm AEST

Scream Queens is the latest series from television geniuses Ryan Murphy, Brad Murphy and Ian Brennan, and like their previous offerings Glee and American Horror Story it is likely to become a cult classic. You only have to look at the cast list for the new horror anthology to see this is as solid fact. I mean, Jamie Lee Curtis as a crusty college dean? Sign me up. Also starring Emma Roberts as the president of a sorority at the fictional Wallace University, the series centres on a series of campus murders which sees the sisters of Kappa Kappa Tau offed one by one. The murder mystery revolves around an event two decades prior, with revenge seemingly on the menu as the killer locks their sights on the group of sorority sisters who are more concerned with meeting boys and their ongoing fight with Dean Cathy Munsch (Curtis) to keep Kappa Kappa Tau open for another debaucherous year at college.

Thursday 24th September 2015

Girls Rock!-SBS2-9.30pm AEST

First released eight years ago, Girls Rock! is an inspiring documentary which remains as poignant as ever, an exploration into a ‘Rock n Roll Camp’ in Portland, Oregon. Inspired by the riot grrrl feminist movement of the nineties (and with many of those musicians directly involved or heavily influenced by the movement working at the camp), the camp is a haven for young girls who are free to express themselves away from the rules of modern society. Filmmakers Arne Johnson and Shane King hone in on four girls at the camp, each facing their own personal demons, to show the power of music in creating real positive change. Also featuring an array of amazing archival footage of some of the great riot grrrl bands of the past, Girls Rock! is an essential film which highlights the importance of just being yourself.

Friday 25th September 2015

Jersey Boys-Masterpiece Movies-6.10pm AEST

When Clint Eastwood announced that he was directing an adaptation of the much loved musical Jersey Boys many were skeptical, though the end result quickly showed his naysayers to be wrong. The film is a joyful take on the story of Frankie Valli (John Lloyd Young) and The Four Seasons, with Eastwood proving himself to be an accomplished director who isn’t afraid to branch out from his usual fare. Perhaps Eastwood’s smartest move was casting Young in the lead role, as one of the actor’s biggest accolades prior to the film was winning a Tony award for the same role on Broadway. Rounding out the cast are the similarly talented Erich Bergen, Michael Lomenda and Vincent Piazza, with Christopher Walken also appearing as the infamous mob figure Gyp DeCarlo.

Saturday 26th September 2015

Exchange Student Zero-Cartoon Network-9.30am AEST

Created by the excellently named Melbourne Animation Studio Bogan Entertainment Solutions, Exchange Student Zero is an exhilarating mash up of East and West animation styles set in the thrilling world of the Aussie school yard. A continuation of the 2012 TV movie of the same name, the series centres on school pals John and Max, who find themselves with a new best mate in the form of Hiro, an anime style hero they meet after unleashing a portal to another world through a magical deck of cards. That premise may sound a tad silly, but the movie was a whole lot of fun, and with a voice cast featuring Rove McManus and comedy band Tripod’s Scott Edgar, you know you’re in for a few laughs.

Sunday 27th September 2015

Batman Returns-Go!-8.30pm AEST

Though most people think of the Christopher Nolan trilogy when Batman films are brought up in conversation, it is arguable that the Dark Knight’s greatest foray into film is in fact Tim Burton’s 1992 classic Batman Returns. In any case, Danny Devito’s portrayal of The Penguin is a high contender for greatest Batman rogue on the silver screen against Heath Ledger’s Joker, a maniacal sewer dwelling criminal who spends most of his time riding around on a giant rubber duckie. Throw in an evil business tycoon played by Christopher Walken and Michelle Pfeiffer’s highly praised role as Catwoman and you’re in for one stellar cinematic feat. Michael Keaton returned here as Batman, and though he may not be as fearsome as Christian Bale in the role, he certainly oozes just as much charm. Well worth a watch before the latest incarnation of Gotham’s infamous hero hits the screens next year.

Monday 28th September 2015

Southern Rites-Showcase-7.30pm AEST

American powerhouse HBO are probably best known in Australia for their hugely successful drama series such as Game of Thrones and The Sopranos, but they also know a thing or two about making a killer documentary. Southern Rites, an exploration of the racial tensions in Montgomery County, Georgia, fits firmly into this category. The county first found national attention back in 2009, when Gillian Laub (who is also the director of Southern Rites) had an essay published in The New York Times detailing a high school in the area who still segregated their homecoming and prom. Following the essay the school quickly changed this absurd policy, but fascinated by what she found out, Laub kept on digging. The result of her investigation is found in the film, which intersperses between two stories. The first being the shooting death of 22 year old African-American Justin Patterson by white 66 year old Norman Nesmith, with the second following police chief Calvin Burns on his campaign to become the first African-American sheriff in Montgomery County. While these two stories are wildly different in content they are equally important in telling the same story, their combined force making for a powerful film that is very much worth your attention.

Tuesday 29th September 2015

Babylon-BBC First-6.50pm AEST

Babylon is an impressive drama series from the UK, bolstered by the fact it has Danny Boyle working behind the scenes as both co-creator and co-creator. Starring Brit Marley, the show centres on Liz Garvey, an American woman who is hired by Police Commissioner Richard Miller (James Nesbitt) to head up the communications department of New Scotland Yard, an effort to bring the police into the new media age and help halt potential PR backlashes in their tracks. Whilst  Babylon largely focuses on Garvey grappling with the bureaucracies of her new job, it also follows members of the police force’s Territorial Support Group and Specialist Firearms Command, who quickly find themselves facing problems of their own.

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