Cheeky take on classic TV shows
Stay grounded or take a flight of fancy this week in TV with moon specials, the premiere of a gothic thriller and the final season of a legal soap.
LAMBS OF GOD
(Fox Showcase and Foxtel Now - Sunday, July 21 at 8.30pm)
Lambs of God is Foxtel's marquee series this winter for good reason.
The local drama features an impressive cast in Essie Davis, Ann Dowd and Jessica Barden as three nuns who have been living an isolated existence on a remote island. The years and isolation have changed them and their beliefs.
When a young priest seeks them out with a hidden agenda, they must work to defend their way of life.
Lambs of God is a gothic thriller, but it's also a text with a strong female voice about vengeance and justice when the patriarchy tries to impose itself. It's an enthralling watch, exactly the kind of moody series for winter.
(SBS Viceland and SBS On Demand - Tuesday, July 16 at 9.30pm)
Of the numerous travel shows on air, comedian, writer and filmmaker Richard Ayoade's Travel Man series is one of the few you actually have to watch.
Ayoade takes his trademark wit on the road with an irreverent and unorthodox take on a classic TV genre, bringing along some celeb pals like Jon Hamm, Noel Fielding and Rob Delany, as they cheekily romp around a city for 48 hours.
This week, it's an expanded edition as Ayoade and comedian David Baddiel spend 96 hours in Jordan. They visit the vast desert that's played backdrop to The Martian, Aladdin and Star Wars, break bread with Bedouins and stay at the smallest hotel in the world.
Fun times all around.
GRAND DESIGNS AUSTRALIA S8
(Lifestyle Channel and Foxtel Now - Wednesday, July 17 at 8.30pm)
It's been a long wait for season eight of Grand Designs Australia, so fans will be rejoicing with the return of 10 architectural marvels to gaze at longingly, as we sit in our own little boxes, staring at an even smaller box.
If only we had the resources, ambition and patience to build our own little grand design, so instead we'll sit on our couches and judge other people's efforts - is spotted gum really the best choice for those floorboards?
The first episode follows a busy Victorian couple who's bought a 100-acre property in a rugged landscape. They're trying to build a huge five-bedroom H-shaped property with 360-degree views of the bush. It's going to be explosive.
(Universal TV on Foxtel and Fetch - Thursday, July 18 at 9pm)
The long-running legal soap closes out with these final batch of episodes, but not before requisite drama and antics at Zane Specter Litt Wheeler Williams. Remember when it was just Pearson Hardman? So much easier to say.
The legal eagles are once under threat after huge changes in the season eight finale, but I have a feeling their sharp wardrobes and even sharper tongues will get them through.
For Suits fans, the real appeal of this final season is the return of original cast member Patrick J. Adams as a guest star. Adams departed the show with Meghan Markle not long ago.
The Duchess will not be joining him (except maybe in archival footage) but no doubt diehards will be hanging out for a cheeky reference to Rachel Zane.
STARGAZING: MOON AND BEYOND
(ABC and iview - Tuesday, July 16 at 8pm)
Brian Cox and Julia Zemiro is presenting a special edition of Stargazing this week to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.
The episode will feature an interview with General Charlie Duke, who guided Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin from mission control, and the first Australian in space, Dr Paul Scully-Power.
Stargazing won't just be looking backwards, it will also posit what the future holds for Australia beyond our atmosphere, joined by Dr Megan Clark, the head of the new space agency.
PIZZA IN PARMA
(Lifestyle Food on Foxtel - Thursday, July 18 at 8.30pm)
Anyone who tells you they don't like pizza is a fool. Gluten-intolerance is not an excuse - there are so many options now.
When you get your hands on a piping hot pizza, with that perfect, yeasty dough and fresh toppings, you know you're in for an amazing 15 minutes. Actually, let's be honest about this: six minutes.
Meet Jez and Ieuan, two lads who love pizza as much as you do. So much that they've bought a pizza van with the aim of winning the World Pizza Championships in Parma, Italy. The just have to get there first.
With no money, the boys set off on a road-trip, hoping to trade pizza-related favours for travel cash, winding through Cardiff, Bordeaux, San Sebastian and Monaco. It's one salivating journey. Mmmm … cheese.
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