Groundbreaking TV show is spectacle and joy
Take a gander at this week's TV highlights.
(Fox Showcase and Foxtel Now - Sunday, June 16 at 8.30pm)
Already breaking ground as the mainstream TV show with a majority LGBTQI actors and characters, Pose is a celebration of a community that has long been marginalised and ridiculed - and it has dramatic and entertaining stakes too, of course.
The series about New York's underground ball scene of the 1980s time jumps in the second season to 1990, to the moment when Madonna's iconic video clip for "Vogue" introduces aspects of their culture to the wider world.
But it's also a time of grief as the characters' - Pray Tell (Billy Porter) and Blanca (MJ Rodriguez) among them - friends and community are ravaged by the AIDS crisis.
From prolific producers Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, Pose crackles with attitude, love, spectacle and joy.
BIG LITTLE LIES S2
(Fox Showcase and Foxtel Now - Monday, June 10 at 8.30pm)
We've waited more than two years for the return of Big Little Lies, a series that didn't even need a second season. It worked perfectly as a miniseries.
But the fans demanded more from the talented female ensemble - Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Zoe Kravitz and Shailene Woodley - so the filmmakers have delivered. And now with added Meryl Streep.
We're back in Monterey in the months after that night which bonded the five women forever, the night of Perry's death. Each woman is struggling in her way, some directly from that night, others from different dramas. To stir the pot even more is Perry's mother (Streep), who doesn't accept that her beloved son accidentally fell to his death.
Even with its sometimes slow-moving story, the allure of Big Little Lies is these characters and the world they inhabit. Just spending more time with those fully realised women in a textured world is bliss.
JESSICA JONES S3
(Netflix - Friday, June 14 from 5pm AEST)
When Netflix put the kybosh on all of its Marvel collaborations, there was still one season of TV left to be released: Jessica Jones season three. Now it's here, and it's the final chapter of a 13-season journey that started with Daredevil in 2015.
In the aftermath of season two, in which Trish killed Jessica's mother in an act of supposed intervention, the two former besties and foster sisters are on the outs. Trish has come into her powers as Hellcat, which puts them on a collision path.
This final season delves into the burden of power and the line between heroism and vigilantism - and making the ultimate personal sacrifice for the greater good. You know, superhero stuff.
(Stan - Thursday, June 13)
The Darren Star-created TV series, based on a book by Pamela Redmond Satran, returns for its sixth season this week, and in lounge rooms across Australia, delighted squeals ring out.
TV shows like Younger have a devoted following. There's something very appealing about plucky young (and slightly less young but still plucky) women in New York trying to make a go at life, love and friendships.
It's a frothy confection that doesn't require a lot of brain power, but it has attractive actors and soft-focus lighting in abundance. And there's something about lead Sutton Foster and all the fast-talking supporting characters - a spark that makes Younger very bingeable if that's your thing.
(ABC and iview - Sunday, June 16 at 7.40pm)
For devotees of British crime shows, Shetland's fourth season has been back for three weeks already, but for everyone else, it's a great time to catch up.
Set against the windy and unforgiving but stunning landscape of the Shetland Islands, this detective series is engrossing and evocative of the harsh climes and of a people with a strong sense of identity separate from the mainland.
In this week's episode, Jimmy Perez must defy a warning from the Norwegian secret service to investigate the murder of a local journalist.
ANH'S BRUSH WITH FAME
(ABC and iview - Wednesday, June 12 at 8pm)
Alan Jones is not a man who apologises easily, even when he should. The controversy magnet is the latest high profile Australian to sit down with Anh Do to have his portrait painted in this week's episode of Anh's Brush With Fame.
On the cards are chats about rugby and his battler upbringing in the sticks - two chapters of the Jones story we all know too well. Less comfortable ground are his many, many scandals over the years spent in the shock jock chair.
Only one particular controversy - the Julia Gillard "died of shame" episode - is revisited, but Jones offers something as rare as a white peacock - something resembling contrition or regret, but not without equivocation.
(Stan - Monday, June 10)
Women trying their hand at a very traditionally male industry - crime syndicates - are becoming a bit of a thing on TV and in film. There was Steve McQueen's Widows (itself a remake of Lynda La Plante's 1980s series) and there's the upcoming Melissa McCarthy movie The Kitchen.
But none of those women are having as much fun as the ones on the deliciously funny Claws, which returns for its third season this week.
The ladies of the Nail Artisan salon are not your typical criminals but never underestimate a woman with sharp nails, especially if they're led by the irrepressible Niecy Nash. This season, they're muscling in on the casino business.
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