Some remarkable TV

Yes, they are all on ABC!  Not that remarkable TV isn’t anywhere else – but it so happens…

First, whatever one thinks of the man the Keating Interviews really are something very special. Do make sure you watch them.

Second, Q&A excelled itself in the broadcast from India last Monday night.

TONY JONES: Good evening and Namaste. This is Q&A live from the kingdom of dreams in Gurgaon, south of the Indian capital, New Delhi. I’m Tony Jones and answering your questions tonight: India’s best known television interviewer Karan Thapar; former diplomat, author and now Minister for State for Human Resources Development Shashi Tharoor; Australian-born Bollywood star Pallavi Sharda; the managing editor of India’s leading investigative magazine Shoma Chaudhury; outspoken conservative commentator Swapan Dasgupta; and former Australian Test cricketer Stuart MacGill. Please welcome our panel.

Well, thank you and, as usual, we’re being simulcast on ABC News 24, Australia Network and News Radio. But tonight we’re also live across India on DD National, with the Indian public broadcaster Doordarshan, which has just launched a partnership with ABC International. Of course everyone watching in Australia and India can join the Twitter conversation using the #qanda that just appeared on your screen. Well, India and Australia share growing links in migration, trade, a history of British Empire and Commonwealth and a passion for cricket. But what does the future hold for these Indian Ocean neighbours? Tonight’s Q&A brings together a distinguished panel of Indians and Australians to face live questions from the citizens of both countries. Our first question tonight is from Jasmeen Malhotra…

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Third, don’t forget tonight’s Episode of Redfern Now – much of it set in a place dear to me, South Sydney Uniting Church.

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From tonight’s Redfern Now

Fourth, two excellent programs from the children’s channel ABC3.

YOU’RE SKITTING ME is an Australian sketch comedy show for kids. The sketches are an edgy mix of zombies, cavemen, naughty girl guides, animations and parodies of Twilight and talent shows. The show stars an ensemble cast of six teenagers, five of which are new to television audiences. YOU’RE SKITTING ME is made for ABC3 by Jigsaw Entertainment.”  It really is very funny, and quite professional.

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Nowhere Boys (linked from the image) really is out of the box stuff. Luke Buckmaster on Crikey says:

Ghosts from The Twilight Zone, Paul Jennings stories and Flight of the Navigator (1986) hover throughout ABC3′s upcoming young adult adventure-mystery-drama Nowhere Boys, even if the target demographic may not be old enough to notice them. The first four eps were strung together for the show’s premiere at the Melbourne International Film Festival, and it’s good stuff: pacey and addictive yoof-tainment with snazzy packaging and a compelling “what if” existential premise.

Television is becoming “more cinematic” these days, so the common line goes. Small screen productions certainly feel larger in scope and ambition (Game of Thrones, House of Cards, The Wire, Arrested Development) and the same is true here. It’s hard to know whether artists are subconsciously accommodating for larger lounge room screens and merging distribution models or if the idiot box is experiencing a kind of filmic renaissance.

Produced by The Home Song Stories (2007) and The Slap (2011) director Tony Ayres, Nowhere Boys opens with the same structure as Breaking Bad, a simple, borderline cliché but very effective flashback device. An adrenaline rush of what-the-hell-is-happening plonks viewers in a climactic situation interrupted by a placard (“24 hours earlier”) pre-empting an account of circumstances leading up to this event…

I am hooked.

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