After watching three episodes, I think it's fair to say that Antony Starr is slumming it in his new television role playing a mercantile agent in the very ordinary Aussie drama Tricky Business (9.35pm, TV3, Tuesday).
Starr's pulling off the double-trouble of Jethro and Van in the outrageously popular Outrageous Fortune has led viewers to believe he has exceptional Starr quality, also evidenced in his big-screen roles of After the Waterfall and I Wish You Were Here.
As Matt in Tricky Business, he has to offer a romantic alternative for his boss, Kate, who is going through a rough patch with boyfriend and business partner, Rick. Sexual tension is clumsily rife, with Matt grabbing Kate's thigh in a car when the two are privately investigating the case of an absentee husband.
Kate is an uptight control freak with an anti-male mindset made so by making the mistake of having a baby when she was at school, and trusting Rick with the money from the family business.
In contrast, Kate's sister, Lily, is supposed to be ker-razy because she's got bright-red dyed hair and says provocatively wild things to her zoned-out workmate Chad, such as: "And then I took off all my clothes and rubbed a raw chicken all over my body". Wow, is she zany or what?
The character of Kate has the main part in this show and is played unconvincingly by actress Gigi Edgley, who has a great body and a face that looks like it would be more at home in Home and Away. Actually the whole show screams 5.30pm max, and what is Shane Bourne doing in this dreary family drama that isn't even heart warming? Bourne has been in heaps and is still appearing as the seasoned copper Stanley Wolfe in the consistently good police procedural City Homicide (TV One, 11.30pm, Sunday).
While on things Australian, Tuesday's new Grand Designs Australia (TV3, 8.35pm) show is such a poor facsimile of the British one that British host Kevin McCloud must watch it and feel that imitation is the lowest form of flattery.
Aussie host Peter Maddison impersonates McCloud's chat-ups with the homeowners and speaks McCloudese, describing the couple's effort as brave and waving his hands around in the manner of - when he manages to dislocate them from his ever-so-casual jacket pockets.
I hope we don't follow suit.
- © Fairfax NZ News