TONY SQUIRES – SMH COLUMN

While obsession with The Voice remains dangerously high, please tell me we’re running out of the vasaline-lensed pre-recorded interview moments with the judges. Poor old Seal, Delta, Joel and Ricky have said the same stuff at least 30 times, using slightly different phrasing.

This week, Seal actually said, “when I say something, I have to get people to subscribe to it in the same way they subscribe to a magazine”. What, in low numbers? In monthly payments?

The unprepared on-stage banter is far better, especially from Australia’s Best New Talent, Joel Madden, who doesn’t have an unexpressed thought.

“I should fight harder … I’ve got to fight harder,” he says to no-one in particular after not getting down on bended, tattooed (I’m assuming) knee to beg a contestant to join his team. Forget Dances With Wolves or Stands With A Fist, Joel’s Indian name is Speaks Before Thinks. And we love it.

The collective obsession with The Big Bang Theory (Nine, from 7pm) has largely slipped past this viewer. I’m not sure if I’m too stupid or too smart. … probably the former. But Wednesday’s Poindexter fest is, as ever, dead easy to watch. It’s a series of nerd jokes with the occasional boob joke thrown in, and even features the lines “my pweasure … I’w have my nose up sevewal pwofessors’ wectums”. Barry Kripke has the pronunciation problem called rhotacism … better known as Elmer Fudd Wascally Wabbitism.

The brainiacs are lured into a game of sucking up as they try to score a tenured position at the university. As ever, Sheldon (Jim Parsons) is the most compelling.

Things turn much darker later Wednesday evening with the arrival of the new series Hannibal, based on the life of the serial killer before he met up with Jodie Foster to discuss wine-matching meals. Human liver best teamed with chianti, as you know.

Here, Lecter is employed to help FBI profiler Will Graham get inside the sick heads of killers. The timeslot for Hannibal (Seven, 9.45pm) is appropriate, given the graphic nature of the beast. The cast is top-notch, with Hugh Dancy like a flighty bird as Graham, a man who can feel and see the horror of each attack. I’d be a nervous wreck too if that stuff was going on inside my skull.

Laurence Fishburne is FBI heavy Jack Graham and Mads Mikkelsen does well with the near impossible task of convincing us that Hannibal Lecter is anyone other than Anthony Hopkins. He has the creepy bit down fine.

The thing that elevated Hopkins’s Lecter in Silence of the Lambs was the intimidating intelligence, superiority and, crucially, the almost schoolboy-cruel sense of humour. It was there in Thomas Harris’s books and, hopefully, it will come as this series develops.

Contact Us

A: 13-15 Little Burton St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010
P: +61 2 9332 9111
E: [email protected]

Scroll to Top