TONY SQUIRES – SMH COLUMN

Frogs have ghost of a chance in the swamp

Sadly, Thursday’s episode of Swamp People (7Mate, 7.30pm) was unavailable for preview, but all things being equal, it will involve unusual folk from the Atchafalaya River Basin swamp in Louisiana huntin’ alligators.

These are Cajun swamp people, and when the stress of the gator season is behind them, they go ”frog hunting”.

”I bin froggin’ since I was a liddle biddy girl,” one swamp person said in a recent episode, now passing the tradition on to her children. ”We’re gonna catch a mess of ’em and have us a frog fry.”

As easy as it is to sneer at the swamp community, it looks for all the world like they’re having a rip-roaring time.

Rachel Khoo would surely whip up some frog legs in The Little Paris Kitchen (SBS One, 8pm), especially since the oven in her tiny flat is only big enough to roast a frog or, at a pinch, a small chicken.

The old-school simplicity of this cooking series continues to attract. Khoo takes us to the food markets in Paris, shops, comes home, bungs on an apron and too much lipstick, and talks her way through a meal. That’s it. A chicken-dumpling soup looks homely, tasty and very simple. Must ask someone to make it for me.

One ghost, and one possible ghost that could just be a figment of an imagination, are on the menu on Thursday, with Patrick Swayze doing the walking-through-doors routine in Ghost (7Two, 8.40pm) and Greg (Marc Warren) popping up whenever his wife’s alone in What to Do When Someone Dies (UKTV, 8.30pm).

Sadly, Swayze is now playing a ghost in some other realm, but he was convincing even back in 1990, when he had to enlist Whoopi Goldberg and some moist clay to demonstrate his enduring love to Demi Moore. Just admit it’s a guilty pleasure and watch it again.

What to Do When Someone Dies has pretensions of serious drama and a plot outline that appears sturdy enough. But it’s overwrought.

You know those scenes where the grieving and discombobulated wife slides a coat over her nightie in the wee hours, calls a cab and gets out in the middle of the scrub to slide down an embankment and touch the earth where her husband has been killed in a car accident? Well this show has got one.

Unlike Ghost, it’s not love that’s bringing worlds together. Ellie (Anna Friel) may just be imagining chatting to Greg as she tries to sort through the ugly questions that arrive with his death.

Both the NRL and AFL Footy Show (Nine, 8.30pm, 11.30pm) have much to discuss, little of it to do with what happens on the field. It’s just another cop show, really.

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