The praise that the white locals of Biloela heap upon the south-east Asian migrants who staff the town’s meatworks, for their work ethic and eagerness to assimilate, has a whiff of casual racism. Given the way in which this community fights for its most unhappily famous residents, the Sri Lankan-Tamil Murugappan family in detention on Christmas Island, perhaps that’s what embracing diversity looks like in a conservative Queensland heartland. This is one of Heather Ewart’s more interesting road trips.
This AI action thriller is starting to feel a bit like the second season of Netflix hit, Stranger Things. The intriguing premise, likeable characters and spooky stuff that would make a great movie are strung out longer than seems necessary. There are only so many times Allison Tolman (pictured), as the star cop, can be expected to do her scared, worried face. To her credit, she pulls it off again tonight, as the forces pursuing her young charge, Piper (Alexa Swinton), close in.
FORGED IN FIRE
Series return ★★½
6.15pm weeknights, SBS Viceland
Like MasterChef but with metalwork, this History Channel series, returning for a second season, pits hairy-faced hipsters against hairy-faced veteran hillbilly blokes and the odd female competitor in a battle of skill and ingenuity. Hosted by ex-military man, Wil Willis, this is a good-natured competition in which craftspersonship is key. Today, the first four bladesmiths to enter the forge must “dumpster-dive” for materials.
Bridget McManus is a television writer and critic for Green Guide. She was deputy editor of Green Guide from 2006 to 2010 and now also writes features and interviews for Life & Style in The Saturday Age and M magazine in The Sunday Age.