ABC, Wednesday, 9pm
A curious little show, is Rosehaven. Often almost too gentle and low-key for its own good, it’s also almost too good-natured to resist. With no desire to challenge, provoke or do anything but provide a cosy half-hour in the company of delightful people, it’s not one to trigger booming guffaws but does a good trade in warm chuckles and sustained smiles.
The brainchild of Luke McGregor and Celia Pacquola, whose real-life friendship is endearingly echoed onscreen, the show sparkles when the central pair are bantering, and can falter a little when the focus broadens to the other denizens of the titular Taswegian hamlet. In the season four opener, Dan (McGregor) is in a funk lamenting his lost love, but in typical Rosehaven-style, it’s the far more trivial subplot of Pacquola’s quest to discover the contents of a mystery package that provides the episode’s high points.
Season 31, episode 22, or to put it another way, the 683rd episode of the show that brings new meaning to the term “long-running”, not to mention the term “milking it”. In this latest extension of a lifespan nobody would’ve predicted back when it was just crude shorts on The Tracy Ullman Show, we dive deep into the history of the beloved Simpson greyhound, Santa’s Little Helper.
By this stage all the wells are ones we’ve drunk from before, and it’s no use pretending the show is anywhere near the level it was when it fully deserved the title of Best Show Ever. But it’s also no use pretending it’s still funnier than the vast majority of what’s on offer, and still, improbably, well worth watching.
Who Gets to Stay in Australia?
A more gut-wrenching look at multiculturalism, this series shows us the shudderingly intense moments when people get the most important news of their lives: whether they can stay in Australia, or if they’ll be deported. It can be heartwarming and heartbreaking in equal measure, with just a hint of unnerving exploitation thrown into the mix: as important as it is, you can’t help wondering whether we should really be watching.