A Legal TV Guide for your Laptop

Did you hear the news? In on budget night the Skywhale’s minions in Canberra announced $30 million for ABC online, part of which would be to help iView, the most popular entertainment App in Australian iTunes, go HD.

Watching the moving image on the computer is clearly in the ascendancy; much like Skywhale

The television, that magnetic force that has rearranged a billion lounge rooms, is losing its influence. These days, in houses flooded with devices and people left to their own devices, the internet is a content delivery crack pipe. 

So why not a TV guide tailored to this reality? We’ve supplied a list of the best shows for your head’s ‘balls  (in order of when they are disappearing first).

Shadows of Liberty (Expires: 26 may), and Murdoch (Expires: Ep 1/2 19/26 May)

Rupert Murdoch is he evil or just powerful? Are the two synonymous? Two cogent documentaries examine the mogul-u-maniac and how his corporate media model has changed the content landscape and possibly throttling journalistic expression. And a throttled journalist expression is a disturbing thing. 

The Book Club (Expires 21 May)

Skip to 16:00 for a spirited conversation on hipster-darling David Foster Wallace’s confusing behemoth, Infinite Jest. Marieke Hardy threw it across the room upon completing it and the dour guy from Something For Kate has read it five times.

Borgen, Ep 3 (Expires 22 May)

I have about 20 friends addicted to this Danish political drama show. You’ll have to hunt down the first few eps, but after that you might have something to knock Game of Throne of its...seat thingy. 

Movie: Face the Music (Expires 22 May)

A fascinating documentary by masters of the art, Bob Connolly and Robin Anderson, which filmed The Sydney Department of Music and for over a year and half. Closely following one professor Robyn Boyd’s transformation as faces the music of funding shortages. It’s a heartbreaking portrait of higher education struggling to achieve excellence in a climate of austerity. Made in 2001, it’s just as pertinent now as it was then. 

Doco: Vice Tv: Prostitutes of God (Expires 22 May)

Part of their Vice: Guide to Travel, this show by the media-renegades-turned-media-moguls, is an upsetting and revealing portrait of how India’s social stratification caste system, religion and sexuality collide to produce ‘devadasi’ - a religiously affiliated network of prostitutes and sex slaves. 

Metropolis: L.A. (Expires: 25 May)

A classy profile series investigating what architecture tells you about the city. This week is the always entertaining L.A., from it’s nostalgic diners to Frank Gehry Walt Disney Concert hall and  hyperreal dead dinosaur tarpits. 

Comedy: Alan Patridge’s Mid-Morning Matters (Ep 8 Expires: 25 May

Prepare to cringe: Alan Partridge’s Mid-Morning Morning Matters is a short-form TV show from 2010 that builds of Steve Coogan’s long-running series’ about a truly awful presenter’s slowly dying career. Armando Iannucci was a writer on this and series 4 of his cutting political procedural In The Thick of It is also up on iView. 

Gross out: My Strange Addiction (Expires: 28 May)

Some reasons to watch this: A 53-year-old woman who has been willingly stung by bees tens of thousands of times; a 47-year-old woman who spends six hours every day grooming her 21-foot long hair that weighs 4.5kg and which she calls Mr Cobra.

Doco Series: Head First  (Expires 12 June)

Don’t be put off by grandly cheesy intro, Head First is a fascinating series that delves intimately into the lives of Australians swept up in themes and stories bigger than themselves. The three episodes up already explore oldies scammed on the Internet (which involves a flight to Africa to confront the perpetrators), a Queenslander obsessed with fame (which involves a trip to L.A. to make a sex tape), and a nurse going to Syria to find out what happened to her brother (which involves a trip to arguably the most dangerous place on earth right now). 

Doco Series: Voyage to the Planets (Expires 13 June)

Though no one can top Tim and Eric’s explanation of the Universe, Voyage To The Planets puts up a pretty good show. Each episode focuses on a different planet and, in case you hadn’t noticed, they’re up to Uranus. 

Drama Series: Dawson’s Creek: Season 1 and 2 (Expires: In 6 Months)

Amongst the rubble of turds on Channel Seven’s paltry online offering, I found a Creek, and when I followed that creek, I found Dawson at the end of it. And he was crying. And it was good. 

New episodes up every Tuesday and Friday and are available for 6 months

Doco: This is What Winning Looks Like

On the almost always brilliant Vice TV, a gruelling documentary on the current state of Afghanistan, wryly titled This is What Winning Looks Like. There’s a bucket-load of other great content on there too, like this guy taking psychedelic truffles and it seems to never expire. 

Comedy: Shaun Micallef’s: Mad as Hell - Entire Season 1 and Season 2.

It’s patchy, and the guests are weak, but there’s no denying the delightfully eyebrowed Micallef’s wit and charm - few in Australia can wrangle words as cleverly. With occasional bursts of genius, this rapid-fire, hyper-mediated news-commentary show is worth watching before it becomes completely untopical. The absurdity of politicians’ soundbites are exploited beautifully - check out the imbecilic Clive Palmer in ep 12 of season 2.

So that’s it for now. Did we miss anything? Post it below. Happy watching, remember to not get food on your keyboard.

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