Netball (Sky Sport 3, Sky 032, 7.00pm). The ANZ Championship netball league is under way, and the first matches featuring New Zealand teams are this weekend: today the Northern Mystics meet the Central Pulse at the Trusts Stadium in Auckland; tomorrow, Southern Steel and Waikato/BOP Magic meet at the ILT Velodrome in Invercargill (Sky Sport 1, Sky 030, 7.30pm). A New Zealand team is yet to win this tough competition. Maybe this will be the year.
Sunday (TV1, 7.30pm). Tonight, Ian Sinclair covers the Ports of Auckland industrial dispute; a BBC Panorama report on Syria; and a Channel 7 story about Barry Humphries, aka Dame Edna Everidge, aka Sir Les Petterson.
60 Minutes (TV3, 7.30pm). Listener writer Guyon Espiner investigates the deal between the Government and SkyCity to build a convention centre in exchange for more pokie machines. Plus, an Australian story about talkback radio host Derryn Hinch, whose black-and-white world was shaken last July when he received a new liver from a criminal; and a story about Norwegian chess master 21-year-old Magnus Carlsen.
Terror at Sea: The Sinking of the Concordia (Prime, 8.45pm). “Literally, it felt exactly like the Titanic,” says one of the rescued passengers of the cruise liner Costa Concordia. Really? They didn’t have cellphones in 1912, or infrared footage of passengers climbing down rope ladders, or even recordings of the coastguard telling the captain to “go up that rope ladder, get on that ship”. All these things feature in this documentary about the cruise ship that ran aground off Italy’s west coast on January 13. It screened in the UK on January 30, but despite the quick turnaround, “they’ve done an excellent job of putting this film together so quickly”, said the Guardian. Interviews, computer graphics, expert testimony, recordings and survivors’ mobile phone footage put together a picture of the grounding and partial sinking of the Concordia. The doco explores how such a thing could happen in these modern times, but makes it a story about the people – and has you wondering just how you would have reacted in such a scary, dark and confusing situation.
The Dukes of Hazzard (TV2, 8.30pm). Jessica Simpson’s shorts got more column inches than the movie itself, which is seriously labouring under the misapprehension that a popular 70s and 80s TV series needed to be turned into a feature film. You could sit in the lounge, hit your head against a wall, shout “Yee-ha!” and experience the same effect without troubling the on/off button. (2005) 4 – Diana Balham
EDtv (Four, 8.30pm). Ha ha. How we all laughed back in 1999 at the idea of a reality television show that followed the everyday lives of nobodies. Should we feel sorry for Ed (Matthew McConaughey) when he tires of being a celebrity and wants the cameras turned off? Goes for the romcom and skips the satire, which was handled much better in The Truman Show the year before. (1999) 6 – Diana Balham
Death in Brunswick (Maori, 8.30pm). Did you know Sam Neill’s real name is Nigel? He plays against type in this goofy Aussie comedy caper, which proves he can survive being christened something naff andplay a mummy’s boy without losing his essential cool. John Clarke plays his partner in accidental crime and Yvonne Lawley is his mum and, yes, there are some Australians, too. Melbourne’s ethnic communities get a thorough workover that leaves no cliché undropped and no (figurative) plate unhurled. The humour is as black as a Greek grandmother’s moustache and still crackles after 20 years. One of Neill’s favourites. (1991) 7 – Diana Balham
Underworld: Evolution (TV2, 12.45am). Yet another outing for this gory, gothic and somewhat humourless sequel to Underworld (how many is that now?). If you can’t figure out what’s going on, don’t worry, neither did the scriptwriter, although we can tell you that sexy Selene (Kate Beckinsale) and her monster-mash boyfriend, vampire-werewolf hybrid Michael (Scott Speedman), are on the run from Derek Jacobi and a real bat-man called Marcus. Apart from that, just sit back and enjoy the slice-and-dice. (2006) 5
Composer of the Week (Radio New Zealand Concert, 9.00am today and weekdays, and 7.00pm Monday). Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672) was a German composer and organist who many consider the most important German composer before Johann Sebastian Bach. He wrote what was probably the first opera in his native tongue, Dafne, which was performed in 1627, but the music has since been lost. He worked mainly as a court composer to Johann Georg I, Elector of Saxony, in Dresden and introduced a number of Italian musical ideas to Germany. Schütz is known for his Italian madrigals, three books of sacred symphonies, three Passion settings and Christmas oratorios. – Diana Balham