===SATURDAY NOVEMBER 4===
The Worst Jobs in History (TV1, 11.00am). A number of UK comedians have developed second lives making documentaries, including Pythons Terry Jones and Michael Palin and, here, Tony Robinson, formerly known as Baldrick in Blackadder. His latest trick was debunking The Da Vinci Code, but he calls this series from 2004 his “light-bulb moment”, one that gave him a way of explaining social history from the point of view of ordinary people doing the hard graft. He’s since made another series, written a book, made a Christmas episode and has even taken the idea on the road. He starts with the Dark Ages (coin thralls, whatever they are, monks and guillemot egg collectors, whatever they are) and ends with the Victorians (tanners, navvies and mudlarks). At a more accessible timeslot, this would be great family viewing, so set the VCR.
===SUNDAY NOVEMBER 5===
Trent’s Wildcat Adventures (TV2, 7.00pm). The guy from The Zoo has got his own show, in which he gads about South Africa getting close to wild cats. Tonight, he meets animal wranglers at a country lodge that is a location for film and TV.
===MONDAY NOVEMBER 6===
Shortland Street (TV2, 7.00pm). Unfortunately for Amanda Billing, Shortland Street’s storyliners have turned her character, Sarah Potts, into a self-absorbed witch with a “b”. Fortunately for us, she does a mean drunk and gets to embarrass herself heaps, which means a lot of sucking up to do this week after a disastrous staff party. In other plot developments, Mark and Tania have been getting close again, but mum Yvonne is suspicious of Mark, and Alice’s mum has been
Final 24 (TV1, 8.30pm). Final 24 picks over the bones of punk icon Sid Vicious, who died from a heroin overdose in 1978 following his release from Rikers Prison in New York on bail for the murder of girlfriend Nancy Spungen. A theory is put forward in the doco that it wasn’t a self-administered overdose – it was his mother that did it. Eek.
===TUESDAY NOVEMBER 7===
Coronation Street (TV1, 7.30pm). Fiz punches Kirk. Fiz punches Molly. Nathan punches Ashley. And Cilla gets time away from the chippy to go to the registry office with Les. Ee, there’ll be a lot of
skriking on the Street tonight.
Honey, We’re Killing the Kids (TV3, 7.30pm). Bad parents! Bad! Nothing like being lectured on national TV to make you change your dietary habits. The BBC format that shows parents images of their kids as grown-up fatties comes to New Zealand. Pies now means heart disease and obesity later, so Dr Louise Schofield is on hand to sort out their lifestyles.
Bad Girls (TV1, 8.30pm). A typically melodramatic ending for the series that is, apparently, a favourite of real New Zealand prisoners. That and Prison Break, we suppose. Over the two-hour finale, a new villain comes to Larkhall – an interior design goddess called (no, not Martha) Catherine Earlham, who manipulates Darlene. Meantime, in a coincidentally topical storyline, Julie S is fighting to get Herceptin.
Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme (C4, 8.30pm). More fun for hip-hop fans, a 2000 film that documents the art of improvisational rap from the early 1980s to quite recently. It’s described as a “short, scrappy documentary” by the New York Times, which praised it for being a celebration of verbal artistry and not nasty gangstas. Kevin Fitzgerald, aka DJ Organic, spent seven years on the project, linking freestyling to (isn’t this where everything started?) the church as well as jazz maestros such as John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk. The film contains many “battle” scenes, à la 8 Mile, where those who can compose “off the dome”. In other music TV news, C4 is extending its hours, starting at 9.00am on Saturday and beginning at the earlier time of 2.00pm on weekdays.
===WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 8===
bro’Town (TV3, 8.00pm). The Morningside crew say goodbye tonight with, appropriately, a barbie at the beach. Aw.
Prison Break (TV3, 9.30pm). This year’s most implausible show? Maybe, but it still saw off The Sopranos in this time- slot. The show’s title might be a giveaway as to how the season ends but, of course, the fun is in the journey. After seeing the breakout last week, we get to find out who makes it to the big wide world, which is a great set-up for season two.
===THURSDAY NOVEMBER 9===
America’s Hardest Prisons (National Geographic, 9.30pm). Cameras follow inmates and officers in the maximum security Wabash Valley Correctional Facility, Indiana, where violence bubbles continually among some of the worst criminal offenders in the US. During this episode, officers investigate the stabbing of a child killer in the yard, there’s a weightlifting competition and an inmate is overpowered by guards when he refuses to return to his cell. Scary stuff.
===FRIDAY NOVEMBER 10===
The West Wing (TV1, 11.15pm). A funny little meta-narrative about how TV uses guest stars to bolster ratings, in much the same way that politicians like to be seen with celebrities. In tonight’s episode, the Santos campaign meets up with Rock the Vote and Jon Bon Jovi guest stars.