ABC, Tuesday, 8pm
Like many of the ABC's touchstone programs, Foreign Correspondent is not immune to change. The new season of the international current affairs show, which first aired in 1992, begins with former Chaser provocateur and host of The War on Waste, Craig Reucassel, criss-crossing the US to chart the clash between the meat industry and the Silicon Valley start-ups looking to disrupt traditional eating habits with plant-based and cell-based substitutes. Reucassel meets ranchers, scientists, and politicians, and while he has a grasp on the issue he doesn't always communicate what's at stake. His report can't help but note American excess, while an obsession with seeing if people can be fooled with the artificial meat, or even just its packaging, eventually detracts from the story's sizeable economic and environmental concerns.
Take it with a grain of sale when Scott Cam declares this is the "toughest first week ever" on the latest season of the erstwhile reality renovation show, because when are proceedings on The Block not hectic, crisis-driven, beset by badly scheduled tradesmen, and styling-related mishaps? A master bedroom and guest bathroom are on the first week's docket, and if you find familiarity reassuring then the show's 15th season will satisfy you. From the contestants bickering to the brand plugs, everything here slots into place.
Dogs Behaving (Very) Badly
British dog trainer Graeme Hall has a simple motto: "Any dog, any size, any problem". Curiously enough, some network programmers have a similar outlook in regards to the shows that they need to fill out their schedules. Does this canine version of Supernanny really deserve a prime 7.30pm slot? Depends on if you're a dog person or not. If you are then this episode will give you raucous labradors literally dragging their owner across the ground, a cheeky cross-breed with the instincts of Harry Houdini, and a terrier whose grief for his lost companion is starting to spread to one of his owners. Graeme's techniques come from expertise and common sense, and he's a chatty guide (no toff talk here) who frankly makes some of his clients look like they're more of a problem than their pets.
Mums Make Porn
SBS Viceland, 9.30pm
The endless, untethered digital realm of pornography so readily available at the launching of a web browser is both a galvanising presence and a curious inhibitor in this three-part British documentary series. Repulsed and worried by the porn their teenage children have ready access to, five mothers who have never met before are tasked with creating an inclusive alternative, a scenario that leaves them bemused and their offspring deeply embarrassed. Not all five will make it to the production of their own short, as the journey requires them to understand – or at least witness – the low rent realities of British porn production. It's an interesting, if limited concept – where is the input of the dads? – and it's been cleverly produced, so that discovery and dismay are both satisfied, and the making of their own short porn feature is a reality TV project complete with mishaps, meddling, and a public judging. Thankfully the focus is sex-positive: "There's nothing wrong with sex," one mum rightly declares.
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