Outlander Season 4 (from Nov 5 on Fox Showcase)
The latest season of the historical time-travel romance is now available on Showcase, with the action moving from strife-torn Scotland, to the promise of a new start in colonial North Carolina.
Catriona Balfe as displaced 20th century nurse Claire is still entangled in romance and drama with 18th century Scottish warrior Jamie Fraser, played by Sam Heughan, amid the aftermath of the Jacobite rebellion.
This is the kind of show you either love or hate - and Outlander fans are very, very dedicated.
Don’t let the talk of time travel fool you into thinking this is Doctor Who with a sex life – at its heart this remains a fairly standard historical bodice-ripper.
Tune in to this if you like constant languid violins and heavy breathing, interspersed with very modern historical assessments by our time-traveling heroin, as her dashing love interest stares wide-eyed at her insights and frequent talk of the glories of things to come.
The odd treatment of the much-talked-about ending to the first episode, which features a memorably violent confrontation, will possibly divide fans.
Executive producer Ronald D Moore is famous for his ahistorical use of 20th century songs. We all remember All Along the Watch Tower in Battlestar Galactica - and he tries to render another iconic moment by using such a tune here.
I'll leave it to the fans to decide if it works.
The Secret Life Of Four Year Olds (available now on Ten and Ten Play)
And now onto something completely different. Ten has just debuted a reality show with a difference – essentially Big Brother for 4-year-olds.
This one is going to have even the most hardened child hater wondering if it’s time to breed. It’s super cute but also covers a lot of interesting information about developmental milestones, including the beginning of lying and impulse control, plus the theory of mind.
The children are all charming – most of the time. When poor little Jacqueline was ditched by the other kids, this reviewer was forced to suppress a tear.
I really enjoyed watching this, but surely 30-minute episodes would be better in these time-poor days, with my attention severely waning around the halfway mark.
Fresh Blood comedy pilots (from Nov 20 on ABC iView and ABC Comedy on YouTube)
The ABC is bringing us a bunch of new potential comedy series as part of its Fresh Blood initiative. I’ve seen four, and it’s quite the mixed bag.
This animated sitcom from creator Michael Cusack, about an Illawarra dad fighting bogans in his guise as suburban vigilante Koala Man, was quite funny.
The animation style is deliberately crude, as is typical for the adult cartoon genre - so the obviously ultra-low budget isn't a massive problem.
The younger male demographic who flock to the likes of Family Guy will probably enjoy this, and it should definitely be picked up for series.
Decades after The Simpsons, Australia is long overdue an adult cartoon of its own.
Why Are You Like This?
This is quite a good satire of a certain strain of awful millennial: grossly entitled, lazy, and straight out of a critical theory course, filled to the brim with smug, self-righteous indignation. Obnoxiously convinced they can take on the world - and the workplace – friends Penny and Mia rub plenty of people the wrong way.
Many twenty-somethings will enjoy this, but confirmed millennial-haters might find the caricatures far too close to home to be funny. I quite enjoyed it - with some script tweaks it deserves to go to series, as there’s a lot of burgeoning talent and some genuinely funny moments here.
The Angus Project
This one deals with an aspiring journalist with cerebral palsy (Angus Thompson), and his colleagues, friends and neighbours in Bathurst. That’s a potentially groundbreaking premise, but is it funny?
Sadly, not enough. There are a lot of jokes and moments in this that have potential but they're either too undercooked or too poorly executed to get any genuine belly laughs. The thing that most annoyed me was the constant stream of minor characters mugging for the camera and over-delivering their lines in the hope of getting noticed. The notable exception being comedy veteran Rob Sitch.
Be Your Own Boss
And finally, we’ve got this offering, which features writers and creators Cameron James and Becky Lucas playing a bunch of characters inhabiting a down market shopping mall. These guys are obviously huge fans of Chris Lilley, and especially Summer Heights High – but whether it’s the passage of time since that show, or the much less on-point material, the laughs don’t flow nearly as strongly.
Some segments are moderately funny, like the Pink-themed gym, but the final product is just overly familiar. Let's try something new please.
All four pilots will be available on ABC iview from November 20.
To hear in-depth discussions of all of the above shows and more, check out the latest episode of Binge List - out now! See below for details.