What are you watching? What’s on TV in Australia (and why you should stream Taskmaster on SBS on Demand)

By Bobi

Okay. Good news, people. 

I have found “stuff” on television, and when I say television, I mean SBS. It’s not a lot but beggars can’t be choosers. 

But sometimes they can, and we are off to a flying start. 
I have stumbled across Taskmaster (SBS). So much lighthearted fun. It is my go-to when I just want to wind down at the end of the day and even better, because it was undiscovered, I have two seasons to look forward to.  (Juz’s note: Here, here. I binge watched Taskmaster during the pandemic. I don’t know why Channel 10 has not made a version.)

As I can feel everyone flinching as I end my sentence with a preposition – and where on earth should that comma go? Clearly, not where I put it – I will let you know that I was going to write this chat on grammar but, obviously, not now.  Nevertheless, I will share some of the jokes so as they are not wasted. 

This one is for BDD. 

This one is for the rest of us. 

And this one is just for me.

It is my favourite. 
I am enjoying Why Women Kill (SBS). It is a bit jumpy between timeframes but I am getting used to it. The best thing about it is that it is twisty – I like a twist – and the second best thing is that the whole season is available. 
I am also watching Untold Australia (SBS). It is a feel good series. I’ve only watched a couple of episodes but they left me warm and fuzzy and thinking that all is right with the world. 

I am going to recommend a movie just to shake things up: Return of the Hero (SBS). I am only half way through but I am enjoying it enough to put it on the list. 

Lastly, a book (yes, I know that is not a sentence). I am stretching things here but there is a television connection. It is The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman, he of Pointless fame. It is everything I like about a murder/mystery: a bit funny, many characters to either like or dislike, a bit twisty but with the clues there, and all wrapped up satisfactorily in the end. I am expecting a tv series to come out of this. 

I leave you with an unrelated thought:




  1. Here’s an excerpt from an opinion piece on the front page of today’s digital West Australian, about the need for normalcy in the White House – “…if we see just a slither of them working as a team…”

    My head hurts.

    • Aaaah, Bobi, the problem of using correct grammar and sounding like a fool.
      “He is taller than I (am)”. 😁

      It pains me when I opt to end a sentence with a preposition based on audience reception.

      I don’t mind dying before grammar becomes altogether beyond hope.

    • I enjoyed The Queen’s Gambit, and even bought the the Gillian Hill CD with the Tut tut song. But Bridgerton left me cold. I didn’t get past the first totally unconvincing first episode.

      • I decided to just go with the flow on Bridgerton. Yes, it was Mills and Boony and totally absurdist but I enjoyed the costumes and sets and the over-the-top performances of the older women in particular.

  2. Appreciated the music joke and column in general, Bobi.

    I see that beginning a sentence with “So” is very au courant and spreading. Reap what you so.

    • 🤣
      I am a so-er and an and-er and a but-er. I have to heavily edit everything I write because they are creep-ers.

    • “So”. Does it mean settle in I have some news?

      And “Anyway”; does it mean back to topic.
      I can cope with both as long as it’s not “anyways”.

      My friend has a chronic aversion to the “learnings”, that politicians are now saying. Yup, don’t add an “s” if it’s redundant, or already plural. Hopefully it will fade away just as the once trendy application of words like “celebrate”, when there is no party, and “journey” when no one is getting on a plane, train, shop, bike or car.

      • Oh and, “I can’t be clearer than that”.
        “Let me be very clear”. Since covid, all of the pillows like to “I can’t be clearer”.
        Could I be any clearer?

          • 😮 Well (notice I started with a redundant word), the US educational system is in good hands. 😨

          • He doesn’t always enunciate distinctly. I don’t know if that has something to do with his stutter or not.

            I imagine Dr. Biden will correct him in private. I’m happy he can form a whole subject/verb sentence.

  3. I am watching Planet America tonight, and in the morning so y’all don’t have to.
    On the chin.
    You’re welcome.

  4. As expected, all suitably boring.
    Planet America was not as much fun as I expected. Just a rehash of stuff I’ve seen or read before.
    They planted flags everywhere to make the place look crowded. Clever. Whosever idea that was, deserves a raise, plus more.
    And a reminder that Australia has got to have one of the worst national anthems going. I vote for a new one, not because the old one is problematic but simply because it’s a dirge.
    Just sharing that the dog over the back fence has taken to howling mournfully. I wish they would let him in.
    Photo attached of doggo enjoying the opportunity to be on my bed. He is crushingly heavy but who am I to spoil his fun. He is off to the vet today to review his pain medication. He won’t like it.

  5. I couldn’t watch much of Planet America, trump’s ugly face kept popping up. I gave up and tuned back in for the inauguration. I agree the field of flags was a brilliant idea. It meant there was some movement in those big spaces that had no people in them.

    Poor doggo. Review of pain meds probably means the vet had to mess with dog’s sore places. Extra treats tonight for him :), and a virtual ear scritch from me.

  6. I don’t trust the TAR Australia producers after the blatant producer cheating to squeeze out the two “white privilege males”, to make way for a politically correct win. I didn’t care who won, but when producers twice allowed the four, then three remaining teams to vote out their competition, that was a a sure way to remove the best team, who deserved to win. We all know that producers manipulate but that was the most outrageous example of it.

    • I had forgotten about that. Surely not again. Then again, the promos have been very “diverse”.

      Imagine the auditions: if you are white males, we will test you to make sure you are unfit and not smart, to ensure you will be eliminated early on.

  7. I thought that I would bring up the Australia Day conversation again because I can’t remember where we finished up last year.
    As a recap, Australia Day is not invasion day. That happened earlier. It is actually the day that Captain Cook sailed into Sydney Harbour (just as a reminder of how NSW-centric we are).
    However, I do understand the anger over the day. It is not an inclusive date.
    I know for a lot of people, it is lamb bbq day. For me, it marks the end of school holidays. I’ve never had a particularly strong feeling over the day. If it is moved so that more people can feel nationalistic, then I am happy to go along with that.
    So … what should the date be?
    There isn’t an obvious one. There is no date in the Australian calendar that has any meaning that would be a good substitute.
    Federation Day is equally problematic. Could we rename the Queens Birthday long weekend? After all, it’s not really her birthday.
    I know that wheels turn slowly but the wheels here are not turning at all.
    I hate the idea that next year we are going to be having the same old discussion. I’m feeling very meh about it all.

      • Agreed, Dave. She has an award for her accomplishments in sport. Since then, she is known for promoting hateful, bigoted, un-Christian beliefs. She can say whatever she wants, but does not deserve an upgrade, or any more awards, for her abominable points of view.

    • The gall of ScoMo to be offended that Cricket Australia removed the reference to Australia Day from its Jan 26 match promos… Let’s change the date, give it a new name. It’s only been a public holiday for a few decades anyway. Changing the date doesn’t make us any less proud to be Australian, but it at least recognises that Terra Nullis was a lie

    • Captain Cook claimed the East Coast for Great Britain in August 1770.

      Arthur Phillip sailed into Port Sydney Cove and proclaimed the colony 26th January 1788.

      The 26th January 1808 is also the start of the Rum Rebellion.

      Personally, we think the day should remain where it is. Keeping the date where it is forces a public discourse (however painful) that the establishment of Australia was traumatic. Changing the date is not going to change what happened. History is complicated, it is messy, is is cruel.

      One can not help but view Cricket Australia’s stance as merely corporate virtue signalling slacktivism. Like most of the hand wringing that accompanies #changethedate it is all rather cynical..

      • I had forgotten the Rum rebellion.
        National Tree day is the 1st of August.
        I am listening to Stuff the British Stole on podcast if you want an interesting discourse.

  8. So, I finally moved into the house. We had those beautiful old wood floors (French Shiplap Oak) and hired someone to refurbish them. I loooove the floors. I hope we find them in the kitchen as well underneath the horrible vinyl. But that has to wait, we cannot work on the kitchen due to hard lockdown and all stores except for supermarkets are closed until at least February 14 (we have the shutdown since December 16).
    The pink room is my home office/kids room and they love the floors and the cherry blossom pink walls.
    Everything is slow progress but it gets better. Just kitchen and living room have to wait.

  9. A question for anyone who knows stuff.
    I am getting ready for Google to leave us. I am not a fan anyway.
    I downloaded DuckDuckGo and now my Settings asks if I want to replace Safari with DuckDuck.
    So Safari is Google? I never had Google? It should be Bing? It makes no difference? I am so confused.

    • I think you may be confusing your apples and oranges. Safari, (and Firefox, Edge plus) are Browsers – software that you use to “see” the internet.

      Google, DuckDuckGo, Bing (plus some others) are Search Engines – they help you search the internet for what you want. Some of them (looking at you Google mainly) have branched out with long tentacles to give users other things like Maps, Earth, gmail etc.

      So, you have a Browser (or several if you like), and you use the Search Engine/s on the Browser. You can use any engines on any browser, you set your preferrred engine as the default in the browser’s settings. While there is a spread of popularity in Browsers, Google is the go-to search engine for most people. In return for being a good engine, it takes a lot of your life into its database.

      If you don’t want to be Google-ised, you can choose one of the other engines, but they are probably not going to give you the search results at the same quality level. I have used DuckDuckGo on the laptop for about a year, and just reverted back to Google, unfortunately. I just kept finding that DDG was giving me weird results and missing the most important ones. However, DDG has a really good reputation as being the best alternative to Google.

      Personally, I use google but never login to the account feature. I turn off all settings that give any access. I never give location access. I use add-ins to make Google look like it used to, without the recommended links on top of the result.

      Expert opinions I have heard, do not believe Google will, or could afford to, pull out of Australia. That is, they knew they would try this bluff, but it is really just for show. Google may try to annoy users with poor quality news, but I would never use a search engine as a reliable news source anyway, so no big deal for me.

      Hope that helps. Others, I am sure, will be more knowledgable or have more firsthand experience.

      • A good read, thanks Fijane.

        I have started googling random ads so that the “and spy” on Google puts me down for nice things, like holidays. That way I might not get “bunions” or “corn removal”.

      • Thanks Fijane. That goes a long way to being helpful. Not entirely, of course, because something in my head has to shift.
        Maybe I’ll wait. It’s a bit like FB. I really hate it but it is the only way I communicate with some friends o/s so I am held prisoner.
        I’m not entirely sure that Google won’t leave us. I’ve been told that Google actually pulled out of somewhere (I want to say France but I suspect that it was actually one of the Scandinavian countries) and the deal they made to come back was not so great for that country.
        And I don’t trust ScoMo to not do something dodgy in the end. A man who gaslights journalists when they ask legitimate questions on our behalf is not a man of who is going to tell us about the deal he has struck.

  10. Here we are: Australia Day. Why do I want to say it with a broad strine tone?
    When I walked the dog at 6.00 am, it was 22 degrees here. No bbqs, just bunkering down with a good book.
    I am going to read More Than A Woman by Caitlin Moran. She talks about middle age and hag-dom. Please be funny, please be funny.

  11. Is anyone else having trouble with the TTV site being slow to open, over the past 4 or 5 days? A couple of times when I only clicked on Comments to see the newest ones, they didn’t open at all but only showed a blank screen, although the tab still showed TTV.

    I’m not having problems with any other of my regular sites.

  12. Going back to what are we watching – currently addicted to “My Yorkshire Farm” on 9Life. I read the book a few years ago, not knowing that there was a show afterwards but it seems to have just arrived here. Now re-reading the books while watching.

    It is a fly-on-the-wall show about a farming couple in the high Yorkshire Dales, who have nine wonderfully active, responsible, un-modern children. Maybe not everyone’s cup of tea but we love it. So refreshing to see kids being kids in the old-fashioned way, and learning heaps about sheep and cattle farming, too.

    • I have popped in and out of this one. I like it when I watch it but it’s not on my radar when I don’t.
      They seem to be a lovely family but it also seems to be a tough life.
      Jess talked about growing up without electricity and she quite liked it, and I grew up with very little without realising it was a problem. I guess it’s all about what you know and what you care about.

      • We were poor as kids, but it was normal. Everyone was fairly poor in terms of income, but I was a kid. It wasn’t my job to pay bills.

      • Where did Jess grow up, where there was no electricity? She doesn’t seem old enough to have come from that era.

        • I don’t know. It could be FNQ.
          My uncle built his own house up there and put in a generator. He was a carpenter but I’m still doubting that many rules were followed. Cowboy territory.

  13. It looks like tv rating season is about to start.
    I will be giving Holey Moley a shot. I don’t like Greg Norman so hopefully his screen time is less than 30 seconds but I do like the concept of sport and stupidity. I watch something similar that the Japanese (?) have put together. Plus, I love that show with the big balls, whatever it is called. It will all depend on the commentators.
    I will also be watching Pacific Island Food Revolution. I love a cooking show and this one looks like it could be interesting.

  14. We are heading off to Peaceful Bay, near Walpole for a week tomorrow, so no recording capability, just telly and pay TV through Woolif’s laptop. I’ll take my art supplies.
    We’ll keep up with B&B. I look forward to Mama Brooke’s reaction to Steffygate.

  15. Phew. Lock down from 6.00 pm in Perth metro and South West and we are already in Peaceful Bay in the Great Southern. I wonder if our week’s holiday at Tree Elle might be extended. 🏖️🏖️🏖️🤣
    Stay safe, Von.

    • But look how well WA did for so long, Daisy. This was bound to happen at some time. I have plenty of rubbing alcohol, hand sanitiser, disposable gloves, and half a dozen face masks. My pantry is fairly well-stocked except for toilet paper, but that’s okay.

      You guys stay safe, too. You’re not in a lock down region, but take precautions anyway, okay? The security guard and his house mates got around a fair bit before he showed any symptoms. Good luck to us all.

      • It’s the top news story over here in SA. Footage of your crowded supermarkets made me wince. Does WA have covid marshals in stores?

        • We had covid marshals in my local stores for a short time during the first lock down last March. My neighbour asked me to watch her little dude while she went to get milk this afternoon. She said there was a queue to the end of the parking lot just to get inside because of limits on numbers in store. Once in, there was a security guy handing out masks and squirts of hand sanitiser.

          There was no fresh milk, meat, or toilet paper. It’s a shame the first reaction of so many was to rush to the shops and horde goods. Masks are mandatory this time and it will be interesting (possibly infuriating and argument-starting) to see how many comply with that. But we did well the first time, and I hope complacency hasn’t taken over from common ssense.

      • Good on you, Von. Yes, the other shoe had to drop. I will have to collect a few supplies before I return, although I am pretty well stocked at home.

        I am already thinking of staying another week down here.

        Juz, it’s all the talk down here too.

  16. Just caught the end of Our Dementia Choir on BBC. Oh my – still crying. This was episode one so you can catch up on in iView

  17. Life is a bit dodgy in WA. Keeping my fingers crossed for you all.
    I am going out to buy some toilet paper this morning.
    Things are still good here but I think it’s more by good luck than good management.

    • Thanks, Bobi. I think the fires are more concerning now than us having to deal with a lock down. The fire is uncontrolled, getting bigger, and the fire zone is getting wind gusts up to 70 kph. I’m about 30 km from the fire zone and yesterday we had heavy smoke haze and ash falling all day – no embers of course but that was still a little scary.

      I went to grocery store today. Shelves were reasonably full of everything except bananas. Every person, even kids, was wearing a mask. It was good to see and I hope the mask mandate stays in place for a couple of weeks.

      • Glad everyone is taking precautions. I was surprised to read the thing about quarantine hotel guards not being required to wear masks at work

        • They do now. The infected man’s job was to sit in the hotel corridor; masks were required if he had to interact with a quarantined person.

          The health department said he didn’t breach any protocols. They think he was infected when a quarantined person opened their door to receive medicines from someone else, so presumably airborne transmission of the UK strain.

          His house mates have tested negative for the second time, which I find astounding.

    • Kids wondered if there was a wedding theme going on – Top End Wedding showing for the second time this week, simultaneously with Muriel.

  18. Hey, Daisy, you can go home after 6pm tomorrow if you want. We Perth region people and Peel people will still be under some restrictions until 14 Feb. Masks are still mandatory inside, outside, and on public transport until then. Bloody good thing, too. It is such a simple thing to do but can make a big difference to the spread of covid.

    This has been such a changeable and eventful week that I’m worn out.

    • Yes. I saw the news. Thankyou for thinking of me. Our holiday was booked for a week so we will return in Sunday, although I was quite happy to stay here. I think we would have had no problem going home though. The issue would only have been crossing from the SW to the Great Southern.
      Hang in there Von with the masks etc. I still might wear one when food shopping when I go home.

    • I am with you on supermarkets and masks. It’s like everyone forgets where they are in those places plus, of course, they are gathering grounds for the great unwashed. I refer to anti-vaxxers, of course.
      Interestingly, I was listening to Dr Swan (as you know, I am a fan) talking about the guy with the UK virus. Not that Dr Swan said so but I inferred. He said he had hopes that there would be few clusters because the guy didn’t visit any restaurants or pubs. Seems that these places are the danger zones.
      I am going out to dinner twice next week. It’s not possible to wear a mask. I can see the problem.
      All in all, though. Good job, WA.

          • Mary-Louise McLaws and Norman Swan both give good information and advice.
            Also Raina Mckyntire.

            3 weeks before Morrison closed borders, they were calling for closed borders.

          • Yes. That’s her.
            Googling her was an unpleasant experience, going down a cesspool of hate from anti- corona exponents (all men, btw).
            I know it’s not exactly true but I get an immediate image of an overweight, unshaven man in an unclean, brown (why brown, idk) T-shirt sitting, hunched over a laptop in a darkened room.
            I had to pull back quickly. Ugh.
            I am focusing on the fact that she seems to be a lovely lady with a lovely sense of humour.

      • I used to think that these people (a positive case) had amazingly varied social lives (compared to me!), because the locations listed were so numerous and exciting. Took a little while to realise that the list includes the places visited by the person’s close contacts too.

        • Oh really? I did not know that.
          I always think mine would be so long even though I rarely travel more than 5km from home. In a weekday it would be coffee shop, school, supermarket, possibly a Kmart or Bunnings, school, maybe a patisserie …

  19. I am amused, although I suspect I shouldn’t be.
    There is a case of corona from hotel quarantine and there is an alert for potential hotspots.
    Dan Murphy was on the list (Always) … and a cake shop. I can empathise.
    I like to eat and drink, and not necessarily in that order.

  20. I made this purple (she likes purple) silk mask for my sister by cutting off and embroidering the leg of some silk pants of mine.

    • Manu and Pete are still friends. He is quoted as saying Pete doesn’t see anything as backlash. He sees it all as publicity.
      I’m guessing that running is more free publicity and actually winning a seat would be an inconvenience. Clive Palmer found it all too hard. Maybe we should vote him in. Karma?

      • Oh Bobi, I love that pic. I am going to put it on my wall to bolster me after the worst 2 years of my life. ❤️
        Not that anyone has TRIED to hurt my feelings.

  21. Good luck Victoria. I hope your lock down doesn’t have to be extended past five days.

    I’m starting to see some series that were filmed after the start of the pandemic. Last night’s Law and Order SVU is one. Olivia and her kid were outside on New Year’s Eve 2020. The kid wore a mask, Olivia didn’t. In the hospital, background extras wore masks, but the doctor talking with Olivia had her mask around her neck. The court room scene showed two or three jurors and a few spectators wearing masks, but most of the other dozens of people were bare faced. There was no social distancing. So SVU decided to acknowledge the pandemic, but only a little bit, no big deal. It was annoying me so much that I lost track of the story.

    • Grey’s Anatomy has gone hardcore into the Covid era and seems to be doing a fair representation of how exhausting it is for healthcare workers

    • I tuned in to Bull just to see how they handled it. Not my favourite show, btw.
      They closed the courtroom completely and so much Zoom. So. Much. Zoom. Sigh.
      Masks were a bit more problematic.
      It felt a bit more realistic given the politicisation of masks in America.
      I have nothing to base this on except a feeling, but I think that Dr Phil is a Republican and Bull is based on Dr Phil. So, no surprises there.

      • I cannot watch Bull since Eliza Dushku complained to producers that the lead sexually harassed her. So they fired her. She took them to court and won. But guess who still gets a huge pay packet and stars in the show?!

  22. I, for one, am happy as a pig in a puddle that Facebook has dropped its “news” feed.
    My pages are filled with photos of greyhounds and it fills me with joy.
    I am keeping my fingers crossed that the Morrison Government holds its nerve.

    • I’ve never had Facebook, so I don’t quite understand what all the kerfuffle is about.

      Do most people who have Facebook use it as their primary news source?

      • I think some people use it for news. I suppose it depends what you click on or join. For instance, I can get very local, neighbourhood news via our neighbourhood crime and watch. I follow Mark McGowan’s FB and get updates on covid and other happenings, but neither of those are affected.

  23. If you have FB, checkout Mark Humphrey’s spoof on FB news. (Before it gets taken down).It’s so true it’s funny.

  24. I was scrolling through the tv guide to see if there is anything worth watching tonight. I forgot Gogglebox is back on, so hooray for something watchable :).

    • I enjoyed the show mostly. Until the last bit, which was about old people wanting sex and the ways they went about trying to get it it. Some of the methods were a bit unusual, to me, but some seemed understandable and reasonable. I didn’t think any were laughable. But the general reactions of the goggleboxers was “eww, yuk”. It was unkind and ageist. I may have thought the same way 20 years ago, can’t remember, but I hope I was not so judgmental and mean.

    • I must admit that I was in the “eeeew” camp, not because I have a problem with old people (my peers?) having sex but because of that old man (ex-rocker?) was looking for a “fertile” young girl to fulfil his latest dream of starting a family. Seriously, talk about being oblivious.
      At my most polite, we could have a discussion about natural selection but mostly it was eeeeew.

      • When my 85 year old mother talks about wanting sex, I’ m like, “La la la la la la. Yew.”
        I do the same with my son who is too open. TMI for your mum.
        I think with old people sex, we are inclined to cringe a bit because it’s not something you normally see (unless you subscribe to certain videos). Let’s be honest, as we age; cute little curves become scary crevices. Toned arms, legs and tummies become mounds of flesh, crepey skin and cottage cheese mush and arms like curtains.
        I don’t think that’s how we have been inculcated to visualize sex.
        I’ll own that my culture has taught me to think, “Emmanuel type images for sex, if you know what I mean. Last Tango in Paris, and any other movie I have ever seen with a couple getting sexual has involved attractive people with toned bodies. It’s no wonder there is a reaction.
        Maybe I need to watch old people sex videos to desensitize myself.
        Just sayin’. I have put it out there. I also am not a fan of porn .

          • I googled rule 34. 😱

            I did try rule 69 once, but I’m more of a 5. 🌸🌸🌸

            My idea of a good love/sex scene is when the camera shows the closed door. Innuendo. The imagination is sexier than reality.

  25. I have rediscovered a song from my Silk Degrees/Boz Scaggs album, but sung by Leslie Gore. Get into a quiet space and listen to Where All Alone. You can choose between Boz, who wrote it, Rita Coolidge, Leslie Gore or Johnny Mathis. I love the Gore version. It moves me to tears inside.

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