THE REPUBLIC OF SARAH
HAVE you ever watched a TV show with a brilliant lead character and support cast, only to be hampered by a ludicrous over-arching premise?
If not, The Republic Of Sarah is a prime example.
Lead character Sarah Cooper is played by Australian actress, Stella Baker, the 27-year-old daughter of The Mentalist star Simon Baker. Sarah is a hip high-school history teacher who wears leather jackets and Nirvana T-shirts and enjoys a sweaty mosh pit on a work night, despite living in the sleepy New Hampshire town of Greylock near the US and Canadian border.
Greylock's tranquility is thrown into disarray when a mining company, represented by Sarah's estranged brother Danny, arrives in town ready to start bulldozing homes. This leads to Sarah adopting her best Erin Brockovich impersonation to thwart the mining company.
This is where The Republic Of Sarah starts suspending belief. Sarah decides the best way to save the town is to take advantage of a historical loophole and hold a referendum to declare Greylock is its own separate country.
The Republic Of Sarah doesn't get bogged down in the political and legal technicalities. Anyone who can remember the 1999 Australian republic referendum knows these things are more complicated than a 40-minute episode.
If you can overlook the crazy pace of The Republic Of Sarah, there's plenty to enjoy, especially Baker. She's a definite star to watch.
SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE
HOW do you inject new energy, or venom, into a tired old superhero franchise? Kill off the hero.
It was a shock move that created disappointing results for Superman and Batman, but in Oscar-winning animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse it delivers the intended result.
Miles Morales is a New York City teenager struggling to live up to the expectations of his police officer father, who hates Spider-Man.
After being bitten by a radioactive spider while doing graffiti in the sewer, Morales develops Spider-Man's powers and later witnesses the masked hero's death at the hands of Kingpin.
Despite being PG, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is an edgy film, with a mix of computer animation and traditional comic book graphics.
The hip-hop soundtrack featuring Post Malone, Cardi B and The Notorious B.I.G also ensures a grittier feel than your typical superhero cartoon.
THE hapless NSW Waratahs didn't do Stan Sport any favours, collapsing to 13 straight defeats - the worst season in the history of professional rugby in Australia.
Nothing stinks up viewer interest like losing. As Australian rugby's only franchise in its biggest TV market, it was a dismal season for Nine to launch its new Stan Sport streaming service.
Nine honchos will be relieved the undisputed cream of tennis tournaments begins on Monday with Wimbledon. While Nine and Gem will broadcast matches, Stan Sport will deliver every shot of the tournament for die-hard tennis fans.
Novak Djokovic, after winning his 19th Grand Slam at the French Open last week, will begin as the men's favourite against Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, while Australian women's No.1 Ash Barty should enjoy the return to All England after two years.