Maroons player Josh Papalii during the State of Origin II at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
Maroons player Josh Papalii during the State of Origin II at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. DAVE HUNT

What's on the small screen this week

AFTER finalising their teams this week, the New South Wales and Queensland NRL sides are gearing up for Wednesday night's game two clash.

The match, to be televised from Sydney's ANZ Stadium will have many Aussies' Wednesday night viewing sorted.

NRL chief commercial officer Andrew Abdo said there had been a spike in game two tickets sold since the Blues' game one victory and said Wednesday night was shaping up as one of "the most highly anticipated interstate games in recent memory”.

For those who aren't so keen on footy and want something with a bit of substance, check out Australian Story and Insight this week, both interesting options.

Here are this week's highlights of the small screen and why you should tune in:

Sunday, June 18: MasterChef, Ten, 7.30pm

Heston Blumenthal joins George Calombaris, Gary Mehigan and Matt Preston on MasterChef.
Heston Blumenthal joins George Calombaris, Gary Mehigan and Matt Preston on MasterChef. Channel 10

HESTON Blumenthal returns to MasterChef Australia to take the top 12 contestants on a road trip through regional Victoria, from Mildura to Mornington to cook with fresh, local produce.

The first stop is the mighty Murray River in Swan Hill, where the judges are waiting on the river bank. They reveal every challenge this week will be based on one of the four elements: earth, air, fire and water.

Contestants will find themselves cooking in a mystery box challenge set by Blumenthal and an invention test inspired by water. Two contestants with the least impressive dishes will cook off in an elimination challenge later in the week.

Why you should watch: The mystery box challenge is one of the most entertaining parts of MasterChef as contestants scramble to come up with a dish based on the ingredients they've been provided. Combine that with the mastery of Blumenthal and the curly options he's likely to throw their way and you could be in for an entertaining night on the couch.

Monday, June 19: Australian Story: Sins of the Father, ABC, 8pm

Vincent Shin says his experiences help give children a voice to share their own stories and concerns.
Vincent Shin says his experiences help give children a voice to share their own stories and concerns. Mark Farnell/Australian Story

AT 31, Vincent Shin is Australia's first dedicated in-school lawyer, providing students at The Grange P-12 College with advice on everything from fines for fare evasion to the legalities of sexting and how to deal with domestic violence.

Those behind the pioneering scheme were looking for someone who could relate to some of the challenges faced by the school's 1700 students, who come mainly from low socio-economic backgrounds. In Vincent they found what they were looking for. An amateur boxer and motorcycle enthusiast, his childhood and adolescence were blighted by family violence. He mixed with the wrong crowd and failed Year 12. He has not travelled an easy path to get to where he is today.

Why you should watch: Vincent will reveal a recently discovered family secret about his father. His story will no doubt have viewers thinking about the harsh realities many young people are facing, and appreciate the odds Vincent's faced to rise above them.

Tuesday, June 20: Insight, SBS, 8.30pm

Insight's Jenny Brockie.
Insight's Jenny Brockie. SBS

THIS week the panel will look at why the rates of mental illness are so high for junior doctors and nurses.

Among those in the audience will be junior doctor, Karla, one of many who have found the stress of the job has taken a mental and physical toll.

"I was having some insomnia which I'd never had before and I started having what I later found out to be anxiety attacks,” she tells Insight's Jenny Brockie.

Mental health organisation Beyondblue surveyed more than 12,000 doctors in 2013 and found those in training were almost twice as likely to cite very high levels of psychological distress compared to senior doctors. Nurses have also been found to have high rates of mental distress.

Why you should watch: Talking about issues is often the first step in addressing them, and this episode will help generate discussion among doctors, nurses and other industry professionals to find out how we can take better care for those who take care of us.

Wednesday, June 21: State of Origin II, Nine, 7.30pm

Blake Ferguson of the NSW Blues  during Game 1 of the State of Origin series at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Wednesday,  May 31, 2017. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt) NO ARCHIVING
Blake Ferguson of the NSW Blues during Game 1 of the State of Origin series at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Wednesday, May 31, 2017. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt) NO ARCHIVING DAVE HUNT

WILL Queensland be able to keep the competition alive by beating New South Wales on their turf, or will the Blues be able to wrap up the series without needing to win game three?

Whatever the outcome, tensions will be high and everyone will have their own expert verdict on the game, no matter the outcome.

Why you should watch: Both Billy Slater and Johnathan Thurston will return to the field after injury so it will be interesting to see what form they are in. Kevin Walters controversially took the axe to the side from game one, and fans will also be keen to see if his changes have paid off.

Thursday, June 22: Secret Dates, Lifestyle You, 9.30pm

FOLLOW the adventures of an unsuspecting singleton as they unknowingly meet potential love matches chosen by their friends in this funny new dating show - uniquely designed for those who fall apart on dates.

Most people have a friend who's rubbish at dating - but what if they had no idea they were on a date? Over 10 days their friends sneakily manoeuvre them into meeting four people who want to date them, as hidden cameras secretly capture the encounters.

They'll think they're just going about their daily lives - so how will they react when they discover they've actually been on a dating show and, more importantly, who will they choose?

Why you should watch: I'm not quite so sure about how I would feel if I found out my friends had been conspiring against me and filming me on dates, but this show should offer some light-hearted entertainment that doesnt' involve too much brain power as we enter the downhill run to the weekend.

Friday, June 23: GLOW, Netflix

A still from new Netflix series, GLOW.
A still from new Netflix series, GLOW. Erica Parise/Netflix

NEW series GLOW is inspired by the real story of the 1980s female wrestling league, and is available to stream from Friday.

The series - set in Los Angeles and showcasing big hair and body slams - will be the fictionalised story of an out-of-work actress who finds one last attempt to live her dreams in the form of a weekly series about female wrestlers.

Jenji Kohan (Orange is the New Black) and Tara Herrmann (Orange is the New Black) are executive producers, and the series was co-created by Liz Flahive (Homeland) and Carly Mensch (Orange is the New Black), who will serve as showrunners.

Why you should watch: Who didn't love the 80s? I say bring on the blue eye shadow, spandex and perms. The half-hour comedy seems to have everything going for it.

Saturday, June 24: Identity Thief, 7flix, 8.30pm

Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy in a scene from the movie Identity Thief.
Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy in a scene from the movie Identity Thief. Bob Mahoney

A MILD-MANNERED businessman (Jason Bateman) travels to Florida to confront the deceptively harmless looking woman (Melissa McCarthy) who has stolen his identity and spent all of his money.

Why you should watch: This film probably won't be too mentally stimulating for you, but it's a good one to enjoy on the couch with the family after a big week.



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