Wednesday TV: Criminal Minds, Mad as Hell, Armada: 12 Days to Save England – The Sydney Morning Herald

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Bess Throckmorton (Phoebe Thomas) prepares Queen Elizabeth's wig in Armada: 12 Days to Save England.

Bess Throckmorton (Phoebe Thomas) prepares Queen Elizabeth’s wig in Armada: 12 Days to Save England. Photo: Mark Edger

CRIMINAL MINDS
★★★
8.45pm, Seven

I’m not convinced that any regular person can actually become a psychotic killer, given the right circumstances. But there’s no question that as Criminal Minds pretty much abandons the “evil serial killer” convention and begins to explore the idea of the monster lurking within us all, it becomes more and more interesting. Tonight’s a case in point, although to explain more would spoil in a major way. The addition of some vaguely psychedelic moments also cleverly add to the story’s underlying theme. 

SHAUN MICALLEF’S MAD AS HELL 
★★★½
8.30pm, ABC

How delightful to see it’s not just me totally lovin’ the return of Mad as Hell. Ratings-wise it may not be presenting much of a challenge to MasterChef but for such a bizarre piece of programming it’s drawing a very healthy audience, sitting just outside the Top 10 shows of the night. That surely has something to do with the fact that along with delivering some genuinely biting political commentary it packs a whole lot of LOL into a scant half hour. One of the must-see’s of the week. 

Shaun Micallef's Mad as Hell is drawing a very healthy audience.

Shaun Micallef’s Mad as Hell is drawing a very healthy audience. Photo: ABC

ARMADA: 12 DAYS TO SAVE ENGLAND
★★½
7.30pm, SBS

In contrast to Blood & Gold, screening on Friday night, which whisks almost too quickly through Britain’s defeat of the Spanish Armada, this three-part series takes far, far too long. It’s all in the title really. Three hour-long episodes to cover 12 days in history? You know you’re going to get a helluva lot of detail, and you do. From extended and poorly-acted re-enactments to assorted experts sailing yachts around the Isle of Wight this is crammed with stuff, most of it not very interesting. Buffs of military tactics will probably enjoy the painstaking explanation of every moment in the campaign but for those not clad in anoraks, it’s a bit of a yawn.

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