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TV picks of the week

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The good folk at TV Guide have scoured the television schedule to cherry-pick the best free-to-air viewing of the week. There's fluff, there's fun, there's information and entertainment. Enjoy, and add your own recommendations in the comments section.

MONDAY, DECEMBER 3

World's Strictest Parents- United States

TV1, 2pm  

What do you do when your teenage children are driving you crazy? Confiscate their mobile phones? Ban them from facebook? Give them boring chores do to around the house? In the case of rebellious teens Ricky and Katie, it means being sent to live with a deeply religious Tennessee family where dad Steve is a pastor at the local church and mum Angie keeps the kids on a tight leash. How will Ricky and Katie cope in their new environment and will the experience change them for the better?

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 4

Gordon Ramsay Christmas Cookalong

Prime, 8.30pm

It wouldn't be Christmas without celebrity foodies showing us how to whip up a festive feast for our families. For this particular culinary offering, shouty chef and father of four Gordon Ramsay opens the door to his Battersea home where he creates dishes like smoked salmon parcels and potatoes roasted in goose fat for a Christmas dinner. Along with cooking tips there will be some special guests including former Baywatch star David Hasselhoff. You can't help but wonder what on earth these two men will talk about.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 5

Is Modern Medicine Killing You?

TV1, 7.30pm

In this local documentary series, Dr Frances Pitsilis tries to rid people of their health problems by looking for cures that don't necessarily involve conventional medicine. Maybe it's about changing someone's diet or lifestyle. Or perhaps it involves seeing a specialist or taking a particular health supplement. While conventional medicine has its place, it's refreshing to see people trying alternatives when it comes to getting healthy. Tonight, Dr Frances meets a new mum with risky weight issues.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 6

Mrs Brown's Boys

TV1, 9.30pm  

Bossy foul-mouthed Irish mammy Agnes Brown is determined to go all out for the festive season in this special Christmas episode of the hit comedy when she tries to impress her son Dermot and his new bride, Maria. If you haven't watched the show before, give it a go. And if any first-time viewers are wondering why Mrs Brown looks decidedly masculine despite the lipstick, frock and cardigan, it's because she's actually played by male actor Brendan O'Carroll, the show's creator.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7

The Bachelor

TV2, 10.35pm

How does the modern woman meet a man these days?  Forget about the internet and speed dating. Reality TV is where it's at for the 25 single females who are introduced to 29 year old handsome winemaker Ben Flajnik in the opening episode of the latest series of The Bachelor. Who will win Ben's affections? And who will leave the show with a broken heart? Whatever the outcome, it's fair to say there will be tears, controversy and plenty of dramatic music along the way. After all, this is a competition made for television.

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SATURDAY, DECEMBER 8

On The Grill

TV3, 7pm

British-born Australasian-based chef Sean Connolly heads to Dargaville where he cooks beef cheek and oyster casserole in the final of this local culinary series. Back at his award-winning inner-city Auckland restaurant he creates an impressive beef feast for some special guests. While vegetarians might not find much to be inspired about, meat-lovers can pick up some handy tips and tricks for the kitchen.   

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 9

Christmas In The Park

TV3, 7pm

Get ready for plenty of singing and dancing in this annual family-friendly outdoor concert show. Hosted by 3 News anchor Mike McRoberts and Target's Carly Flynn, the programme features performances from Australian Idol winner Guy Sebastian and local boy band Titanium. Look out for a special appearance from a certain white-bearded red-suited old man.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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