During the 1980s, Los Angeles was all about sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll as the city embraced debauchery with open arms and revelled in its seediness. But there was an even darker side: LA was also the murder capital of the United States. Devils lurked in the shadows in the City of Angels, which, of course, makes the decade of decadence the perfect setting for a twisted crime drama about a sexy serial killer.
Created as an anthology series, Wicked City (Fox Crime, Thursday at 10pm) is set on the infamous Sunset Strip and, with its cocktail of wannabe rock stars, dirty cops and charismatic sociopaths, the show grandly promises to "push network TV boundaries" with hard-hitting tales of cocaine, kinky sex and violence.
Ed Westwick (Gossip Girl) plays Kent, a suave Beverly Hills hunk who dedicates a song on the radio to each of his victims, just before he murders them. After the kill, he has his naughty necro way with them, which must be where the "boundary pushing" comes in. As he prepares for his next jolly, our smooth criminal bonds with his intended victim, Betty (Erika Christensen, above left with Westwick), over their mutual dark impulses, and they form a Bonnie and Clyde-esque serial-killing partnership. All the while Kent is pursued by crooked homicide detective Jack Roth (Jeremy Sisto; Suburgatory).
Borrowing bits from Dexter and The Fall (and reigniting a strange longing for Miami Vice), Wicked City is aimed at the True Detective market, but without any Hollywood big boys to carry it, the show will have to resort to glamorising an era of hedonistic excess with a messy splurge of bodily fluids. Whether or not you take to Wicked City may depend on whether you have the stomach for it.
Now, you may not invite this murderous tag team round for a cuppa, but I'd rather take my chances with them than come face to face with two tonnes of angry hippo. Charged with coaxing Pinky out of her lake and into a travel crate, the handlers featured in Penguins on a Plane (Animal Planet, tomorrow at 9pm) must shift the wilful hippo armed with nothing more than a bucketful of cabbages.
The two-part BBC documentary takes an in-depth look at the logistical nightmares involved in moving some of the world's most exotic and dangerous cargo. Sadly, there's no Samuel L. Jackson wrestling a group of rockhoppers, but we do get to follow a flock of gentoo penguins as they prepare for their move from New Zealand to London. We do not actually witness Rocky being strapped into his little penguin seatbelt, but there are plenty of other stars of the show.
Boris, the six-foot bowmouth guitarfish dubbed "a strapping lad" by his handler, is taking a trip to Blackpool, northern England, to mate, but upon seeing his new lady friend (another Betty) he loses his mojo and sulks at the bottom of the tank like a spoilt child. This shark-ray mix, it seems, needs a few lessons in romance; perhaps a bunch of grapes and a bottle of Blue Nun next time, Boris. Also on the move are three juvenile saltwater crocodiles, making their way across the English Channel from France to their new home in Oxfordshire. But have you ever tried getting a group of excitable teenagers ready to leave the house? It's no easy task, especially when these snappy adolescents would quite happily snack on one or two of your limbs ahead of their overseas sojourn.
In short, if you have ever wondered how you'd go about taking 8 million bees on holiday, then this is probably the show for you.