Today's pick: Real Women

Real Women (9.30pm BBC1) Real women, alright, but whether this is real life or not is wide open to question. The casting director starts the rot by sacrificing social verisimilitude for big name action - and it's hard to swallow the supposition that Pauline Quirke, Frances Barber, Michelle Collins, Gwyneth Strong and Lesley Manville could ever have been at the same school together, let alone friends. Adapted by Susan Oudot from her own novel, her three-part drama begins with the quintet catching up with each other at Collins's hen night. Quirke is having some extra- marital how's-your-father, Strong is trying hard for children, Barber has sacrificed relationships for a media career, Manville is a closet lesbian, Collins is being blackmailed by a pornographer - and there's another whole foam bath of issues still waiting in the wings.

Horizon (9.30pm BBC2) Jonathan Miller explores a century of anthropology by retracing the first such expedition ever undertaken - to the Torres Strait Islands in the Pacific in 1898. This particular Victorian jaunt lay down the ground rules for anthropology; its aims, ethos and ground rules. But is it a "science" at all, especially when the observer has such an instant and profound effect on the observed?

THe film

Five Easy Pieces (11.50pm BBC1) Bob Rafelson's 1970 classic is centred on Jack Nicholson's most complex performance to date. He plays the scion of a musical upper middle-class family who runs away from his fate as a classical pianist to work in the oilfields of Texas. The film follows Nicholson from his adopted existence as a beer-guzzling blue collar worker back to his roots after he learns that his father has had a stroke - taking Karen Black's dimwit waitress girlfriend back to shock the old folks.

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