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The Melanie Morgan Band performs on Cover Me Canada (CBC)
The Melanie Morgan Band performs on Cover Me Canada (CBC)

John Doyle: Television

Afraid of aliens? I quake at cover acts Add to ...

Cover Me Canada

Sunday, CBC, 9 p.m.

Yours truly has not written much about CBC's Canadian-only performance show. Because yours truly views it as an abomination. Still, somebody is watching. Mostly from areas where contestants are based, I suppose. The finale is Sunday and the Melanie Morgan Band and Whosarmy face off to see who will win $100,000 and a recording contract for a song to be released by Universal Music Canada.

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By any standards, Cover Me Canada is tinpot TV. Host Nicole Appleton, she of the peculiar British accent and former membership in the girl group All Saints, is pleasant enough, but decidedly trying too hard to inject excitement into the show. The talent performing has varied from the plain awful to the mediocre. And, sorry, but vaguely countrified versions of generic rock songs is just tiresome. Maybe the finale will be very exciting. Maybe.

Dexter

Sunday, TMN/Movie Central, 10 p.m.

It's been a distinctly different season on Dexter. The villain duo (Colin Hanks and Edward James Olmos), known as the Doomsday Killers can't match the ferocity of the Trinity Killer from a previous season. And there's been much space given to Dexter's sister Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) and her promotion in the police force. That's fine, since Deb is such an incorrigible queen of swearing that she lightens the series. But there's not enough of Dexter and his doings. This week's episode is promised as special. Dexter leaves Florida for a trip to Nebraska. More intriguing, there is a suggestion that the Trinity Killer is alive and kicking, and killing again. Hallucinations of Dexter, perhaps? This is episode seven of a 13-episode season, which means that the series is cranking up the plot to surge toward an ending.

When Aliens Attack

Sunday, Discovery, 8 p.m.

Good timing. The other day, the White House issued a statement, “The U.S. government has no evidence that any life exists outside our planet, or that an extraterrestrial presence has contacted or engaged any member of the human race. In addition, there is no credible information to suggest that any evidence is being hidden from the public's eye.” Righto. Then along comes this special, in which “military strategists and scientists discuss fighting back in case of an attack.” Yes, indeedy. Some “top scientists” create a “scientifically plausible model of an alien invasion, addressing such questions as: What would the aliens be like? What kind of weapons would they use? How would alien wars unfold?” What we see are like giant tin cans zapping people.

Passionate Eye: Busting the Berlin Wall

Sunday, CBC NN, 10 p.m.

The program, a repeat, promises “daredevil escape stories,” and it delivers that and more – good, cogent commentary about what the Berlin Wall represented, psychologically as well as in physical reality. From the time it was constructed, we are told, a “death zone” was created around it in order to locate and shoot any potential escapees from the East to the West. The East German government called it “the anti-fascist protection border” but, at first, it simply presented a challenge to those who wanted to get out of East Berlin. We hear about three famous escape stories, including that of Klaus Koeppen, who tried to cross the border with his fiancée stowed under the hood of his car. Rudolph and Horst Muller and their families took control of a subway train to get to the West. Wolfgang Engels drove an army tank through the Wall, and the Strelzyk and Wetzel families flew over the border in a homemade hot-air balloon. How strange those times seem now.

Check local listings.

Follow on Twitter: @MisterJohnDoyle

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