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A select viewing guide for Tuesday, Aug. 21
REALITY: William Shatner’s Weird or What? (History, 7 p.m.) In the immortal words of Mr. Spock, William Shatner is the logical choice to host this offbeat series. At 81, the Montreal native and former Star Trek front man wrings out the last days of his quasi-cool cachet in a breezy format that attempts to affix scientific fact to seemingly inexplicable National Enquirer-type phenomena. Watch the old pro sell the goods in tonight’s third-season outing as he proffers three stories rumoured to be true. Did a woman and her son truly encounter the fabled Jersey devil? Is it possible a massive reptile ran amok in a South Carolina town? Was a werewolf really roaming the hills in Wisconsin? Only Captain Kirk knows the truth.
COMEDY: Best Friends Forever (CTV, 8:30 p.m.) The strangest things resurface in the slow summer season. Launched last spring, this promising sitcom lasted four episodes before NBC unceremoniously pulled the plug. In case you missed it, the premise casts the talented Jessica St. Clair (best known for her role in Bridesmaids) as Jessica, a young woman starting all over again. When Jessica receives divorce papers from her stuffy husband, her best pal Lennon (Lennon Parham – all the women in this show use their real names) convinces her to return to Brooklyn and move back into the apartment they used to share back in their 20s. Pretty soon they’re haunting the bar scene and having a grand old time, much to the displeasure of Lennon’s live-in boyfriend Joe (Luka Jones). In tonight’s episode, Jessica and Lennon help Joe launch his video game at a gaming convention in Atlantic City.
REALITY: Face Off (Space, 9 p.m.) Eventually, every vocation on the planet will be turned into a reality-TV competition. Back tonight for a third season, this series from the U.S. cable channel SyFy features a dozen amateur special-effects artists competing to determine which one has the skills to work in the big leagues of film and television. As per every reality show on TV today, the hopefuls compete in elaborate weekly challenges and are bumped off one at a time. Naturally, much seriousness is attached to the adjudication process (the judges are all special-effects experts and makeup artists) and the last contestant standing collects a cool $100,000 (U.S.). The new season begins with the contestants tasked to create original aliens for the classic Star Wars cantina scene and features a guest appearance by Sean Astin of Lord of the Rings renown.
REALITY: What Not to Wear (TLC, 10 p.m.) Still one of TLC’s most-watched programs, WNTW wraps up its ninth and most successful campaign tonight. Even after relocating from Friday to Tuesday night, the show has retained its loyal viewing audience. The program’s drawing power remains the fashion rescue missions performed by the lovable Stacy London and Clinton Kelly, who still prefer the kinder and gentler approach to re-educating the style-impaired. In tonight’s finale, they meet a young lady named Rebecca, whose over-the-top style has already cost her one job. Once again, the makeover begins by dumping the subject’s current wardrobe into a recycling bin.
MOVIE: The Ugly Truth (Slice, 9 and 11 p.m.) Remember Katherine Heigl? The former Grey’s Anatomy regular delivers a solid big-screen turn in this breezy romantic comedy that came and went from theatres in the blink of an eye back in the summer of 2009. Heigl plays the beautiful but single Abby, the driven producer of a struggling morning TV show. To boost ratings, the station hires a cable TV personality named Mike, played by Gerard Butler, to host a segment delivering relationship advice from the male viewpoint. Of course he’s a boor and of course the segment is a hit, much to Abby’s chagrin. Their relationship takes a weird turn when Mike is tasked with finding Abby the perfect partner. Do opposites attract? Only in the movies!