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A select viewing guide for Friday December 7
REALITY Kitchen Nightmares (Fox, Global, 8 p.m.) Loud, angry and a little scary-looking, Gordon Ramsay certainly has a lot of shows on American television these days. This one’s about helping stupid Americans with failing restaurants and tonight the bullish Brit chef barrels into a beachside Massachusetts eatery with the classy name of Barefoot Bob’s. After eight years the joint is losing money and married proprietors Marc and Lisa only seem to have just realized that not a lot of people in Massachusetts go to the beach in the winter. After the couple expose several deep-seeded marital problems, Chef Ramsay inspects the kitchen and discovers dusty shelves and clam chowder thicker than spackle. Ramsay’s standard pitched fit ensues, followed by a Barefoot Bob’s business rebound and a sound life-lesson for us all.
DRAMA CSI: NY (CBS, CTV, 9 p.m.) Finally, Gary Sinise can get a good night’s sleep. At 57, the owly-eyed actor remains the big Hollywood name (you remember Lieutenant Dan in Forrest Gump, right?) attached to this solid crime drama that takes a break following tonight’s new episode for a “fall season hiatus,” which in network-speak translates into: “Why waste fresh episodes of a popular show in December?” In tonight’s sendoff, Sinise’s dogged forensics-cop Mac Taylor wheels his lab monkeys to the scene of an underground Big Apple nightclub designed to resemble a twenties-era speakeasy, whose owner has been robbed and murdered. Watch Big Mac make a beeline for the flappers.
DRAMA Blue Bloods (CBS, CTV, 10 p.m.) The second half of CBS’s two-hour easy-viewing crime drama block, this show also takes a break after tonight in order to shoot new episodes and perform the annual scheduled maintenance on Tom Selleck’s moustache. On this show, the big guy’s ‘stache is practically its own character in his stentorian portrayal of New York police commissioner Frank Reagan, whose extended cop family is always causing him grief. Tonight, his cocky detective son Danny (Donnie Wahlberg, The Other Walberg) has to find the shooter of a high-profile shooting. At the same time, Frank’s retired cop pop Henry, played by Winnipeg-born stage veteran Len Cariou, just got mugged at the ATM and Frank’s hot-headed uniform cop youngest son Jamie (Will Estes) is hellbent to find the mugger. All will be made well by Magnum.
MUSIC Bieber: Home for the Holidays (MuchMusic, 11 p.m.) Lull yourself into sweet dreams of sugarplum fairies and Justin Bieber tonight. Taped in Toronto around this time last year, this concert special finds Canada’s mega-pop export in fittingly festive form. In lieu of one-strap coveralls, Bieber goes formal with a red-and-black lumberjack shirt and baggy jeans. And can this kid work the crowd? Then 17, Bieber works his cutesy-coy thing shamelessly with the crowd comprised of red-faced, trembling 12– and 13-year-old girls. He plays the guitar, sings some carols and brings his baby sister Jazzy onstage, at which point the cute-o-meter needle flies right off the dial. The Biebs knows how to jingle those bells.
MOVIE Ninotchka (TCM, 10 p.m. ET; 7 p.m. PT) Back in 1939, there was no bigger box-office in the world than Greta Garbo. Banking on a sure thing, the Hollywood MGM studio reached out to the luminous Swedish actress, at the time already a big star in Europe, to star in this broad farce set in turn-of-the-century Paris. Garbo is a marvel to watch as the icy Russian envoy Ninotchka, sent to Paris to collect three idiot Russians sent there before to sell some royal jewels for cash. Ninotchka defines love as a “chemical reaction,” but her resolve breaks after she gets drunk and goes shopping and is pitched woo by the handsome count Leon (Melvyn Douglas). Watch for Bela Lugosi himself as a Russian politician.