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A select viewing guide for Friday, February 1
REALITY Undercover Boss (CBS, CTV Two, 8 p.m.) Hands down the sneakiest show on American television, this series wraps its fourth season tonight was a standout episode. In the sendoff outing, Sara Bittorf, chief brand officer of the American food chain Boston Market, goes undercover at a franchise location where she learns how to carve roasted chickens and work the drive-through window. Along the way, Bittorf has to make the tough decision to terminate an employee after he makes unkind comments about a customer.
NEWS the fifth estate (CBC, 9 p.m.) The recent film Zero Dark Thirty has earned rave reviews and multiple Oscar nominations for its depiction of the decade-long effort by the American government to find 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden–now it’s time to separate fact from fiction. Host Bob McKeown provides a brisk reality check on the movie by means of exclusive interviews with U.S. intelligence agents and senior military officers. Among the hard questions poised: Did a beautiful CIA agent (played by Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain in the movie) lead the hunt for bin Laden? And what role did torture play in discovering bin Laden’s location?
DRAMA Do No Harm (Space, 9 p.m.) More than a century after the publication of Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, TV scriptwriters are still mining his good-versus-evil parable for entertainment purposes. Launched earlier this week on NBC and CTV, this series stars former Rescue Me regular Stephen Pasquale as Dr. Jason Cole, a world-renowned neurosurgeon and all-around nice guy. But every night, at precisely 8:25 p.m., Dr. Cole is transformed into a wicked bad boy named Ian, who is more inclined towards cocaine and hookers than practicing medicine. In tonight’s opener, the good doctor discovers that the serum he developed to control his nasty alter ego is no longer effective. Not scary, but still kind of fun.
DRAMA Blue Bloods (CBS, CTV, 10 p.m.) Still pulling in respectable Friday-night ratings, this crime drama benefits greatly from location shooting in New York City (unlike, say, NYPD Blue, which filmed primarily on a Hollywood soundstage for 12 seasons). In tonight’s new episode, hard-boiled detective Danny Reagan (Donnie Wahlberg) works a murder case in which the victim was covered in rat bites and thrown from a moving car. Meanwhile, Danny’s police-commissioner father Frank (Tom Selleck) struggles to remain diplomatic when dealing with a bigoted radio host with a huge listening audience. Yes, New Yorkers still listen to the radio.
MOVIE Garden State (Vision, midnight) The world was Zach Braff’s oyster when this movie was released to theatres in 2004. Best known for his six-season run on the sitcom Scrubs, Braff wrote and directed the offbeat comedy and took on the lead role of Andrew, a twentysomething slacker who returns to his hometown in New Jersey to attend his mother’s funeral. While trying to wean himself off power antidepressants, Andrew reunites with old friends and lost loves and somehow meets a potential soul mate in the winsome Sam (Natalie Portman), even though she’s a pathological liar. The fine British actor Ian Holm delivers a typically chilly performance as Andrew’s psychiatrist father.