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A select viewing guide for Friday, February 15
REALITY Four Weddings: Grooms Take Over (TLC, 8 p.m.) Now for something completely different. As most viewers know, each episode of Four Weddings focuses on four brides-to-be, who have never met before, agreeing to attend each other’s weddings. They grade each other’s big day in the categories of food, dress, venue and overall experience; the bride whose wedding earns the highest score is rewarded with a luxury honeymoon. But the rules are flipped in tonight’s special edition as four grooms take over! As might be expected, the four men are completely hopeless at the wedding planning. Auto mechanic Rick arranges a blinged-out bash; professional chef David plans a menu comprised entirely of comfort foods; new father John blows the budget on a DJ; and personal trainer Ryan plans a reception with a butterfly theme. Boys will be boys.
DRAMA CSI: NY (CTV, 8 p.m.; CBS, 9 p.m.) Even tough-guy police heroes need a little romance now and then. Tonight’s new episode of this gritty crime procedural takes place on Valentine’s Day and finds NYPD forensics hotshot Mac Taylor (Gary Sinise) trying to pitch a little woo to his new friend Christine (Megan Dodds). The hitch: Mac and his squad of lab monkeys are forced to investigate three separate incidents of true love gone horribly wrong. His solution? Coercing crooner Josh Groban, who plays himself, into performing one of his trademark ballads solely for his lady love. Because that’s how cops roll in the Big Apple, baby!
FANTASY Game of Thrones (Showcase, 10 p.m.) For those viewers too cheap to spring for premium cable, HBO’s epic fantasy series finally comes to regular television, albeit with commercials. And if you thought the Lord of the Rings trilogy was complicated, wait until you wade into this fanciful saga. Faithful to the novel series by George R.R. Martin, the series takes place in a fanciful universe known as the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros (which pretty much looks like medieval England) and the story begins with the good King Baratheon (Mark Addy) and his Queen (Lena Headey) traveling north to meet his old friend Ned (Sean Bean). Elsewhere, the exiled Prince Targaryen (Harry Lloyd) is attempting take over Baratheon’s throne by trading his sister Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) to the savage warlord Drogo (Jason Momoa) in exchange for his army. The relentlessly explicit HBO-style sex and violence might actually make you grateful for the commercial breaks.
DOCUMENTARY Make Me a Muslim (BBC World, 10:10 p.m.) The times, they really are a-changing. According to a recent U.K. study, a growing number of young white British women are converting to the Islamis faith. This smart documentary was assembled by Shanna Bukhari, a 26-year-old Muslim woman from Manchester, who attempts to discover why so many young woman are giving up the party lifestyle and fashion freedom to join a religion that many people associate closely with the global oppression of woman. Toward that end, Bukhari profiles five women as they convert to Islam. As might be expected, there are transition pains when adjusting to a religion that allows a husband to have up to four wives.
MOVIE Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (MuchMusic, 9:30 p.m.) Where have you gone, Vince Vaughn? Following his breakout role in the 1996 film Swingers, and several years as an improbable leading man, the lanky actor has been conspicuously absent from the big screen in recent memory (possibly in part because he married a Canadian realtor and is a new father). In this enjoyably lowbrow 2004 comedy, Vaughn is a perfect fit as the affable slacker Pete, who runs a grungy gym called Average Joe’s. Right across the street is his main competition – the gleaming fitness facility Globo Gym, owned and operated by the fanatically buff White Goodman, played by Ben Stiller. The inevitable showdown occurs when Pete’s gym is threatened by foreclosure and the only way to raise the money is to challenge White to a winner-take-all game of dodgeball, the vicious sport normally reserved for humiliating nerds in high-school gym class. Rip Torn lends support as the gruff coach who whips the underdogs into shape.