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A select viewing guide for Friday, June 15
HISTORY: Canadian Made (History, 8 p.m.) Let’s hear it for Canadian ingenuity. Narrated by Canadian comedian and playwright Rick Miller, this new series employs animation, archive footage and dramatic reenactments to honour three homegrown inventions in each episode. Tonight’s first show pays homage to the Canadian co-creator of Superman, the genius who created electronic music, and the creative team behind the board game Trivial Pursuit. The second episode salutes the inventor of the kayak, the engineers behind the Hibernia Platform and the makers of thw underwater tree harvester known as the Sawfish.
NEWS: Megastunts: Highwire Over Niagara Falls – Live! (ABC, CTV, 9 p.m.) It’s the TV event you’ve been waiting for all week: Professional tightrope walker Nik Wallenda will walk on a narrow wire above the roiling waters of Niagara Falls—and all for our personal amusement! The seventh-generation member of the circus troupe known as The Great Wallendas had to obtain special permission to perform the stunt, which has been banned for over a hundred years. For the record, Wallenda will be wearing a safety harness and the live coverage will be on a five-to-10 second delay, just in case. Break a leg, kid!
DOCUMENTARY: The Mystery of Mazo De La Roche (Bravo!, 10 p.m.) The buzz movie of the recent Hot Docs film festival, this documentary rewinds the life and times of Mazo de la Roche, the pride of Newmarket, Ontario. Best known for her 1927 breakout novel Jalna, which told the story of an affluent family dynasty in northern Ontario and was later turned into a CBC series. The mystery aspect of the film is that de la Roche lead an intensely private life with her lifelong companion Caroline Clement in what was then called a “Boston Marriage.” The film merges dramatic reenactments (the author is portrayed by actress Severn Thompson) with interviews with de la Roche’s adopted daughter and fellow authors Marie-Claire Blais and Susan Swan.
FASHION: Randy to the Rescue (TLC, 10 p.m.) Make way for the next great reality-TV star. Debuting tonight, this new series puts the spotlight on bridal guru Randy Fenoli, whose expertise for finding the right look for each bride is matched only by his fab-u-lous enthusiasm. The format features Randy running all over America to perform last-minute fashion rescue missions for despairing brides-to-be. In tonight’s opener, he rolls into Las Vegas to counsel the bride Janine on her negative body image issues. While there, he also helps out Molly, who wants a sexy sixties-style look, a la Mad Men, when she walks down the aisle. You go, girl!
MOVIE: On Golden Pond (Showcase, midnight) After a long and distinguished career, the late Henry Fonda finally won a Best Actor Oscar for his work in this fine 1981 drama. In his final feature-film role, Fonda pours heart and soul into his portrayal of Norman, a nasty old coot who spends each summer at the family cottage with wife Ethel (Katharine Hepburn). Norman’s crankiness moves up a notch with the reappearance of his estranged daughter Chelsea, fittingly played by Jane Fonda, who shows up with her young son Billy (Doug McKeon) and new fiancé Bill (Dabney Coleman). The intense exchanges between father and daughter feel painfully real.