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A select viewing guide for Thursday, June 21
MUSIC: Justin Bieber: All Around the World (NBC, 8 p.m.) Did Justin Bieber survive his tumble? This two-part special closed on a cliffhanger last night with the pride of Stratford, Ontario, passing out midway through a concert in Paris and seemingly falling down a flight of stairs. Since the program was filmed months ago, and Bieber was in attendance at last weekend’s MuchMusic Video Awards in Toronto, we can safely assume he survived. Tonight’s instalment picks up with more footage of the Biebs performing his hits onstage before thousands of screaming teenage girls. For that personal touch, he provides backstage footage with his own video camera, a.k.a. the “Justin-Cam.” How adorable is that? If even half of Bieber’s 43-million Facebook fans tune in, this will be the week’s most-watched program.
DOCUMENTARY: Inside the Cirque (CBC, 9 p.m.) Anybody who’s ever been to a Cirque du Soleil performance knows that the secret to the show’s success is making the impossible look easy. Founded by Quebec City native and former fire-eater Guy Laliberté, Cirque has become a billion-dollar empire with more than 30 extravaganzas in active production around the world at any given time, including 11 permanent shows in Las Vegas. This film takes viewers behind the tent flaps of Cirque’s lavish Varekai show, which has been touring internationally for the past decade. There is fleeting insight into the lives of several performers, including a clown named Steven and an aerial performer named Leysan. The most interesting part is watching the brisk logistical efficiency in moving the Varekai production from Taipei to Seoul in wake of the Japanese tsunami.
REALITY: America’s Worst Tattoos (TLC, 7 p.m. PT; 10 p.m. ET) True love comes and goes, but a tattoo lasts forever. This new series profiles people who deeply regret the body ink they received weeks or even years before and are now determined to do something about it. Instead of painful laser-removal, most have opted for tattoo touch-up work, which is performed by tattoo artist Megan Massacre of the TLC series NY Ink. In most cases, it’s a rescue mission. In tonight’s first episode, a man with the words “See More” etched on his posterior submits to a tattoo transformation. In the second show, a woman whose ex-boyfriend gave her an X-rated tattoo does likewise.
REALITY: Snooki & JWoww (MTV, 7 p.m. PT; 10 p.m. ET) The wait is over. This Jersey Shore spinoff focusing on Snooki and JWoww (real names: Nicole Polizzi and Jennifer Farley) was supposed to be about two wild and crazy single girls living it up on the Jersey club scene. But then Snookie got pregnant and engaged, which sort of put a damper on the party-hard concept. As such, the show was filmed over a four-week period a few months ago and follows a stone-cold sober version of the pair performing mundane duties – looking for an apartment, shopping for clothes, learning to drive a standard transmission – which is probably not what Jersey Shore fans want to see Snooki and JWoww doing. The singular highlight of the advance clips is capturing the moment when Snooki tells her BFF that she’s going to have a baby. “The fact I can reproduce is very scary!” she says. No kidding.
MOVIE: Beach Blanket Bingo (TCM, 7 p.m. PT; 10 p.m. ET) What type of movies packed young people into theatres back in the Mad Men era? For most teens, it was a frothy beach movie, like this 1965 entry starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello, who pretty much starred in every beach movie of the sixties. The slim plotline finds Frankie, playing Frankie, ditching Dee-Dee (Funicello) for a skydiving pop star named, seriously, Sugar Kane (Linda Evans). Mostly the film is an excuse for Frankie and Annette to croon some lovelorn ballads in between scenes of kids twisting away on a California beach like there’s no tomorrow. Watch for bizarre cameos from Don Rickles, Paul Lynde and the late great Buster Keaton.