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A select viewing guide for Tuesday, March 19
REALITY World’s Worst Tenants (Spike, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.) Who you gonna call when horrible tenants are wrecking your property? Launched last summer, this popular series documents the workaday routine of “professional evictor” Todd Howard, an ex-Marine who specializes in removing destructive tenants from residential and commercial locations. Howard’s team includes his wife Randye and his equally imposing business partner Rick and the unholy trio appear to derive immense personal pleasure in their work. In the first show of tonight’s mini-marathon, Todd goes undercover as a burly biker-type–what a stretch–to protect a property owner from his criminal tenant; in the closing show, the team gets tough to evict a deadbeat tenant from a sleazy Hollywood motel.
REALITY Splash (NBC, 8 p.m.) You can tell the Ides of March have arrived when formerly famous people start putting on Speedos. Despite glaring similarities to Fox’s Stars in Danger: The High Dive, which aired in January, this series is allegedly derived from a Dutch TV concept and features ten celebrity contestants training with Olympian diving champion Greg Louganis for their own big plunge off the high board. Included in the group: ex-NBA star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Baywatch star Nicole Eggert, onetime Cosby kid Keshia Knight Pulliam, former Playboy Playmate Kendra Wilkinson and comedian Louie Anderson, who will not be wearing a Speedo. As per the standard Survivor reality-TV template, one contestant will be sent home each week and the last diver standing, or diving, will have wonderful stories to tell their grandkids. Just dumb enough to be a hit!
COMEDY New Girl (Fox, Citytv, 9 p.m.) Last season’s breakout sleeper sitcom hit, this comedy vehicle for Zooey Deschanel has injected new life into the Tuesday-night primetime lineup. As in her big-screen turns in Elf and (500) Days of Summer, Deschanel is both adorable and hilarious as Jess, a free-spirited schoolteacher who dumps her no-good boyfriend and moves in with three likeable lads, namely, Schmidt (Max Greenfield), Nick (Jake Johnson) and Winston (Lamorne Morris). The current sophomore season finds our heroine struggling with her romantic feelings for Nick–all of which come out in a rush in tonight’s new episode when she becomes all hopped up on pain medication. In other news, Schmidt becomes obsessed with buying a tropical fish.
DRAMA Golden Boy (CBS, CTV, 10 p.m.) Launched a few weeks ago, this sharp rookie crime drama is currently drawing weak U.S. ratings, which does not bode well for a second-season renewal. The premise involves the rakish young cop Walter Clark Jr. (Theo James) whose on-the-job heroics have pushed him to the rank of homicide detective while still in his twenties. Mentoring Clark on his rise to the top is the police veteran Don Owen (Chi McBride). In tonight’s new outing, Owen looks into the murder of his best criminal informant’s brother while Clark has to decide whether or not to let his recently sober mother Nora (Polly Draper) back into his life. Best to enjoy this show while it’s still here.
MOVIE The Sand Pebbles (AMC, 11 p.m.) Original tough-guy Steve McQueen starred in nearly 30 movies, but this 1966 war story earned him the only Oscar nomination of his career. Sadly, McQueen did not receive acting’s top honour that year (the winner was Paul Scofield for A Man For All Seasons), but he still delivers an intense screen portrayal as the navy machinist’s mate Jake, who is stationed aboard the USS San Pablo as it cruises the Yangtze River, circa 1926. While China teeters on the brink of social revolution, Jake bonds with his affable assistant Po Han (Mako) and enters into a star-crossed romance with the prim American missionary Shirley (Candice Bergen). At the same time, Jake’s shipmate French (Richard Attenborough) impregnates his Chinese girlfriend and then kidnaps her to prevent her from being sold into slavery.