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A select viewing guide for Friday, Oct. 5
REALITY: Deadliest Warrior (Spike TV, 9 a.m. to midnight) How would warriors from different eras fare against each other in heated battle? Currently in its third season, this series brings every young adolescent male’s violent fantasies to life. The format: Two warriors from throughout history are chosen and the fighting skills of both is analyzed by a team of experts. Then comes the main event as the two fighters slug it out to a bloody finish, courtesy of cutting-edge computer graphics. Today’s 15-hour viewing marathon leads off with a clash between the fearsome Apache and the classic Roman gladiator. No wagering, please.
DOCUMENTARY: Hollywood Goes to Washington (TCM, 8 p.m. ET; 5 p.m. PT) The moviemaking business is no stranger to the democratic process. This new documentary rewinds Hollywood’s long-standing relationship with politics and includes interviews with more than a dozen cinema notables including directors Oliver Stone (JFK, Nixon, W) and Rob Reiner (The American President), actors James Cromwell (The Queen) and Illeana Douglas (To Die For) and political consultant James Carville. Naturally, there are clips from politically-themed films like All the King’s Men, The Last Hurrah and All the President’s Men. The program is followed, fittingly enough, by Frank Capra’s seminal 1939 film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.
REALITY: Oddities (Discovery, 9 p.m.) For those viewers looking to try something a little different on Friday night, this series from the U.S. Discovery Channel is remarkable. The show follows the daily routine at Obscura Antiques and Oddities in New York’s trendy East Village neighbourhood. The shop has a reputation for stocking strange curios and artifacts, and there’s no shortage of customers buying and selling truly bizarre items. Tonight, for example, owners Mike and Evan consider the value of a mechanical begging baboon and a cauldron that was allegedly used in black-magic rituals. It’s a living.
COMEDY: Just for Laughs: A Tribute to Nerds (Comedy Network, 10 p.m.) Nerds of the world unite. Buoyed by the success of The Big Bang Theory and real-life tech heroes like Mark Zuckerberg, these are good times for brainy types who used to get stuffed into lockers in high school. Taped at last year’s Just for Laughs festival in Montreal, this comedy special showcases some of the funniest comics to ever wear a pocket protector. Hosted by Big Bang’s Kunal Nayyar and Simon Helberg, aka Raj and Wolowitz, the program features standup turns from the likes of Brian Posehn, Chris Hardwick and Mark Little from the departed series Picnicface. Luckily, the crowd is laughing with them, not at them.
MOVIE: Get Him to the Greek (MuchMusic, 9 p.m.) The old buddy-comedy formula sure has changed since the days of Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. This 2010 feature teams Russell Brand and Jonah Hill to grand comedic effect. Foppish Brand is perfectly cast as the faded rock star Aldous Snow (previously seen in the 2008 film Forgetting Sarah Marshall), who falls off – way, way off – the wagon when his latest album tanks and his pop-star wife leaves him. Wide-eyed Hill plays the bumbling record-company employee Aaron, who is assigned the unenviable task of transporting Aldous from London to Los Angeles for an important concert at the Greek Theatre. Along the way there is much drinking, copious drug use, weird sex and other extravagances befitting the rock-star lifestyle. Rap icon Sean Combs acquits himself nicely as Hill’s bombastic boss.