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A select viewing guide for Thursday, Sept. 6
DRAMA: My Babysitter’s a Vampire (Teletoon, 7:30 p.m.) Bust out the garlic and Clearasil. Back tonight for a second season, this Canadian-made series is like a training program for more graphic shows like Vampire Diaries or True Blood. The setup revolves around your typical high-school dweeb Ethan (Matthew Knight), whose small hometown of Whitechapel is overrun with vampires, werewolves and other creatures of the night. Ethan harbours a secret crush on his babysitter/classmate Erica (Vanessa Morgan), who, as the second season opens, has graduated to full-fledged vampire status but is living on borrowed time since a mysterious green mist is floating around town and killing neck-biters. The real hero of the show: Ethan’s even nerdier best pal Benny (Atticus Mitchell).
DOCUMENTARY: Sibling Rivalry: Near, Dear and Dangerous (CBC, 9 p.m.) Blood may be thicker than water, but some family grudges last forever. This sharp documentary from Montreal filmmaker John Curtin explores the age-old matter of sibling rivalry, which is common in the animal kingdom (one in four spotted hyena pups is killed by a littermate) and has torn human families apart since the days of Cain and Abel. In brisk fashion the film recounts several case studies of warring siblings, including the infamous dispute between potato-magnate brothers Harrison and Wallace McCain and the bad blood between writers Peter and Christopher Hitchens. Even more astounding is the tiff between acting sisters Joan Fontaine and Olivia de Havilland, still maintaining a feud that began in 1942.
DRAMA: Rookie Blue (ABC, 9 p.m.; Global, 10 p.m.) Well, that was quick. A ratings hit on either side of the border, this filmed-in-Toronto crime drama wraps its third season tonight. In the closer, a violent pedophile escapes from custody and the cops of 15 Division are desperately trying to recapture him before he snatches another young victim. When the fashion-model officer Andy (Missy Peregrym) discovers the man has abducted a young girl, she is immediately faced with another intense standoff, the sort of which happens in every episode of the series. In other news, several of Andy’s fellow cops are faced with monumental life-altering decisions, which likely means some of them won’t be returning for the show’s inevitable fourth season.
REALITY: Flying Wild Alaska (Discovery, 10 p.m.) Welcome to beautiful Northern Alaska, where the few isolated communities depend on the area’s only regional airline for survival. Back tonight for a third season, this popular series from the U.S. Discovery Channel focuses on the Tweto family, who operate the small airline Era Alaska from the tiny town of Unalakleet. Each episode in the series updates events in the lives of husband-and-wife proprietors Jim and Ferno Tweto, but more screen time is devoted to their daughters Ariel and Ayla, who both work as pilots. Filmed last winter, tonight’s season opener finds the airline struggling to deal with the worst weather in decades, which naturally doesn’t stop Aerial from joining in the air search for a missing friend.
MOVIE: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Vision, midnight) Based on a true story, this 2007 French film was directed by Julian Schnabel. The story recounts the life and times of Jean-Dominique Bauby (Mathieu Amalric), who suffered a massive stroke at 43 that left him with a rare medical condition known as locked-in syndrome. Paralyzed from the neck down and with only one eye working, Bauby learns how to communicate by blinking his left eyelid to designate specific letters of the alphabet. Incredibly, Bauby is not only able to reestablish contact with the world outside his “diving bell” existence, but even manages to write his memoir. Veteran character player Max von Sydow plays Bauby’s distraught father.