A weekend in June is where we're at. Warmish weather, probably. Possibly soggy. Not that it matters if you're indoors, relieved that a week of work is over. What to do? Me, I'll be keeping track of pre-World Cup news. ("England squad arrive safely in South Africa" announced a British website on Friday. And a nervous nation breathed easier.) And then going to Vancouver for a couple of days. You, perhaps you're not reading up on the World Cup or, indeed, you are in the mood to read Tolstoy. Fair enough. There's loads to watch, including repeats of things you probably missed; and new material. Elijah (Saturday, CTV, 9 p.m.) is a gem. A black comedy with animation and moments of demented satire, it's an unconventional biopic of Elijah Harper (played by Billy Merasty), the Manitoba NDP MLA who took a stand when his legislature was asked to pass the Meech Lake Accord. The main menu this weekend consists of a medical story, a hockey classic and an awards show.
W5, Sunday, noon, CTV
In this special edition, CTV medical reporter Avis Favaro gives an update on a controversial approach to multiple sclerosis called the "liberation treatment." In a much-watched program last year, W5 revealed details of work by Dr. Paolo Zamboni, an Italian vascular surgeon, into what causes MS and a new way to treat the symptoms, possibly bringing relief for millions. It was a story with a very personal and novel background. That original story airs first. Then it's followed by the update, called The Liberation War, in which Favaro examines the storm of controversy in the medical community regarding the treatment. Many say that recognizing the treatment goes against the principles of science, rigorous testing and careful evaluation of results. Meanwhile, the report finds that many desperate MS patients are forgoing the usual routes and demanding the new treatment from other sources. It is also revealed that a similar treatment for MS was proposed several decades ago, but was rejected by MS experts of the time.
Canada Russia '72, Saturday, 8 p.m., CBC
When it first aired, this miniseries was a wonderful surprise. After years of talk, someone in the Canadian TV racket had made a very good TV miniseries about the Canada/Russia hockey series of 1972. The sprawling story and iconic figures are here, and everything is dramatized plausibly and with gusto. (The person responsible was Barrie Dunn, a writer and producer with Trailer Park Boys.) What we get is the epic tale of eight hockey games turned into a fine four-hour drama over two nights. No, not everything here is literally true, but the essence is. It's about the players, the behind-the-scenes tensions, and culture of the time. Made in a vérité style and cleverly blending archival footage with dramatizations, it's original, smart and, given that everybody knows the outcome, very tense. There's a great performance from Judah Katz as Alan Eagleson - sly, scheming, abrupt, funny and full of himself. His bluster embodies the arrogance with which Canada entered the series. Throughout, the Ken Dryden character (Gabriel Hogan) acts as a sort of internal commentator, talking into a tape recorder as he tries to assemble his thoughts on what's happening around him.
MTV Movie Awards, Sunday, 9 p.m., MTV Canada
The other day I was in New York and billboards for this event were everywhere. Little wonder. This is the anti-Oscars, a crazy shindig that relies on wit and weirdness to honour the movie racket. The host is Aziz Ansari (from Parks and Recreation) and that in itself is a sign of how hip the show is now. The guy's hilarious. You can also expect a heavy presence of the outrageous Jersey Shore cast. (The show returns to MTV in July.) Confirmed as presenters are Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Sean Combs and Russell Brand. Christina Aguilera sings a new number. There are sneak peeks at blockbuster summer movies. Everybody is giddy, some are rude and it's all very adolescent. Some two dozen or so statuettes are handed out to mostly younger nominees in crazy categories - best kiss, fight, badass star. It's the Oscars for kids, a total frolic and never solemn. Last year, Sacha Baron Cohen, promoting Brüno, descended from the rafters and gave a surprised Eminem a good view of his intimate parts.
Check local listings.