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The Globe and Mail

Seven Days of Television: December 2 to December 8

A select viewing guide to the next seven days of television

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MONDAY DECEMBER 2 Best Funeral Ever (TLC, 10 p.m.) Someday in the not-too-distant future, every vocation on the planet will be turned into a TLC reality show. This reality concept focusing on the daily work routine at the Golden Gate Funeral Home in Dallas was tested out as a special last spring and ratings were so impressive the network has now made it a weekly series. And as anyone might have guessed, the Golden Gate specializes in themed funerals, which naturally makes for creative reality television. In tonight’s opener, owner John Beckwith Jr. and his staff go all out to help a husband send off his bowling-crazy wife to the great beyond with a ten-pin wedding.

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TUESDAY DECEMBER 3 Shipping Wars (A&E, 10 p.m.) Back tonight for a fifth season, this popular reality series follows six independent shipping companies that specialize in shipping items most normal carriers won’t touch. Most of the screen time goes to the good ol’ boy shipper Roy Garber, who operates out of Contoocook, New Hampshire, and has transported everything from circus animals to slot machines. In tonight’s season opener, Roy gets stuck with a rotting load of produce that can’t be properly loaded. It’s a living.

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WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 4 Hawaii Life (HGTV, 9 p.m.) You don’t have to be super-rich to live in Hawaii, but it helps. Debuting tonight, this new show takes viewers inside Hawaii Life Realty, which exists to make island-living dreams true. The homes showcased on the series ranged from a $50,000 plot of land with a shack on it to a $50-million beachside mansion. Tonight’s opener focuses on a nice Hawaiian lady named Tiare, who is searching for a rambling plantation-style domicile in Maui for her and her two young kids. Next stop: paradise.

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THURSDAY DECEMBER 5 Gordon Ramsay’s Christmas Cookalong Special (Food Network, 9 p.m.) Gordon Ramsay may look and act like The Grinch, but he’s a big softy this time by year. In this instructional special, the mad chef shares his favourite holiday recipes and techniques with viewers. The menu includes turkey with pork, porcini and sage stuffing, clementine carrots with nutmeg and goose fat roast potatoes (calorie-counting goes out the window for Christmas at the Ramsay household). And not a single expletive is uttered during the cooking process.

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FRIDAY DECEMBER 6 Russell Peters Christmas (CTV, 10 p.m.) First broadcast in 2011, this bawdy holiday special features Canadian standup star Russell Peters recounting his stories of growing up in Brampton, Ontario, with frugal parents who did their Christmas shopping on Boxing Day in order to save money. The program features cameos from Michael Buble, Jon Lovitz and, weirdly, former Love Boat fixture Ted Lange. Oh, and Pamela Anderson shows up to play the Virgin Mary in a sketch.

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SATURDAY DECEMBER 7 Key Largo (TCM, 8 p.m. ET) Beautifully lensed in black and white, this 1948 drama gave Humphrey Bogart one of his most memorable screen roles. Bogie is a perfect fit for the role of Frank McCloud, a bitter World War II veteran who travels to Key Largo in Florida to pay his respects to Nora (Lauren Bacall), the wife of his dead war buddy. When he arrives at the rundown hotel owned by Nora’s father-in-law (Lionel Barrymore), Frank discovers that the place has been taken over by sleazy gangsters, most notably Johnny Rocco (Edward G. Robinson), on the run from the law. And while an unholy tropical storm bears down on the group, Frank realizes that Rocco isn’t going to leave any witnesses behind.

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SUNDAY DECEMBER 8 Bonnie & Clyde (A&E, 9 p.m.) Airing over two nights, this new miniseries recaps the story of real-life outlaws Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, played here by Emile Hirsch and Holliday Grainger. Tonight’s first half recounts the first meeting of the pair and depicts their early days of robbing banks (and killing a lot of police officers and civilians) throughout the central and Southern U.S. during the middle of the Depression. The solid support cast includes Holly Hunter as Bonnie’s mother, Emma, and William Hurt as the dogged Texas Ranger on their tail.

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