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The Globe and Mail

TV: Five shows worth watching tonight: December 27

A select viewing guide for Thursday, December 27

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COMEDY All in the Family (TVtropolis, 6 p.m.-midnight) Television was a different world back in the heyday of All in the Family. The American adaptation of the British series Till Death Us Do Part ran from 1971 to 1978 on CBS and steadily ranked as TV’s highest-rated program. The premise worked outward from Carroll O’Connor’s portrayal of the blue-collar bigot Archie Bunker, whose various prejudices were exposed with each new episode. Tonight’s marathon leads off with the classic episode guest-starring Sammy Davis Jr., playing himself, who leaves his briefcase in Archie’s taxicab and offers to visit the Bunker household to retrieve it. Archie does his level best to reign in his glaring racial intolerance, but a true bigot always shows his colours, so to speak.

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REALITY Sin City Rules (TLC, 8 p.m.) From the network that gave us the rustic reality of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, this new unscripted series moves in a completely opposite direction. The format follows the seemingly fabulous existences of five women residing in Las Vegas, Nevada. Alicia is a former pageant queen now toiling as an entertainment reporter; Lana owns a high-end clothing company and a record label; Jennifer is a professional poker player; Lori owns a cosmetic line and is opening up an indoor shooting range with her husband; and Amy is the daughter of a famous mobster. In tonight’s new episode, Amy gives her gal pals a lesson in mob etiquette in preparation for a swanky soiree, but first Lana and Alicia have to kiss and make up. Think Real Housewives of Vegas, with extra neon.

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REALITY The Liquidator (OLN, 9 p.m.) Everybody in Vancouver knows the name Jeff Schwartz. The wheeling-dealing businessman is the man to see if you need a few hundred mattresses, racks of designer jeans or several thousand rolls of duct tape. This popular series follows Schwartz on his daily rounds to keep the warehouse of his Burnaby-based company, Direct Liquidation, stocked to the rafters. In tonight’s show, he takes the biggest gamble of career by bidding tens of thousands of dollars for a truckload of slightly marred high-end electronic merchandise–sight unseen.

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REALITY Wives with Beehives (TLC, 10 p.m.) The idea factory at TLC just keeps cranking out new ideas. This bizarre special profiles four women determined to lead their lives as though it was still the mid-fifties, “ a time of old-fashioned values and morals.” The four ladies in question–Amber, Leslie, Shelby and Dollie–look like they popped out of an episode of I Love Lucy with their fifties-style fashions and towering beehive ‘dos. Dollie has even convinced her husband to adopt her retro fashion sense. Prediction: TLC will make this concept a regular series within a month.

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MOVIE Joe Dirt (MuchMoreMusic, midnight) Seen these days on Rules of Engagement, former Saturday Night Live regular David Spade isn’t exactly known for his film work, but he hit the title character right on the money in this raucous 2001 comedy. As the titular Joe Dirt, Spade is a slackjawed janitor at an L.A. radio station who somehow gets on air with the station’s main shock jock (Dennis Miller). In flashback fashion, Joe recounts his sad background, which includes being abandoned at the Grand Canyon at age eight and a brief stint as an alligator wrangler. Somehow Joe finds a young woman named Brandy (Brittany Daniel) who loves and accepts him, but danged if the local bully Robby (Kid Rock) doesn’t beat him to the punch. Long live the mullet.

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