A select viewing guide for Thursday, June 7
Romeos & Juliets<br>
CBC, 8 p.m. ET/PT<br><br>
A rare dose of culture on Thursday night television, this documentary offers unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to the National Ballet of Canada's production of the classic Shakespearean tragedy ‘Romeo and Juliet’. The central player in the backstage drama is the globally-renowned choreographer Alexei Ratmansky, the man in charge of staging the elaborate production in the months leading up to its premiere in Toronto last November. The film closely follows five couples vying to fill the lead roles. Each couple has varying experience and abilities and the decision as to who portrays the star-crossed lovers is left hanging until opening night. Produced, written and directed by Moze Mossanen.
Take Me Out<br>
Fox, CTV, 8 p.m. ET/PT<br><Br>
Summer's here and the time is right for Fox reality experiments. Hosted by comedian George Lopez, this series is adapted from a successful British TV program and gives new meaning to the concept of speed dating. The goal is for a man to win a date with one of 30 single females. The women stand onstage under 30 white lights while the man tries to impress them, either with prerecorded videos or by demonstrating some creative skill, like, say, playing a mandolin. At any point the ladies can turn out their lights, thereby taking themselves out of the competition. After three rounds, if there are still any lights remaining, the man takes over and can turn off all but two of the remaining lights, which naturally leads to a date request for one lucky lady. It's just dumb enough to be a hit.
NBC, CTV, 9 p.m.<br><br>
Debuting tonight, this new filmed-in-Toronto series merges elements of the supernatural with traditional romantic TV drama. Created by Canadian TV veterans Malcolm MacRury and Morwyn Brebner, the premise stars Erica Durance as an earnest young surgeon named Alex, who is on her way to get married to her chief-of-surgery sweetheart Charlie (Michael Shanks) when their taxi is broadsided by a runaway car. Charlie slips into a coma and thereafter his spirit roams the hallways of the hospital where he interacts with recently deceased patients, or other people in comas. Think 'Ghost' in doctor's smocks.
Rebel Without a Cause<br>
TCM, midnight ET; 9 p.m. PT<br><br>
Required viewing by any serious cineaste, this 1955 drama was the most famous screen performance by James Dean. Released a few weeks following his untimely demise, the film is a textbook display of method acting, with Dean baring his soul as the tortured teenager Jim Stark, newly arrived to a working-class neighbourhood in downtown Los Angeles. Saddled with an ineffectual father and a domineering mother, Jim takes to the streets and bonds with fellow misfits Plato (Sal Mineo) and Judy (Natalie Wood), but he keeps getting into trouble with the law and the usual assortment of fifties-era juvenile delinquents. Watch for the late Dennis Hopper as a young thug named Goon.