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The Globe and Mail

TV: Five shows worth watching tonight: Oct. 25

A select viewing guide for Thursday, Oct. 25

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REALITY: Tabatha Takes Over (Slice, 8 p.m.) Along with split ends and bad perms, Tabatha Coffey does not suffer fools gladly. Now in its fourth season, this entertaining series documents the rescue missions of the brash Aussie hairstylist in struggling hair salons all over the U.S. The watch-factor stems from the tough-love approach Tabatha takes with the owners, who invariably are the last people who should be running any business. And every so often Tabatha lends her expertise to clip joints of a different sort. In tonight’s new show, she’s in Los Angeles where the couple Tee and Tania are trying to salvage their doggie daycare and grooming business called Barkingham Palace. Why is the business failing? On her first day, Tabatha learns that Tania’s management style is virtually non-existent and Tee commands no respect. Worse, they routinely have knockdown arguments right in front of their staff.

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DRAMA: Grey’s Anatomy (ABC, CTV, 9 p.m.) Were you aware that every episode in this medical drama, now in its ninth season, is titled after a pop song? Tonight’s new episode is called I Saw Her Standing There, which was a huge hit for The Beatles in the spring of 1963, and finds the recently appointed general surgeon Dr. Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) raving on about her new duties to her husband Derek (Patrick Dempsey), who was recently informed that he may never work as a surgeon again. Elsewhere, the fearsome Dr. Catherine Davey (Debbie Allen) makes a return appearance to Seattle Grace hospital, much to the chagrin of the rest of the medical staff. Draw your own conclusions as to what all this has to do with an old Beatles song.

ABC

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COMEDY: Parks & Recreation (Citytv, 8:30 p.m.; NBC, 9:30 p.m.) Now in its fifth season, this brilliant workplace sitcom has undergone a few significant shifts of late. Set in the fictional yet all-American burg of Pawnee, Indiana, the show’s first four seasons followed the daily routine of deluded bureaucrat Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), who was the least efficient but perkiest employee of the town’s parks and recreation department. Now Leslie has been elected to Pawnee city council, but her enthusiasm fades in tonight’s new episode when her co-worker Ben (Adam Scott) receives an attractive job offer in another city. In other developments, the office manager Ron (Nick Offerman) and Andy (Chris Pratt) volunteer to take a few young girls trick-or-treating. The bad news: The girls’ mother is one tough cookie, played, appropriately enough, by Lucy Lawless, formerly Xena: Princess Warrior.

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DRAMA: Scandal (ABC, Citytv, 10 p.m.) Consider this sophomore drama series a stepping-stone for the talented Kerry Washington. Following a solid decade of one-shot guest turns on TV shows and in forgettable films like Fantastic Four, Washington is poised to become a very hot property early next year following her lead role in the Quentin Tarantino feature Django Unchained, set for release this Christmas. In this show, she’s the main attraction as Olivia Pope, a former White House communications director who specializes in defusing crisis situations. In tonight’s new show, she comes to the rescue of grieving parents whose young daughter has gone missing, while simultaneously helping the weaselly U.S. president (Tony Goldwyn) get out of another jam. Wildly implausible, but Washington makes it work.

ABC

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MOVIE: It Happened One Night (TCM, 10 p.m. ET; 7 p.m. PT) Required viewing for any serious cineaste, this 1934 film created the concept of the screwball comedy and was the first movie to win all five major Academy Awards (Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Screenplay and Director). The winsome Claudette Colbert plays the spoiled heiress Ellie, who is dating the dim aviator King (Jameson Thomas) just to spite her father (Walter Connolly). Ellie escapes her father’s clutches and sneaks onto a bus that happens to include the hard-drinking newspaper reporter Peter (Clark Gable) as a passenger. When the newsman realizes who she is, they strike a deal: If he helps her get to New York, she’ll give him a scoop for his paper. The witty repartee leading up to their inevitable romance is the stuff of which Depression-era dreams were made.

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