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The televisionist, April 9


ON THE FRONTLINES: Pakistan program airs at 9 p.m. on Tuesday.
  • ON THE FRONTLINES: Pakistan program airs at 9 p.m. on Tuesday.


11 p.m. Thursday, April 9

Spike TV

Let's face it: dying ain't fun. (More than likely, it goes beyond “not fun” to “sucks.” But as of yet, nobody has returned from Beyond the Veil to verify our suspicions of its suckitude, so we'll just leave it at “not fun.”) And that's if you die a plain old death — from a clogged artery, or in a car wreck or from eating that chicken lo mein that's been in the refrigerator a week. Infinitely worse would be what I like to call the Ultimate Bad Death. We're not afraid of death, but we are afraid of the UBD. You know: A meat packing plant employee gets dropped head first into a sausage grinder. A city worker takes a header at the sewage treatment plant and drowns in the poo tank. Some zookeeper gets sexy-timed to death by an amorous rhinoceros. UBD, indeed. Like we said, nobody has returned from the Great Beyond to tell the tale, but we're thinking those are the deaths you get made fun of when you come into heaven, smelling of rhino lovin'. In this show from Spike TV, re-enactments take an irreverent look at some of the world's worst real-life ways to shove off. 



9 p.m. Tuesday, April 14


Over the past eight years, while our retarded Marlboro Man of a president was busy enriching his Republican pals and playing in the bloody little sandbox he built over in Iraq, our enemies have been steadily creating a network of destruction in Pakistan. The government there is technically a friend of America, but that's mostly because we've pumped billions of dollars worth of aid into their coffers. Our bought-and-paid for buddies, meanwhile, are sitting on a powder keg, turning a blind eye to an increasingly organized and violent arm of the Taliban, which fled for Pakistan after we left the gates open in Afghanistan in favor of toppling Saddam Hussein in the days after 9/11. Looking for Osama Bin Laden? He's probably in Pakistan, along with tens of thousands of devotees willing to die for their warped view of what's Godly. Here, the always-insightful PBS series “Frontline” takes a hard look at Pakistan — why it has become a haven for militant Islam, why America can't seem to get an intelligence foothold there, and what might be done. Get your blankies, kids. It's bound to be scary.



10:30 a.m. Friday, April 10


Last week, I talked about “Heat,” the Michael Mann film that is pretty much at the head of my “Over and Over Again” list — the movies that, for whatever reason, I can sit through a dozen times without getting bored. By coincidence, this week brings another: the 1994 dueling-bombers flick “Blown Away.” It's not that “Blown Away” is a great movie. Sure, it's got U2 in the soundtrack, and that old dude from the Miracle Grow commercials, and Tommy Lee Jones doing an Irish accent and making deadly explosives in a coffee pot, but for the most part it's fairly predictable mid-'90s thriller. For some reason, though, I just can't flip the channel when it's on. Here, Jeff Bridges plays Jimmy Dove, a brilliant bomb-defusing expert with the Boston Police Department. How'd he get so brilliant? He used to be a bomb-MAKER with the Irish Republican Army. When his old pal Ryan Gaerity (Jones) wanted to start hitting civilian targets, though, Dove got out, came to America, and became a cop (don't they do background checks in Boston?). Fresh out of prison, Gaerity follows Dove to the States, where he vows to blow him up but good. Lots of hairy explosions ensue. Not too smart, but definitely a good way to implode a couple hours.

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