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The televisionist, July 9

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Meteor

NBC

8 p.m. Sunday, July 12

 

In case you didn't know it yet, the Universe has got it in for us. Every day, the earth is pummeled with thousands of meteors, some the size of grains of sand, some as big as a mailbox. Then, every once in awhile, the earth gets smacked with a big one. A REALLY big one. The good news is, when that happens, you can stop worrying whether that cherry cheesecake you had for dinner last night is going to make your thighs fat. So, what to do when the “Global Killer”-grade heavenly meteor three times the size of Mount Everest is rushing in our direction? Who can save the day? Why, put Doc Brown from “Back to the Future” and George Costanza from “Seinfeld” on the case, of course!  No, this is not a flashback to the Bush administration (Heckuva job, Brownie!). Yes, that's right, Christopher Lloyd and Jason Alexander star in this four part mini-series as scientists trying to knock the asteroid Kassandra – knocked out of its non-killer orbit by a comet – from smashing into the earth and ending all life. Nope, it ain't a comedy, but you already knew that, didn't you?

 

 

Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations

Travel Channel

8 p.m. Monday, July 13

 

In the vast wasteland of reality TV – fat people dancing TV, poor people eating goat testicles TV, Hugh Hefner's skank gets her own TV show TV – there is a small banana republic known as the Travel show. Yes: that would be people who are richer, more tanned, and better looking in a swimsuit than you, being paid to jet to the exotic locales of the world and tell all the couch potatoes how fabulous it is there. This writer finds travel shows both depressing and insufferable. Luckily, outside of that genre and quite apart, there is Anthony Bourdain. Bourdain – a former New York City chef, author and all around coolest sumbitch on the planet – is kind of the anti-Travel Show host. He gripes about everything. He seeks out the food of the common folks. He goes places the tour buses never quite get to. Above all, he loves life in his own curmudgeonly way, living one meal at a time, with stops in between to smoke and reflect on man's place in the universe. Here, Bourdain digs into his fifth season, spreading sunshine wherever he goes. With a mix of humor, a great palate, and deep reverence for the cultures he experiences, his show is always a true joy.

 

Night of the Hunter (1955)

9 p.m. Sunday, July 12

Turner Classic Movies

 

There are a lot of divorces in America, somewhere upwards of 60 percent if you listen to the grimmest of statistics. That, of course, means there are a lot of blended families in this country – a little of yours, a little of mine, a little of ours. Though I was lucky enough to make it through my formative years without my folks splitting up, lots of kids do go through that. And most of them, we'd wager, worry about their damn fool parent marrying somebody like Harry Powell from “Night of the Hunter.”  A classic in every sense of the word, “NOTH” follows the fortunes of the family of Ben Harper, a man hanged for robbery. Before he dies, however, Harper tells his young son the location of the money he stole – a fact which is of much interest to his cell mate Powell, an insane pseudo-preacher with “LOVE” and “HATE” tattooed on his knuckles. Powell gets out, and manages to woo his former cellmate's wife, becoming the wickedest of wicked stepfathers to Harper's kids. Terror ensues.

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