Idiot Box: Whiskers Go To War, “Extreme Makeover” Goes To England, Hillbilllies Go Handfishin’

The Week In Sloth

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Thursday 4

“Detroit in Overdrive” (Planet Green 6 p.m.) Can the industrial wasteland of inner-city Detroit reinvent itself as a self-sufficient “green” city? Will Eminem be making a PSA about recycling? If so, then yes.

Friday 5

“Friends With Benefits” (KOB-4 7 p.m.) America, do you love the idea of platonic friends having casual sex with one another? Was the movie Friends With Benefits not enough for you? Good news, then! NBC has an unrelated sitcom with the same title.

“Whisker Wars” (IFC 9 p.m.) Apparently, “beard grooming” is a sport. It has competitions. And now, a new reality show.

Saturday 6

“The Swell Life” (OWN 10 a.m.) Oprah has such confidence in this new reality show about competitive surfer Izzy Paskowitz, she’s burning off the entire nine-episode series on one Saturday morning.

Sunday 7

Teen Spirit (ABC Family 7 p.m.) It took 20 years for somebody to figure out Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” sounds like a lame TV movie about a high school ghost?

“Ty’s Great British Adventure 2011” (KOAT-7 7 p.m.) Because that sounds way more exciting than “Hey, We Shot an Episode of Extreme Makeover in Portishead, England.”

“Curiosity” (Discovery 6 p.m.) Did God create the universe? Yeah, that’s something that should be easily settled in a one-hour TV special.

“Teen Choice Awards 2011” (KASA-2 7 p.m.) Teens love Justin Bieber, Twilight and text messaging. Two of these three things will win awards tonight.

“Hillbilly Handfishin’ ” (Animal Planet 8 p.m.) In addition to the “sport” of beard grooming needing a reality series this week, the “sport” of sticking your fingers in a river and letting catfish bite them also needed one.

Monday 8

The Bling Ring (Lifetime 6 p.m.) Alexis Neiers, star of the E! reality show “Pretty Wild,” gets her own TV biopic about that wacky time she got convicted for being part of a residential burglary ring in Beverly Hills. Good times.

Superheroes (HBO 7 p.m.) HBO’s Documentary Films Summer Series explores the phenomenon of real-life superheroes (the kind in capes and tights, not the “firefighter who pulls a kid from a burning building" kind).

“Tia & Tamera” (Style 7 p.m.) I was just thinking those twins from “Sister, Sister” needed their own reality show. I can only hope they’ll be grooming their beards or handfishing.

Tuesday 9

“Crazy About Pippa” (TLC 7 p.m.) TLC explores/fuels the obsession over Pippa Middleton.

“Dirty Money” (Discovery 8 p.m.) And that answers the question of what this week’s reality show about people who buy junk at pawn shops / garage sales / flea markets / storage auctions and resell it will be titled.

“Gordon Ramsay’s Shark Bait” (BBC America 9 p.m.) Gordon Ramsay explores the controversy over shark fin soup. He is not, as the title teasingly implies, devoured by sharks.

Wednesday 10

Primetime Nightline: Beyond Belief” (KOAT-7 9 p.m.) Do people really have psychic powers? Is ABC’s news department running out of ideas? You decide.
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