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Archive for Friday, December 26, 2008

‘True Hollywood Story’ profiles Aniston

December 26, 2008

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Can you still be America’s “girl”-next-door when you’re pushing 40? “True Hollywood Story” (8 p.m., E!) profiles Jennifer Aniston, the former “Friends” star who went on to appear in both big Hollywood romantic comedies and independent films.

Lately, she’s probably more notable for her co-starring role in the biggest tabloid triangle since Liz Taylor split up Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds’ marriage back in the late 1950s.

Actually, this tale of infidelity and fertility hearkens back to narratives that predate Hollywood by a few thousand years, like those about Cleopatra stealing Julius Caesar from his “barren” wife Calpurnia or Ann Boleyn stealing Henry VIII from his wife and his church.

I will leave it to others to speculate on tabloid gossip, however juicy or archetypal. I have always found Aniston, or rather the frenzy around her, to be a bit of a mystery. OK, she was an essential component of the “Friends” ensemble chemistry, but so was Lisa Kudrow, and nobody is clamoring to keep her face on the cover of “People.”

Tonight’s other highlights

• Mike is certain to be doing something disgusting, all day long, on a 16-hour marathon of “Dirty Jobs” (10 a.m. to 2 a.m., Discovery) episodes.

• Spend the day after Christmas with television’s most dyspeptic doctor on a 12-hour marathon of “House” (10 a.m. to 9 p.m., USA) repeats. Like many good shows, “House” is beginning to suffer from overexposure.

• Kellie Pickler hosts the CMT Online Awards (2:30 p.m., CMT), honoring some of the best online performances, music videos and original Webisodes. The awards also glances back at some notorious Internet memories, including Miss Teen South Carolina’s moment to regret.

• Re-experience the first season of “Whale Wars” (3 p.m. through 5 a.m., Animal Planet), a 16-hour marathon of the series set aboard an activists’ vessel.

• NBC poaches a popular program from its cable cousin Bravo as Martha Stewart guest stars on a Christmas-themed episode of “Top Chef: New York” (7 p.m., NBC).

• Scheduled on “Dateline” (7 p.m., NBC), a case of mistaken identity changes matters of life and death.

• Peter O’Toole stars in director David Lean’s 1962 desert drama “Lawrence of Arabia” (7 p.m., TCM), a film that still sets the standard for widescreen movie epics.

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