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Archive for Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Big talents, egos successful on TV

March 5, 2008

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The best and worst reality shows confront viewers with personalities and types they know from their school days or office. As "Project Runway" (9 p.m., Bravo), one of the best of the genre, concludes tonight, it's pretty clear that the choice is between Christian and Jillian.

Rami, my early pick to win, has shown time and again that he has a very small bag of tricks. In the end, it took a special run-off for Rami to beat the jovial Chris, who, as many of us recall, had already been eliminated in the middle of the season but brought back under unusual circumstances.

Both Jillian and Christian show incredible talent and have produced some great work. But they both bug me in their own very different ways.

Christian is the office brat, and he knows it. He chatters endlessly about his own genius and often throws out catty asides about others' shortcomings. If he weren't so talented, you'd want to see him lose. But he's got a gift.

Jillian reminds me of a girl I sat next to in my seventh-grade science class. She moaned and groaned with every assignment and always asked for help and attention and then proceeded to ace every test.

Jillian is a talent, and probably should win, but she's a drag. With his youth and ridiculous hair, Christian makes for better television. So make everyone a winner: Give Jillian the design deal, and offer Christian his own TV show.

¢ If "Runway" is among the best, the new series "High School Reunion" (9 p.m., TV Land) ranks among reality's least original efforts. The WB network aired an almost identical and equally forgettable reunion show in 2003.

"Reunion" doesn't even give its audience credit for recognizing types from their own lives. They label them for you, introducing characters as "The Stud," "The Popular Girl," the "The Spoiled Girl" and "The Bully."

While "Runway" puts the emphasis on talent and achievement, "Reunion" gives its cast nothing to do but drink too much and get on each others' nerves. Short of homicide, there's nothing these folks could do to one another that would interest me.

¢ In the second-season premiere of "Destination Truth" (9 p.m., Sci Fi), the team goes searching in the mountains of Nepal for evidence of the Yeti, known in these parts as Bigfoot. Not to give too much away here, but they find a mighty big footprint. Much of the action unfolds in the glare of night-vision goggles, making this seem like "Destination Blur."

Tonight's other highlights

¢ The top-eight women perform on "American Idol" (7 p.m., Fox).

¢ Jack Nicholson, Michael Caine and Judy Davis star in the 1996 mystery "Blood and Wine" (7 p.m., Fox Movie Channel).

¢ A 15-year-old wrong righted on "Supernanny" (8 p.m., ABC).

¢ "Ghost Hunters" (8 p.m., Sci Fi) returns for a fourth season.

¢ "American Greed" (8 p.m., CNBC) looks at the WorldCom scandal.

¢ A therapist to troubled teens is found slain on "Law & Order" (9 p.m., NBC).

¢ Jack's health scare unites Elmo on "Men in Trees" (9 p.m., ABC).

Cult choice

A writer of death notices (Josie Bissett) becomes obsessed with a murder in the 2006 made-for-TV mystery "Obituary" (8:50 p.m., Lifetime Movie Network).

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