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Archive for Friday, July 31, 2009

Listen up, maggots! Ermey returns on ‘Lock N’ Load’

July 31, 2009

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What do men want? Programmers and advertisers ask that question every day. A few weeks back, the Science Channel launched the new series “Catch It Keep It” (9 p.m., Science), dedicated to the notion that guys like watching stuff blown up, set on fire or pushed off tall buildings.

Contestants vie to save items from destruction. If they do, they get to keep the imperiled object(s). Tonight’s goal: prevent two sticks of dynamite from destroying 627 bottles of beer, described here as “a year’s supply.”

Not to be outdone in the blow-em-up department, the History Channel launches “Lock N’ Load with R. Lee Ermey” (8 p.m., History). A former U.S. Marine drill instructor, Ermey is still best know for portraying the loud and sadistic Sergeant Hartman in director Stanley Kubrick’s 1987 Vietnam War drama “Full Metal Jacket.” Ermey’s character pays special attention to a raw recruit portrayed by a young Vincent D’Onofrio (“Law & Order: Criminal Intent”).

Seen previously on History Channel’s “Mail Call,” Ermey never speaks in a whisper as he introduces viewers to guns, cannons and lethal weaponry from various eras. He displays adolescent relish as they blow things up and set them on fire.

While aiming a Civil War-era Gatling gun at a picnic table topped by watermelons, he shouts, “Let’s make fruit salad!” He reduces a used sedan to the consistency of Swiss cheese with a modern machine gun. Actually, the bullet-ridden car soon catches fire, so perhaps — to continue the cheese metaphor — he actually reduced it to burnt fondue. Not that this is intended for the fondue demographic. But you get the point. Guys yell. Things blow up.

• Ben McKenzie (“The O.C.”) returns in the pilot episode of the cop drama “Southland” (7 p.m., NBC). Originally slated as a replacement for “ER,” this drama will air on Fridays at 9 p.m., beginning in September. Given its violence and intensity, it may be better suited to 10 p.m., but NBC has no room there, since Jay Leno will have that slot occupied five nights a week.

• Cesar counsels an angry miniature pinscher on “The Dog Whisperer” (8 p.m., National Geographic). This five-legged pooch gives his owners no end of trouble. And they’re no ordinary owners. They run a freak show on Venice Beach and don’t have time for his aggressive behavior.

Tonight’s other highlights

• The X Games (7 p.m., ESPN) continue, with competitors showing their skills in Moto X and freestyle bicycling.

• Scheduled on “NOW” (7:30 p.m., PBS): a 2008 report on child prostitution in the United States.

• A construction accident leaves victim with psychological issues on “Mental” (8 p.m., Fox).

• Visiting rivals from Area 51 challenge locals to a bowling tournament on “Eureka” (8 p.m., SyFy).

Cult choice

Co-directed by B-movie king Herschell Gordon Lewis, the 1965 shocker “Monster A Go-Go” (1 a.m., TCM) was part of a double feature (with “Moonshine Mountain”) exhibited almost exclusively in drive-in theaters in southern states. Some say this ranks among the worst movies ever made.

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