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Archive for Monday, May 10, 2010

VH1 examines what keeps women away

May 10, 2010

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Who knew that the presence of broken furniture, the absence of curtains or a too-saggy couch were turn-offs to the ladies? Over the next five nights, “Undateable” (9 p.m., VH1) will count down the pet peeves that keep men single and women at bay.

VH1 has cornered the market on these tongue-in-cheek countdowns filled with outrageously subjective advice and observations. Given how eager men are to receive criticism, it would be interesting to know whether VH1 expects anyone but women in the audience.

• “American Experience” (8 p.m., PBS, check local listings) turns its contemplative gaze toward America’s first oil industry. Directed by Ric Burns, “Into the Deep, America, Whaling & the World” explores how the hunt for giant ocean leviathans put an indelible stamp on the national character, and inspired “Moby Dick,” one of the greatest works of American literature.

We’re reminded repeatedly of just how dirty, dangerous and adventurous whaling could be. It wasn’t enough for whalers to sail to the ends of the charted globe. Once the whales were sighted, they had to pursue their prey in small boats and then hurl heavyweight harpoons into the sides of the largest creatures who ever lived. After a remarkably gruesome battle — sometimes lasting hours or days — they had to row and tow the dead creature back to the whaling vessel, where it was methodically skinned and rendered in a stench-belching floating factory. This documentary could just as well have been titled “There Will Be Blood.”

• Three masters compete to complete the most audacious confection on “Chocolate Wars” (9 p.m., TLC).

• Over the course of the week, “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” 11:35 p.m., NBC) will shine a light on the music of the Rolling Stones, who will be rereleasing a more complete version of their 1972 album “Exile on Main Street” on Friday. Look for tributes from Green Day, Keith Urban, Sheryl Crow, Phish and others.

Tonight’s other highlights

• House regales his therapist (Andre Braugher) with a patient’s story on “House” (7 p.m., Fox).

• Kat’s new boyfriend raises eyebrows on “Ten Things I Hate About You” (7 p.m., Family).

• The Detroit Tigers host the New York Yankees (7 p.m., ESPN).

• Jack maintains his vendetta on “24” (8 p.m., Fox).

• A soccer mom’s dark past may have contributed to her death on “CSI: Miami” (9 p.m., CBS).

Cult choice

“Scott Walker: 30th Century Man” (7 p.m., Sundance) examines the evolution of a 1960s pop star into an ever-more-challenging artist with a small but ardent cult following.

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