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Archive for Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Knuckleheads abound on new ‘Breaking In’ and ‘Workaholics’

April 6, 2011

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What if a charming but overwhelmed guy was shanghaied into some super-secret agency and learned to love it? That’s essentially the plot of “CHAOS,” which debuted on CBS last Friday. And it pretty much covers “Breaking In” (8:30 p.m., Fox), premiering tonight.

Bret Harrison (“Reaper”) stars as Cameron, a professional slacker who is ambitious in spite of his best efforts. He has used his hacker skills to live large as a perpetual student. Seven years into this hoax, he’s busted by Contra Security, a shadowy organization hired by institutions to catch hackers and scam artists like Cameron.

Headed by the enigmatic Oz (Christian Slater), Contra makes Cameron an offer he can’t refuse: Join them or face the music, which means jail time and a near-million-dollar tuition bill.

After establishing this rather slick premise, “Breaking In” descends into some rather pat office hilarity. Cameron suffers any number of indignities at the hands of his colleagues. And when he brings them to the attention of Oz, the big boss utters his catchphrase, “I’ll allow it.” Despite his star status, Slater isn’t given much else to say or do.

• Imagine the Three Stooges on drugs and you’re halfway to joining the writing staff for “Workaholics” (9:30 p.m., Comedy Central). Three slackers who work as telemarketers scheme to keep the college party going well into middle age. The first episode largely revolves around their frantic efforts to secure clean urine so they can pass a company mandated drug test. And from that rather thin premise, many rude and funny scenes ensue.

• The new series “Extreme Couponing” (8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., TLC) doesn’t follow the casual saver but profiles compulsive clippers for whom coupon discounts have become “a way of life.” Is it any wonder that these two premiere half-hour segments give way to “Hoarding: Buried Alive” (9 p.m., TLC)?

• A shop catering to the beauty-contest business becomes the setting for “Glamour Belles” (9 p.m., Lifetime Movie Network), a new unscripted series.

Tonight’s other highlights

• It’s down to nine on “American Idol” (7 p.m., Fox).

• The documentary “Earth Made of Glass” (7 p.m., HBO2) follows the search for answers about the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

• A holiday from technology on “Modern Family” (8 p.m., ABC).

• Can face masks get around security cameras? Ask the “MythBusters” (8 p.m., Discovery).

• A killer roams Oklahoma City on “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior” (9 p.m., CBS).

• Terrence Howard guest stars on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (9 p.m., NBC).

• A religious parade ends with a deadly accident on the season finale of “Off the Map” (9 p.m., ABC).

• The Bennetts and the coal company stand on the brink on “Justified” (9 p.m., FX).

• “Ben Franklin’s Pirates” (9 p.m., National Geographic) looks at efforts to thwart privateers in the late 18th century. Part of “Expedition Week.”

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