Archive for Sunday, August 5, 2012

Don’t bite on ‘Off the Hook’

August 5, 2012


As the Olympics remind us, we love athletes because they do things most of us can’t, with stamina and grace we find astounding. While we don’t love professional wrestlers for the same reasons, it’s safe to say that few fans watch wrestling for anything but the action. It’s not about wit. That’s what makes the casting of “Off the Hook: Extreme Catches” (8 p.m. Sunday, Animal Planet) so unbearable.

Wrestler “Showtime” Eric Young hosts this program, which showcases some of America’s most daring fishing techniques and features seriously questionable stunts. In the debut episode, Young fishes for shark with a simple rod and reel while standing on a paddleboard. But he first has to lure the deadly creatures with bloody chum encased in women’s pantyhose.

The whole enterprise has a slow and obvious “look at me” quality to it that makes one pine for the quicker pace and throwaway quality of MTV’s “Jackass.” ‘‘Off the Hook” is a 30-minute show that runs for an hour. Most of Young’s observations aren’t particularly spellbinding the first time you hear them. And this being a basic cable show, you hear them over and over again.

• On the 50th anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s death, “American Masters” (7 p.m. Sunday, PBS, check local listings) repeats the 2006 documentary “Marilyn Monroe: Still Life.”

TCM will dedicate Saturday to Monroe with a 12-film salute that includes “The Prince and the Showgirl” (1 p.m.). The making of that 1957 film was the backdrop of the 2011 drama “My Week With Marilyn,” which earned Michelle Williams and Kenneth Branagh Oscar nominations for their portrayals of Monroe and Laurence Olivier.

Sunday’s other highlights

• Tonight’s scheduled events at the XXX Summer Olympics (7 p.m., NBC) include the men’s 100-meter dash, gymnastics, diving and more beach volleyball.

• The New Orleans Saints and Arizona Cardinals meet in the NFL Hall of Fame Game (7 p.m., NFL Network), the official start to preseason play.

• The 2nd Mass regiment has Charleston in its sights on “Falling Skies” (8 p.m., TNT).

• Walt blows out the candles on “Breaking Bad” (9 p.m., AMC).

• Elaine returns from exile to discover a diplomatic crisis on her doorstep on “Political Animals” (9 p.m., USA).

• Matt has the worst time rounding up his old “Friends” on “Episodes” (9:30 p.m., Showtime).


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