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Archive for Tuesday, August 21, 2012

VH1 rewards good deeds

August 21, 2012

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A summer ritual for some time now, the “Do Something Awards” (8 p.m., VH1) honor young people involved in social causes. It also allows celebrities great and small to associate themselves with the do-gooding. This year’s hosts are Jake M. Johnson, Max Greenfield and Lamorne Morris. If those aren’t exactly household names to you, think of them as the guys from “New Girl” on Fox.

This year’s five nominees (all under 25) have worked on projects including teaching the young in Honduras; helping Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia; advocating for foster children; looking at new approaches to healing; and raising awareness of the global water crisis. The winner will receive $100,000 for his or her project.

Of course, while you’re watching “Do Something,” you’ll be on the couch watching television, which is something my mother always characterized as “doing nothing.”

• “Face Off” (8 p.m., Syfy) has emerged as the network’s most popular unscripted series. It’s basically “Project Runway” for aspiring makeup and special effects talents. Every week they will be challenged by a panel of judges, including acclaimed makeup artists Ve Neill (“The Hunger Games”) and Glenn Hetrick (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”).

If I have a quibble with this show, it’s that everyone from the judges to the participants shares a similar aesthetic, as if their cultural references have been limited to horror movies and comic books. With their abilities and the technology at their disposal, there’s a certain underlying sameness to their vision (Comic-Con meets Halloween).

Hetrick works on “Mad Men,” which shows that not every special effects assignment calls for goth, gore, zombie or alien. Let’s hope “Face Off” moves in that direction.

Tonight’s other highlights

• Paige returns on “Pretty Little Liars” (7 p.m., ABC Family).

• A dozen rejects get a second chance on “America’s Got Talent” (7 p.m., NBC).

• Jungle snakes don’t deter the “Gold Rush” (8 p.m., Discovery).

• Real life hospital drama on “NY Med” (9 p.m., ABC).

• A storage unit holds mystery on “White Collar” (8 p.m., USA).

• Coaches and players keep their eyes on the roster on “Hard Knocks: Training Camp With the Miami Dolphins” (9 p.m., HBO).

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