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Archive for Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Reality fare goes ‘Wild’

June 5, 2012

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Given the competition, it’s a tough job singling out summer’s most brainless series, but the returning reality spectacle “Love in the Wild” (8 p.m., NBC) deserves special attention. It’s “The Dating Game” meets “Indiana Jones” as 14 singles strive to find romance while competing in pairs and sometimes trios in games of endurance under challenging and occasionally yucky circumstances. Tonight, they have to swim through dark water filled with snakes. Even after that grim task, seven singles will be sent home.

‘‘Wild” is an extended tourism commercial for the Dominican Republic, where it is set.

This year’s host is Jenny McCarthy, a former Playboy model who became that magazine’s Playmate of the Year in the early 1990s. That would lead to her stint as host of MTV’s “Singled Out.” Does anybody recall her eponymous NBC sitcom “Jenny” from 1997? I can’t say I do, and I suppose I reviewed it!

McCarthy departed from her caricature as the generically curvaceous Marilyn-du-jour after becoming a mother and lending her celebrity to several New Age theories associating autism with childhood vaccines.

One would think that McCarthy’s association with a cause as controversial and “heavy” as that would preclude her involvement with such mindless piffle as “Love in the Wild.” But, hey, this is NBC, where a radioactive reputation (like those of Howard Stern and Donald Trump) seems to enhance your chances for hosting silly spectacles.

• “Concert for the Queen: A Diamond Jubilee Celebration With Katie Couric” (8 p.m., ABC) takes a backstage look at a special performance celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s 60 sceptered years. Performers include Stevie Wonder, Annie Lennox, Elton John and Paul McCartney, who once sang that “Her Majesty” was “a pretty nice girl, but she doesn’t have a lot to say.”

Tonight’s other highlights

• The Austin, Texas, round continues on “America’s Got Talent” (7 p.m., NBC).

• After a summer to lick their emotional wounds, Aria, Emily, Hanna and Spencer gather again on the season premiere of “Pretty Little Liars” (7 p.m., ABC Family).

• Pittsburgh’s most overbearing mothers battle it out on a new season of “Dance Moms” (8 p.m., Lifetime).

• Winter descends on “Deadliest Catch” (8 p.m., Discovery).

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