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The Globe and Mail

7 great TV shows to watch this week (April 8 to 14)

A select viewing guide to the next seven days of television

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MONDAY, APRIL 8 Perfect Storms (History, 9 p.m.) Six months safely removed from the unholy carnage of Hurricane Sandy, this new Canadian series makes for timely viewing. Over six episodes, the series recaps infamous natural and human disasters that changed the course of human history. The opener rewinds the clock all the way back to the Great Galveston Hurricane of 1900, in which all advance warnings of the approach storm were ignored, resulting in the deaths of 8000 to 10,000 people. It’s still the deadliest natural disaster to ever strike the U.S.

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TUESDAY, APRIL 9 Ready for Love (NBC, 9 p.m.) Love is in the air–can you feel it? This new reality series purports to find life partners for three rakish young men who apparently can’t find dates. The lucky chaps: Plain White Ts member Tim Lopez, businessman Ben Patton and entrepreneur Ernesto Arguello. To speed things along, the show employs the services of three professional matchmakers and wheels in three dozen young women for the traditional flesh parade and fleeting profiles. The concept gets off to a nasty start in the first show when Lopez dismisses several single ladies in the blink of an eye. Ah, l’amour.

NBC

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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 10 Food Factory (Food Network Canada, 9 p.m.) Ever wonder how all the delightful foodstuffs that we shovel into our gullets gets to store shelves? Back for a second season, the smart Canadian-made series takes viewers right down to the assembly lines to document the production process from raw materials to final packaged product. The reason to watch still stems entirely from the diverse range of tasty treats on display. In tonight’s first show, we learn everything we need to know about the creation of chocolate milk, crispy waffles and tangy Doritos corn chips. The second show focuses on pickled kimchi, chocolate-coated ice cream bars and wonderful glazed donuts, both before and after they’re blasted by an icing waterfall. Do-nuts.

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THURSDAY, APRIL 11 The Undateables (Slice, 9 p.m.) If you decide to watch only one new reality show this week, make it this one. First broadcast on Channel 4 in the U.K., the unscripted series follows single disabled people who’ve signed up with a dating agency and have agreed to allow cameras film their cautious efforts to find a soul mate. In tonight’s episode we meet Shaine, an amateur poet with a learning disability; Justin, who is severely disfigured by external tumours caused by neurofibromatosis; and Carolyne, who is completely paralyzed from the waist down. Bless ‘em all.

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FRIDAY, APRIL 12 the fifth estate (CBC, 9 p.m.) People are always complaining about the hospitals in this country, but does anybody ever do anything to make them better? In tonight’s season-closer of CBC’s sturdy newsmagazine, host Bob McKeown investigates the best and worst hospitals in Canada. In the course of interviews with former patients, McKeown reveals what these health facilities want to publicize–and what they desperately want to keep secret.

Dustin Rabin

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SATURDAY, APRIL 13 Bet on Your Baby (ABC, 8 p.m.) Just when you think they’ve run out of reality-show concepts, we get another big surprise. In this new show, five families with children between two and three-and-a-half years agree to have the tots placed in a specially-equipped arena–aka “The Babydome”–to take part in a series of kid-friendly challenges. The parents, meanwhile, wager on their little ones, ostensibly toward the goal of saving money for the little one’s college fund. In the first show, the challenges include getting the toddlers to clean up toys and choose healthy snacks. And no, we are not making this up.

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SUNDAY, APRIL 14 The Simpsons (Fox, Global, 8 p.m.) Still going strong in its 24 th season, The Simpsons continues to hold an impressive Sunday-night following, most likely because most people who grew up on the show can now watch episodes with their own kids. In tonight’s new outing, Homer tries to find some way to save his marriage when Marge finally gets fed up with his oafish behaviour (for possibly the millionth time). In other news, geeky Milhouse attempts to adopt a bad-boy persona after watching A Streetcar Named Desire. Comic Wanda Sykes guest-voices as the school therapist who puts the nerd back in his place.

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