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Amid 'reality' shows about killers and Kardashians, some real dramas

Prison Diaries: The Real Life Thelma and Louise

Saturday, TLC, 10 p.m.

On a night dominated by CFL football, hockey and baseball, some lurid impulse might guide people to this and they might find it enjoyable. According to TLC: "Two lady criminals make tabloid headlines when they lure men to their hotel rooms to rob them at gunpoint. In the second story, a family follows a mother's command to kill her husband." Doesn't sound like Thelma & Louise, really, but lowlifes are often more genuinely interesting than fictional creations shaped by movie stars. If you missed the Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen, the expletive-filled special repeats tonight Comedy Network, 10 p.m. And in the sporting arena, the Discovery World HD channel has Monster Bug Wars at 8 p.m. "Two bugs enter. One bug leaves." That's sports.

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Keeping Up With the Kardashians: Kim's Fairytale Wedding Part 1

Sunday, E Canada, 8 p.m.

The appeal of this tosh about the Kardashian clan is beyond me. The other night Kim Kardashian and her new hubby were on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno talking up this wedding special (part two airs Monday 8 p.m.). There are far more interesting people appearing on Say Yes to the Dress on TLC than this gaggle of airheads. Honestly. Tonight's episode is summarized as: "The family goes into a spin when Kim decides to have her wedding right away." That's nice. The point, one supposes, is the wedding dress worn here by Kim. It's white. It's a mermaid-style thing. All the bridesmaids wear white too. Everybody else seems to wear black, except the DJ, who is in white. I think he's the DJ, anyway. He's the person who seems to have had the least amount of plastic surgery. That's it in nutshell.

Pan Am

Sunday, ABC, CTV, 10 p.m.

The plot summary is this: "Maggie intends to meet President Kennedy when the crew flies to Berlin with journalists sent to cover his speech; painful memories force Colette to confront her tragic past." After all the promotion and the critical buzz, Pan Am is, unfortunately, taking off very slowly as a drama. There just isn't a lot going on, with storylines about historical events and the personal lives of the characters feeling strangely disconnected. Besides, the dialogue tends to be unforgivably banal. It's style triumphing over substance, with added dashes of great visual flair. In fact, you are more likely to find more great drama in one 15-minute segment of Breaking Bad (AMC, 10 p.m.), which ends its season tonight.

How to Make It in America

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Sunday, HBO Canada, 10:30 p.m.

Back for a second season, this low-key portrait of life for a small group of male friends in Manhattan has great charm. It's about guys on the fringes of the art and fashion worlds, hustling to make a living. Most of the drama – though little is dramatic – is about Ben (Bryan Greenberg), who is obsessed with getting his line of clothing into Barneys, the store where he once worked. And he's still fixated on his dream girl (Lake Bell). His pal Cam (Victor Rasuk) hustles, too, but fails to connect with those dreamy-lovely Manhattan babes. Hovering around is Cam's cousin (Luis Guzman), a loan shark who's also interested in business success. There's a great scene of the loan shark taking a meeting at an ad agency about promoting his brand. A great deal of time is spent on languid conversations, with the droll wit emerging sideways. There are excellent guest appearances too – in this one, Andre Royo (Bubbles on The Wire) does a great turn as a stressed out ad agency man.

Check local listings.

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About the Author
Television critic

John Doyle is The Globe and Mail's television critic. His column appears in the Review section Monday to Thursday and on Saturday. He has been the paper's critic since 2000. More

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