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The Globe and Mail

TV: Five shows worth watching tonight: Dec. 5

A select viewing guide for Wednesday, December 5

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DOCUMENTARY Half-Ton Killer (TLC, 7 p.m.) Not quite a documentary, and please Lord not a pilot for series, this one-shot special relates the pretty unpleasant story of Mayra Rosales, a women whose weight of 1100 pounds ranks her one of the heaviest people in the world. A few years ago, Mayra confessed to killing her two-year-old nephew by sitting on him and crushing him to death. The ensuing police report showed the child died of a blow to the head, which didn’t quite fit with her story of rolling over him. At Mayra’s ensuing murder trial, the police had to remove the walls of her bedroom to transport her, and then widen the walls of the courtroom to accommodate her. The key to Mayra’s defense: She couldn’t have raised her hand to hit the kid, because her arms are too dang heavy to lift! The defense rests, your honour.

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REALITY Dragon’s Den (CBC, 8 p.m.) Will the spirit of the season soften the heart of resident Dragon’s Den crank Kevin O’Leary? Ho-ho-ho! In tonight’s very special holiday edition of CBC’s most-watched program, O’Leary and his rich friends are only slightly less venomous toward the usual assortment of dull-witted entrepreneurs and their terrible, terrible ideas. Some Ottawa punter pitches his clever stock market game called “Smarket” and a deluded toy-maker from Brampton, Ontario, comes seeking big money for his line of action figures called “Boneheads.” Release the hounds.

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DRAMA Law & Order: SVU (NBC, CTV Two, 9 p.m.) Why is SVU the last show standing in the once-almighty L&O franchise? Because unlike the overdone original series and overwrought Criminal Intent, franchise creator Dick Wolf keeps the stories brisk and the blood and guts coming. In tonight’s show, a serial killer is slaying innocent people all over New York and not just cabbies. The FBI reaches out to the SVU unit to obtain information about a prime suspect’s last-known contact, a prostitute, played by Patricia Arquette, formerly a soccer-mom medium on Medium. But what has cop Benson (Mariska Hargitay) puzzled: Who’s this other dude trying to kill the hooker? Since it’s Christmas, the ghost of Jerry Orbach solves the case.

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COMEDY A Russell Peters Christmas (Comedy Network, 10 p.m.) You remember Russell Peters, right? Funny South Asian guy? Real hot about two years ago for his standup specials with funny ethnic stories and picking on audience members? Sort of a younger, browner version of Don Rickles, with more hair? Peters’ shooting-star renown at least earned him the right to make at least one TV Christmas special, which aired last year and repeats tonight. Is it hee-larious? Well, the man does his standup thing with Christmas stories of growing up in Brampton with cheap parents who did their shopping on Boxing Day, that sort of stuff. Weird cameos from the likes of Michael Buble, Jon Lovitz and former Love Boat regular Ted Lange. Pamela Anderson plays the Virgin Mary in a limp sketch. And lingerie models flock around Peters, cause he is the man.

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MOVIE Black Christmas (Space, 9 p.m.) Low-budget, lurid and at times cringingly bad, this 1974 Canadian horror feature made boatloads at the boxoffice and even launched a few careers. Directed by Bob Clark, who went on to direct A Christmas Story, the film stars a relatively unspoiled Margot Kidder as the sexy sorority girl Barb, home alone in a big lonely old sorority house with her sexy friend Jess (Olivia Hussey) near Christmas. Everything would be groovy except for those phone calls from some sicko threatening to chop them into bits. Watch for a young pre-SCTV Andrea Martin as one of the sorority sisters.

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