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TV: Five shows worth watching tonight: January 29

A select viewing guide for Tuesday, January 29

1 of 5

COMEDY Raising Hope (Fox, Citytv, 8 p.m.) The Fox Network’s steadiest sitcom extends to an hour for tonight’s special episode. The occasion: Beleaguered single dad Jimmy (Lucas Neff) and girlfriend Sabrina (Shannon Woodward) are finally getting ready to walk down the aisle. The bad news: Sabrina’s unhinged mom has hired the camera crew from Modern Family to capture the nuptials; Jimmy’s grandmother Maw-Maw (Cloris Leachman) is fighting with the preacher, Reverend Bob (Leslie Jordan); and the local oddball Barney (Gregg Binkley) insists on sending the happy couple to Los Angeles for a wedding present. Mazel tov!

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DRAMA Cracked (CBC, 9 p.m.) It’s the best new Canadian show you’re probably not watching. Launched earlier this month, this sharp series puts a new spin on the crime-drama genre, if only because of its setting. The premise takes place in a major Canadian city’s Psych Crimes Unit, which is run by the earnest psychiatrist Dr. Daniella Ridley (Stefanie von Pfetten) in partnership with the slightly unstable cop Aidan (David Sutcliffe), still dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder following a shooting incident. In tonight’s new episode, the unit investigates the potential connection between the apocalyptic hallucinations of an unhinged patient, played by ex-Flashpoint regular Enrico Colantoni, and a real-life murder. Give it a chance.

3 of 5

REALITY Starter Wives Confidential (TLC, 9 p.m.) What fresh reality-TV hell is this? Debuting tonight, this new series focuses on the current existences of seven women who supported their former husbands and boyfriends before fame and wealth prompted them to move on to new mates. The decidedly bitter group of seven: Zakia Baum, ex-girlfriend of rapper Jermaine “Maino” Coleman; Cheryl Caruso, ex-wife of mobster Phillip Caruso; Josie Harris, ex-girlfriend of boxer Floyd Mayweather; Monica Joseph-Taylor, ex-wife of rapper “Funkmaster Flex”; Tashera Simmons, ex-wife of rapper Earl “DMX” Simmons; Shaniqua Tompkins, ex-girlfriend of rapper Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson; and, most notably, Liza Morales, ex-girlfriend of NBA star Lamar Odom, more recently bumping boots with reality oddity Khloe Kardashian. And each woman has one or more children with their former partner. This is gonna get ugly.

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REALITY Southie Rules (A&E, 10 p.m.) Remember that old skit on Saturday Night Live in which Jimmy Fallon and Rachel Dratch played an obnoxious South Boston couple who made out constantly and used the word “wicked” in almost every sentence? Welcome to the real version in the form of this new show focusing on the Niedzwiecki family, who take inordinate pride in being called “Southies” and regard anyone who hails from outside South Boston as “Yuppies,” or much worse. As per the Jersey Shore reality template, the show bends over backwards to make its subjects look as outrageous as possible and tonight’s opener has the entire Niedzwiecki clan and all their family and friends up in arms over the gentrification of their blue-collar neighbourhood. And yes, they use the word “wicked” as often as possible.

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MOVIE Beautiful Girls (Vision, midnight) Cinematically unassuming but moving in its own way, this 1996 feature is all about troubled young people looking for love in all the wrong places. The story takes place in a postcard-perfect New England town and involves a gaggle of complicated boyos a few years post-high school. Willie (Timothy Hutton) is a soulful pianist-poet about to take a job as a salesman. Tommy (Matt Dillon) is the ex-jock stuck in the high school days and still chasing the prom queen. And Paul (Michael Rappaport) is simply a big dope. A few local ladies, played by Mira Sorvino, Uma Thurman and Lauren Holly, go in and out of their lives and everybody talks about life and feelings and the like. What feels wrong with this movie today is Hutton’s character infatuation with a 13-year-old figure skater named Marty, played by a very young Natalie Portman.

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