The Televisionist, Jan. 4 

click to enlarge DOWN IN THE TRENCHES: On "The Vice Guide to Everything."
  • DOWN IN THE TRENCHES: On "The Vice Guide to Everything."


8 p.m. Wednesdays


We know some folks with quirks that border on addiction: beer, boobies, fried foods, various mind-altering substances and a whole bunch of sexy-time stuff that they probably wouldn't want mentioned in the newspaper. That said, there's quirky, and then there's WEIRD. Addiction is no laughing matter, especially when it goes beyond "want to" into "have to." That's the place where something we might normally laugh about can really start to rule a person's life. Here, in keeping with their ongoing status as the Freak Show Channel, TLC presents "My Strange Addiction," a show dedicated to recording the sometimes-tortured existence of people with a have-to-have-it need for really, really odd stuff. Recent episodes, for example, have focused on people who are addicted to eating toilet paper, scarfing household scouring cleansers and laundry detergent, thumbsucking (their own, thankfully), speaking only via puppets and sleeping with a running blow dryer. Yeah, that's pretty gatdamn strange. Tune in, and realize that your life really ain't all that bad — or at least could be a whole bunch weirder.


10 p.m. Mondays


Though MTV has long since jettisoned any claim to being a channel that provides anything of value to human beings, we're still hopeful that it will return to its hip and relevant glory days. A good sign that it might be on the way back is the promising new show "The Vice Guide to Everything." Sort of a globe-hopping version of The Daily Show, The Vice Guide is based on the always-entertaining webpage www.viceland.com, which features correspondents doing tongue-firmly-in-cheek and enlightening writing on bad behavior all over the globe. If the new MTV version can keep to those standards, they might have something. Upcoming episodes of the TV show feature reporters traveling in Libya, riding along with professional car thieves who boost rides in Israel for Palestinian customers, chillin' with Latino lowriders in L.A., going on patrol with child soldiers in Yemen, and downing vodka with Russian mobsters. It's completely safe adventurism (is that an oxymoron?), but unless you want to risk getting killed and buried in a shallow grave, it's probably the closest you'll ever get to action like that.


9:30 p.m. Tuesdays

Comedy Central

We (heart) Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report" around here. Even older than that romance, however, is our love for www.theonion.com, the always-hilarious website that was making up funny news long before anybody thought Jon Stewart was cool. Given that, we're hoping that Comedy Central will find another hit with their new show "The Onion Sportsdome." Drawing on the same very funny videos that can be seen at The Onion online, the new show features fake ESPN-style announcers reporting on fake sports stories, most of which (unlike those seen on "The Daily Show") have not a grain of truth in them. This writer pretty much doesn't give a rip about sports, but the "Sportsdome" videos seen at the Comedy Central website had me laughing out loud. That's a good sign for what might make a very fun stable mate for Stewart and Colbert.



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