There should be something wrong when high-schoolers in Florida start to sound like their geriatric counterparts in Boca Raton. But when it’s the stars of MTV’s The Paper [10:30 p.m.], it’s downright heartwarming. Though society seems to be “heading to the Internet and to virtual whatnot,” 17-year-old Amanda Lorber, an editor on The Circuit, the student-run newspaper of Cypress Bay High School in Weston, Fla. says she and her mates “really wanna keep print alive.” Aw, we feel you sister! Perhaps the staff of The Circuit will be the perfect compliment to that other popular MTV reality series starring misguided teenagers. The Observer’s Matt Haber summed it up quite nicely in a profile of the show and its cast:
“In many ways, The Paper is perfect counterpoint to the network’s phenomenally—some might say inexplicably—popular ‘reality’ series about young adulthood in Los Angeles. If The Hills is a magic-hour fantasy of life as a glossy shampoo commercial, The Paper exists in a fluorescent-lit world closer to Frederick Wiseman’s High School, with a little bit of The Office thrown in for comic relief.”
Too high-minded? VH1 vies for the same eyeballs with Miss Rap Supreme (10 p.m.), a competition reality series in which ten female rap hopefuls compete for a $100,000 prize. Brought to you by the same people who produced The (White) Rapper Show, the program will seek to highlight the trials and tribulations of lady M.C.s’. First bit of advice, never make a movie with Jimmy Fallon!
Dirty Jobs (DSC, 9 p.m.) is a bit of a guilty pleasure, as is its insouciant host Mike Rowe. But this week, we New Yorkers actually have a legitimate reason to watch. Mr. Rowe visits the Big Apple and climbs to the top of a water tower at the top of a very high building and learns how to fix elevators. If only he’d shown up two decades ago, he wouldn’t have had to leave the street level to find a dirty job.
Hey, did you know Barack Obama likes basketball? Yep, he sure does. But do you know how much does he really loves it? No? Find out when Bryant Gumbel goes one-on-one (get it?) with the aspiring Presidential candidate on Real Sports (HBO, 10 p.m.).
For all practical purposes, Gene Wilder has given up acting for writing. Since the publication of his memoirs, Miss Me Like a Stranger, in 2005, he has turned to fiction. His second novel, The Women Who Wouldn’t, was released in March. But that doesn’t mean Mr. Wilder isn’t one to still indulge in a bit of nostalgia. Tonight, he sits down with Alec Baldwin (TCM, 8 p.m.) to do just that.
It’s the last debate before the all-important Pennsylvania primary (ABC, 8 p.m.) Will the gloves come off? Or will it be all strained smiles and awkward politeness? With any luck, Hillary will come out swinging. What has she got to lose … other than delegates and funding, and the nomination …? Oh, well, this isn’t going to fun at all, is it?
MTV distracts the youth vote from this thrilling bit of political theater with the Real World Awards, Roast ’Em and Toast ’Em (8 p.m.), which will only be worth watching if they bring back Puck … again.
Meanwhile, Fox launches its new Wednesday schedule with five new episodes of ‘Til Death (8 p.m.) and Back to You (8:30 p.m.), as if their primetime line-up needed any help.
With Lost (ABC, 9 p.m.) and C.S.I. (CBS, 9 p.m.) in repeats, NBC will have an easy time notching a ratings victory with its primetime lineup in full force. But the free ride ends this week. Both Lost and Grey’s Anatomy return next week—and with an extra hour added to both of their seasons, apparently. (Thank Michael Ausiello for that little scoop.) It’s the least the networks and writers could do, really.
Two finales! Your Mama Don’t Dance (LIFE, 9 p.m.) and Canterbury’s Law (Fox, 9 p.m.). We hardly knew ye.
The made-for-TV adaptation of Sweet Nothing in My Ear (CBS, 9 p.m.) starring Jeff Daniels and Marlee Matlin goes toe-to-toe with My Boy Jack (PBS, 9 p.m.), a Masterpiece production, about Rudyard Kipling and his son, starring David Haig, Daniel Radcliffe and … Kim Cattrall, as Caroline, Rudyard’s wife. Six degrees of Kevin Bacon just got a bit easier.
If you prefer your humor to be of the intentional variety, John Oliver of The Daily Show performs Terrifying Times (Comedy Central, 10 p.m.), his very own stand-up special. With a British accent, he only has to work half as hard!