Tonight offers an interesting object lesson for reality television; as many of you may have heard, Captain Phil Harris, who had been a central figure on “The Deadliest Catch” for the past several seasons, passed away in February. Tonight they’re airing the episode where he dies. I have to admit that I find something obscene about this; they’re not just airing a tribute show where his friends and family eulogize him to clips of past seasons, this episode is his final days in the hospital after suffering a stroke while his sons try to bring themselves to terms with their father’s impending death. For all I know, Discovery gave the family the chance to turn the cameras off and they elected not to, choosing to share the end of Captain Harris’s life with the fans of the show. But what if they didn’t? What if you had to confront the death of a parent while a camera crew followed your every move? When someone’s life is considered entertainment for others, as is the case for many reality shows, what does that make their death? On that completely depressing note, here’s tonight’s TV:
8:00 p.m.: “2010 MLB All-Star Game” on Fox. Special presentation.
“Losing It With Jillian” on NBC.
“Pretty Little Liars” on ABC Family.
9:00 p.m.: “America’s Got Talent” on NBC.
“Deadliest Catch” on Discovery.
“Downfall” on ABC.
“Hawthorne” on TNT.
“Health Special: Big Babies” on Health. One hour special presentation. Apparently, it’s “Baby Week” on the Health channel. Somehow I doubt it will develop the same following that Shark Week has.
“Make It or Break It” on ABC Family. New time slot.
“Warehouse 13” on SyFy.
“White Collar” on USA. Second season premiere.
10:00 p.m.: “Covert Affairs” on USA. 75-minute series premiere. Good to see Piper Perabo getting work that doesn’t involve being the shyest bartender with big-city dreams of being a famous songwriter. Remember, honey, you can’t fight the moonlight.
“Deadliest Catch: After the Catch: Life Is Good” on Discovery.
“The Hills” on MTV. Series finale. I get the feeling Spencer and Heidi will find a way to get back on TV again. Like herpes. Just because it’s not always visible doesn’t mean it’s gone.
“Jersey Couture” on Oxygen.
“Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List” on Bravo.
“The Little Couple” on TLC.
“Memphis Beat” on TNT.
“PBS Special: POV: Good Fortune” on PBS.
“Primetime” on ABC.
“Rescue Me” on FX.
Late Night Listings:
“The Late Show With David Letterman” on CBS featuring Kristin Chenoweth, Jonathan Alter, and M.I.A.
“The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” on NBC featuring Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jay Baruchel, and Nikki & Rich.
“The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson” on CBS featuring Marion Cotillard and Louie Anderson.
“Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” on NBC featuring Nicholas Cage, Jennifer Lawrence, and Kelis.
Intern Rusty is a Masters student at the University of Miami. You can learn more about her at Rusty’s Ventures.