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Sunday, August 31, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 61.0° F  Fog
Arts
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Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution takes corndogs off the menu
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Oliver battles the country's unhealthiest city.
Oliver battles the country's unhealthiest city.

In Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution (Friday, 7 p.m., ABC), the British chef arrives on our shores to change the way we eat, beginning with the statistically proven "unhealthiest city in America": Huntington, West Virginia. It sounds like an annoyingly self-aggrandizing project, but Oliver is no British reality-series showboat on the order of Simon Cowell or Gordon Ramsay. He's a low-key bloke with a working-class accent who simply wants to stop us from eating ourselves to death. His sincerity is evident as he strives to change a local school's horrific lunch menu.

But Huntington won't go down without a fight. "We don't want to sit around and eat lettuce all day," says an outraged local radio host, standing up for the city's right to feed its kids a steady diet of corndogs. The crusty school cooks insist that their menu of chicken nuggets and "breakfast pizza" conforms to federal nutrition standards - which, sadly, it does. They protest when Oliver proposes a meal of fresh chicken, fruit and rice. "I might as well be a criminal going into that kitchen with fresh produce," he says.

Indeed, Jamie may well end up in a Huntington jail before the series runs its course. You separate America from its corndogs at your peril.

Kids' Choice Awards
Saturday, 7 pm (Nickelodeon)

It's refreshing to encounter an awards show whose only goal is to entertain the viewing audience. You can tell the Kids' Choice is committed to having fun from the playful categories, such as Favorite Couple. President Obama and wife Michelle are up for the award, going head-to-head with Edward and Bella from Twilight.

If the Obamas lose, it will bode ill for November's midterm elections.

Saving Grace
Monday, 9 pm (TNT)

I used to enjoy watching this series despite its supernatural nonsense. Holly Hunter burned a hole in the TV screen as Grace, a troubled Oklahoma City cop, and her intensity offset the silly subplot about a homespun angel providing updates from God.

But not even Hunter can save the final season. The miracles fly thick and fast in this week's episode, as Grace falls off a building without being injured. Everybody stands around wondering how that could have happened, but none of them suspects the likely culprit: bad scriptwriting.

Hunter is reduced to screaming at God in a deserted church in the middle of the night in a thunderstorm, yet. "You hunted me down like a spurned lover!" she tells the Lord, who can be forgiven for scratching His head. Then she goes out in the rain to have hot naked sex with a demon.

Hunter had better not get on God's bad side. After this embarrassment, she'll need His help to save her career.

The Real Face of Jesus
Tuesday, 8 pm (History)

This documentary purports to shed new light on the Shroud of Turin, the cloth that supposedly contains an image of the crucified Jesus. It uses new digital technology to reveal "the most accurate representation ever seen of what many believe to be Jesus Christ!"

Come on, now, History channel. Given Jesus' importance in the grand scheme of things, do you really think he'd be reduced to revealing himself to us via bed sheets?

Love Games: Bad Girls Need Love Too
Tuesday, 9 pm (Oxygen)

The catfighting reality series Bad Girls Club has morphed into a dating show, with three contestants from past seasons choosing among a group of hunks. "What will these guys do to win the heart of a bad girl?" the narrator asks.

That proves to be a trick question, because these girls don't have hearts. They ridicule guys for the way they look and are especially cruel to those who aren't the size and shape of pro football players. "Joey is so little and wimpy that I don't feel bad about making him leave," says Amber.

I think that's sickening, even for reality TV. Then again, I'm little and wimpy.

Fly Girls
Wednesday, 8 pm (CW)

This reality series claims to be a candid look at sexy female flight attendants. But the "candid" part is questionable. The women apparently have multiple cameras and a lighting unit following them at all times. Thus, a supposedly spontaneous interaction with a hunky passenger is filmed from several angles, and clearly not in the dim light of an airplane cabin. The CW must have cleared the aisle and set up tons of equipment to capture a few seconds of "candid" flirtation.

I wouldn't mind the artifice if Fly Girls were as fun as it keeps telling us it is. "The world is our playground!" one Fly Girl exclaims. "Anything can happen!" I braced myself for a wild ride, but all these women seem to do is attend canned promotional events and make small talk at excruciating parties.

As long as Fly Girls is faking its situations, couldn't it do a better job of faking fun?

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