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Primal Screen

'American Idol' matters. No, seriously!

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Here’s a strange entry in the reality-show sweepstakes. Clint Eastwood’s wife, Dina, allows E! into her house to film the family. These affluent folks from Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calif., don’t have any special reason for being on TV — no big dramas, no big personalities. In the premiere episode, they get a turtle. Yep, it’s another exciting week in ol’ Carmel.

The Eastwood family is interesting only because they’re associated with Clint, and he doesn’t take part in Mrs. Eastwood & Company. In fact, Dina has admitted that he disapproves of the project.

That’s right, Clint Eastwood disapproves. And you know what happens when the movies’ number one vigilante disapproves of something, don’t you, punk? I suggest that the E! camera crew run for their lives if they don’t want to wind up dead or in jail.

Civilization: The West and the Rest with Niall Ferguson (8pm Tue, PBS)

Historian Niall Ferguson offers a fascinating take on civilization, with his British accent lending the theory an air of authority. Ferguson identifies six reasons for the West’s dominance since the 1500s: science, democracy, medicine, work ethic, competition, and consumerism. But he also identifies signs of Western decline, reminiscent of Rome’s collapse in 400. China and Islam, by contrast, are both coming on strong, laying the groundwork for a new era dominated by the East.

“Are we the generation on whose watch Western ascendance is going to end?” Ferguson asks.

You can watch this two-part, four-hour program about our decline, or you can go out there and work your butt off to turn things around for the West.

Oh, what the hell, let’s watch the program. Anybody have Doritos?

Pregnant in Heels (9pm Tue, Bravo)

Rosie Pope is a “maternity concierge” who helps wealthy clients through the pregnancy process. That might sound like typical trumped-up reality-show nonsense, but Rosie’s presence redeems Pregnant in Heels. She has a cute speech impediment, a quick wit, and a protective feeling toward her clients, even as she rolls her eyes over their foibles. In short, she’s utterly adorable, not to mention utterly competent.

During the second season, Rosie seeks out a therapist to help cure her speech impediment. That will make her slightly less adorable to me, but maybe it’s for the best. I have to keep reminding myself not to fall in love with reality-TV stars.

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