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WEIRD & WILD: Weekend wonders
February 26, 2010  | By Diane Werts
 
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Maybe you're Olympic-ed out. Don't wanna hear any more about Jay or Dave. Couldn't care less about a marriage ref or any of TV's other current Big Deals.

I hear you. I, too, like to zig where others zag. (But apparently not enough to avoid invoking the cliche.)

Always on the lookout for the obscure, alternative or just plain weird to watch, I've spotted a few less obvious choices to help you while away your weekend.

The Gene Autry Show (Friday night at midnight ET through Sunday night at midnight ET, Encore Westerns) -- There's nothing quite so comforting encore gene autry show.jpgas the predictability of these little '50s western half-hours with songs (Autry), silliness (sidekick Pat Buttram, later Green Acres' Mr. Haney), heroism (Gene and Pat), and the shoot-'em-ups that the pre-show rating label calls "mild violence." You can usually spot an assortment of character actors, too (James Best, Denver Pyle). And never knowing who you'll see adds that crazy degree of excitement we all need in life.

Human Target (Saturday 2-8 p.m. ET, FX) -- Keen Eddie/Boston Legal/Fringe fave Mark Valley is back as a sort of James Bond/Indiana Jones hybrid in this breezy actioner based on the comic book hero. He plays bodyguard by making himself the title character, and blithely escapes all manner of disasters while bantering to beat the band and barely mussing his hair. It's just the kind of mindless fun TV needs, so Fox is hyping it on its sister cable network with this catch-up marathon. (Not that there's anything to catch up on. No mythology, no numbers, nada.) You gotta love a show with both Chi McBride (Pushing Daisies) and Jackie Earle Haley (Shutter Island).

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Beauty and the Beast: A Dark Tale (Saturday at 9 p.m. ET, Syfy) -- Here's another reliable genre wallow. Syfy's Saturday Original Movies are actually ratings sleepers, and that's because they're perfect weekend popcorn pix. In addition to the standard selection of animal invasions (Dinoshark), disaster flicks (Meteor Storm) and paranormalities (House of Bones), the channel is adding a new thread of "reimagined fairy tales," starting with this bloody catfight bodice-ripper. They're cheap treats, but if you're home Saturday nights, it's a cheap date.

Disease Detectives (Sunday at 8 p.m. ET, Discovery Health) -- Until this channel morphs into Oprahland next year, it's still providing some bang-up medical info. (When it isn't going gaga over sentimental stuff like Baby Week, which starts Monday.) Celebrate Rare Disease Day with this new hour portrait of a real-life House: Dr. William Gahl, head of the National Institutes of Health's Undiagnosed Disease Program. Don't be disappointed if he's a nice guy.

 
 
 
 
 
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