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The Age

Monday, December 8 - Pay TV

Author: brad newsome
Date: 04/12/2008
Words: 435
Source: AGE
          Publication: The Age
Section: Green Guide
Page: 44
America's Most Smartest Model

MTV, 10pm

LET'S face it, the best thing about America's Next Top Model (Tuesday, Fox8, 7.35pm) is the wonderful feeling of superiority you get when - time and time again - the girls reveal themselves to be as thick as a plank. This new series concentrates the schadenfreude

by focusing almost entirely on the amusing/tragic ignorance of the contestants. In each episode, the air-headed models (seven male, seven female) are subjected to ordeals such as general-knowledge quizzes, spelling bees and challenges in which they have to conduct science experiments. At the end of the series, the "most smartest" (or least dumbest) will win $US100,000 ($A153,000). The show is hosted by Ben Stein, who is a lawyer, an economist and a contributor to The New York Times, as well as being a comic actor and a passionate advocate of education. Stein wants to make it cool to be clever, but is this the best way of going about it? One imagines that, in the US at least, much of the target audience will be as uneducated as the contestants and so might miss the point entirely while focusing on the skinny bods and six-pack abs. As the crazy, volatile Russian contestant Andre puts it: "People would die to be like us, bro!" Still, it's good fun, and while most of the models do indeed seem to be short of intelligence, Australian Rachael does fairly well in the general knowledge stuff.

TV1 Summer Shorts

TV1, 7.55am, 11.50am, 4.55pm

THE smarty-pants at TV1 have been hard at work cutting episodes of old shows down to five-minute chunks. The shortened programs include Charlie's Angels, Fantasy Island, Diff'rent Strokes, The Partridge Family (pictured), Starsky & Hutch and Gidget. It's possible, I suppose, that you could discover a new old favourite by watching them. At the very least, it'll make you feel like you've just saved a whole heap of time.

Next World

Discovery Science, 8.30pm

THE future is already here in this intriguing science series, which tonight looks at ways in which we might become sort of superhuman. The most interesting segment looks at sub-vocal communication, which is effectively telepathy. Boffins have found that when we think of saying something, our brain sends the necessary signals to our throat, even when we mean to stay silent. Stick a sensor and transmitter on your throat and you can effectively send out your thoughts.

Worth a look

Future Makers

(Discovery, 8.30pm). A series looking at Australians involved in ground-breaking renewable-energy projects.

Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations

(Discovery Travel & Living, 9.30pm). Bourdain heads to Egypt.

Biography: Matthew Perry

(Bio, 9.30pm)

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