CAP­TIVE flick set loose on au­di­ences

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( Hou­dini, Mon­day and Tues­day, Show­case, 8 p.m.); Utopia (Sept. 7, Fox, Ci­tytv, 7 p.m.)

The trailer for Hou­dini fea­tures him ask­ing, “What’s your big­gest fear? Drown­ing, heights, crowds…” (For the record, my two big­gest fears are ex­trater­res­trial in­va­sions and wak­ing up next to a Kar­dashian.) Adrien Brody is per­fectly cast as the mys­te­ri­ous tit­u­lar ma­gi­cian whose name is still syn­ony­mous with magic nearly 90 years af­ter his death. This two-part minis­eries prom­ises a re­veal­ing look at the per­sonal and pro­fes­sional ex­ploits of the iconic escape artist and il­lu­sion­ist. Kris­ten Con­nolly ( House of Cards) co-stars as his wife, Bess. Mean­while, Fox presses the re­set but­ton on civ­i­liza­tion when 15 peo­ple are shipped to the mid­dle of nowhere to “ded­i­cate a year of their lives to build a dream so­ci­ety.” No fam­ily, no food, no heat — just a 200-per­son pro­duc­tion crew, 1.2 hectares of land and hun­dreds of cam­eras stream­ing 24-7 for 52 straight weeks. Wor­ry­ingly, the pro­duc­ers only chose Amer­i­can con­tes­tants. Nat­u­rally, it doesn’t take long for re­li­gious, ide­o­log­i­cal and po­lit­i­cal ten­sions to brew. (Next time you’re in a ran­dom packed el­e­va­tor, imag­ine be­ing dropped in the wilder­ness with your fel­low pas­sen­gers and form­ing a new so­ci­ety… You may never sleep again). The show moves to its reg­u­lar 7 p.m. Tues­day and Fri­day night time-slots at 8 p.m. start­ing Sept. 9 and Sept. 12.

Abra­cadabra! TV magic! Hou­dini de­serves to be a multi-year se­ries. Mean­while, Utopia gives hu­man­ity a chance to screw things up all over again. (If I know hu­man­ity, my guess is we’ll de­liver). But it could be fun to watch the group in­vent their own laws, lead­er­ship and so­ci­etal norms. (By the way, if I was in charge, I would make ev­ery­one com­mu­ni­cate only in song and es­tab­lish a Min­istry of Silly Walks à la Monty Python. Oh, and glut­tony? No longer a sin.)

Board­walk Em­pire (HBO, Sept. 7, 8 p.m.). The fifth and fi­nal sea­son be­gins. Wal­ter White’s anti-hero swan song is a tough act to fol­low. Good luck, Nucky Thomp­son.


BIG RE­LEASE TUES­DAY: Zeus ( Clas­sic Zeus) BIG PIC­TURE: My favourite Cana­dian la­bel, Arts & Crafts, re­leases an­other po­ten­tial gem. The third full-length al­bum from Zeus finds the Toronto band shift­ing from ’70s clas­sic-rock in­flu­ences into mod­ern in­die pop. What emerges is a more dy­namic sound than pre­vi­ous ef­forts, but with the band’s familiar har­monies and sense of hu­mour. FORE­CAST: It’s bold nam­ing your­self af­ter a god, let alone the “king of the gods.” Zeus may not yet fully de­liver on their name, but this divine ef­fort would cer­tainly get some ro­ta­tion on the ra­dio sta­tion atop Mount Olym­pus. I pre­dict other Cana­dian bands will em­brace the Greek-Ro­man pan­theon. (I want Feist to change her name to Aphrodite, or an East Coast rock band named Po­sei­don’s Tri­dent.) HONOURABLE MEN­TION: Blonde Red­head ( Bar­ra­gan); Nick & Knight ( Nick & Knight). Nick & Knight: the new Si­mon & Gar­funkel, a new for­mu­laic cop show or a sign the end is near? Nick Carter from Back­street Boys and Jor­dan Knight from NKOTB unite as a duo! Mean­while, the stel­lar, ever- cre­ative, New York alt-rock­ers Blonde Red­head re­turn with an al­bum ti­tle that sounds like a typo, but the mu­sic should be er­ror-free.

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