“Destroy Build Destroy”
Wednesday 8:30pm, Cartoon Network
Cartoon Network has been expanding outside the animated realm for several years, including with this live-action game show, now entering its fourth season. “Destroy Build Destroy” lives up to its name as two teams of teenagers blow up assorted objects using bazookas, rocket launchers and other explosives, use the leftover parts to build a new vehicle, compete to see who has the better creation, and then blow up the losing project. So it’s intended for boys, and grown-ass men who still act like boys. (Read: most of the adult male population.) Overseeing the wanton destruction is Andrew W.K., a musician you may remember from his incredibly stupid 2001 anthem “Party Hard.”
Saturday 9-11pm, Discovery Channel
If Memorial Day made you wish you knew a bit more about the sacrifices our servicemen and women made for this country, this two-hour documentary on the 1944 battle for Omaha Beach is a good start. “Surviving D-Day” examines in minute detail the 12-hour siege, using war records, forensics, and testimony from veterans of the battle to recount some of the more mind-blowing details that helped save the day. We’re talking codes and maps hidden in watercolor paintings, exploding dummy paratroopers and the lifesaving effects of buckle-strap designs—fascinating stuff even for non–war buffs.
“Switched at Birth”
Monday 9pm, ABC Family
ABC Family has carved out a nice little niche for itself with teen-centric dramas, and while the execrable “Secret Life of the American Teenager” somehow stays on the airwaves, it has been joined by some decently-made guilty pleasures. “Switched at Birth” has potential to join those ranks. As the title implies, it tells the story of two families brought together after they discover that their teenaged daughters were swapped in the hospital as infants. While one of the girls grew up privileged in an upper-middle-class family, the other was raised by a struggling single mother, and also went deaf after contracting meningitis—a novel twist that could, if handled properly, lead to some thoughtful explorations of deaf culture. The cast includes Lea Thompson (Back to the Future) as the stuck-up rich mom, Constance Marie (“George Lopez”) as the single one, and recent “Celebrity Apprentice” runner-up Marlee Matlin.