Inhuman nature

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“Man vs. Food Nation”
Wednesday 9pm, Travel Channel
My niece and nephew are wild about this show, which features “food enthusiast” Adam Richman as he crosses the country stuffing his face in restaurant challenges. The current fourth season features a twist, in which Richman takes on locals at each stop and coaches them through the gorging process. Upcoming episodes take place in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where Richman and his squire have to consume 15 sliders, two orders of fries, and three milkshakes within 30 minutes; and Louisville, Kentucky, where they’ll have to make room for a 15-scoop sundae with all the fixings. In the immortal words of Madonna, my bottom hurts just thinking about it.
 
“Project Runway”
Thursday 9pm, Lifetime
Almost a year has passed since the last season of “Project Runway,” which ended in viewer outrage as the hateful Gretchen Jones, purveyor of granny panties as fashionable outerwear, was given the win. Judges Nina Garcia and Michael Kors seemingly abandoned the judging criteria of the show in favor of picking the most trend-focused designer. I am still clutching my nonexistent pearls. Many fans claimed they would never watch the series again, so those threats will be put to the test as 20 new designers join Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn in the workroom for Season Nine. Get ready for lots more “Runway” this year; in addition to this season, an accessories-based spin-off and an All-stars season are on their way.
 
Shark Week 2011
Starts Sunday 9pm, Discovery Channel
It’s Christmas in July for nature nerds as Discovery brings back its ever-popular Shark Week, just in time to terrify you for beach season. Shark Week 2011 features a variety of primetime programming devoted to the unrelenting predators of the deep, including old reliables like the 2007 gem “Top Five Eaten Alive” or “Air Jaws: Sharks of South America,” about sharks that hurl themselves out of the ocean for a bite. Nightmares already! New this year are “Great White Invasion” (Sunday 9pm), about the increasing number of great whites popping up in human-frequented waters; “How Sharks Hunt” (Wednesday August 3, 9pm), featuring an investigation by the “Dual Survival” team on the attack patterns of different shark species; and “Shark City” (Thursday August 4, 9pm), which follows sharks of the Bahamas as they go about their daily shark business. Also look for comedy bits featuring this year’s Chief Shark Officer, “SNL”’s Andy Samberg.

 

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