- Returns in 2013, AMC
Say you're the victim of foul play. Maybe your pet's gone MIA, or some other such chicanery. You might need a security detail. If you live near Ringgold, Ga., you might need JJK Security and Investigations -- aka 'Small Town Security,' subject of a quirky new reality TV series on AMC. But this isn't your standard-issue reality TV. Like Christopher Guest meets 'Fargo,' it's 'Law and Order' for the rural crowd.
The show follows sass-talking, potty-mouthed "Chief" Joan Koplan and her husband, "Captain" Irwin, owners of JJK. Joan's always dreamed of being a star, and Irwin's a borderline hoarder with an ever-shifting crop of hair that begs its own investigation. Since there are a few slow crime days in a town of 3,600, they shoot a lot of breeze about sex, past lives, and questionable personal hygiene.
Most fascinating is Dennis "Lieutenant" Croft, a former Y2K extremist with a complex personal life. He takes his post very seriously: "My mission is to sneak around and try get to places where I shouldn't be. And if I get caught, that's good. That's good for them."
You can't write this stuff. That's why it's a reality show. With such big personalities, it's unclear how they'd keep a low profile on a stakeout. But who cares? Even if you don't have anybody to tail, go for the conversation. You won't be bored. See It to Believe It
Watch clips of 'Small Town Security' »
Find a local security company »
- Wednesdays, 10|9c, Bravo
Eating at a restaurant helmed by a 'Top Chef Masters' contestant is usually a pretty safe bet. They've earned their stripes as celebrity kings and queens of the cooking world. For the recent Grand Canyon challenge, chefs were tasked with crafting a meal worthy of the Hualapai Indian tribe with ingredients from their sacred land (no pressure). The winning dish: Grilled Venison and Banana Yucca Cake with Braised Figs from Thierry Rautureau and Takashi Yagihashi.
Taste why these two won: Thierry is chef/owner of Rover's and Luc in Seattle. Based in Chicago, Takashi owns Takashi Restaurant and Slurping Turtle.
Famished? Find Restaurants Nearby.
- Wednesdays, 10|9c, Bravo
So many design shows feature mega-budget projects. $100,000 renovations, $50,000 kitchens ... Luckily for we normal folk, 'Design Star All-Stars' challenges its contestants to do more with less.
Spoiler Alert! In the season finale (aired Aug. 21), winner Leslie dreamed up a beachy kids' retreat using furniture and accessories from H.D. Buttercup and Modernica in Los Angeles. Art studio storage shelves give a rustic, on-the-docks feel. Nautical mirror, a rope-accented hanging bench, and bright pillows are affordable pops of genius.
Dress Up Your Space
Find funky furniture »
Hunt for antiques »
Show Businesses: Small Town Security
Just how much reality goes into reality television is sometimes questionable. Yes, some people are out for the publicity, and their "unscripted" lives are anything but. Fair enough.
But for every drama queen or king, there is the hardworking professional looking to launch their big idea, or the chef worthy of cooking your last meal. Show Businesses spotlights intriguing real-life businesses and cool finds popping up on the tube. Top chefs, gifted carpenters, designers who weave miracles with a fabric swatch. Delicious restaurants, specialty stores, and services you never dreamed you'd need.