Technology makes everything easier -- even for bad guys. We've been told about the Craigslist Killer -- now it's time to meet the Online Date-Rapist.
"20/20" (10 p.m., ABC) profiles Jeffrey Marsalis, who used his Match.com profile to lure countless women into his sick world. Some prosecutors think he may be the worst date-rapist in our nation's history. You can't say Marsalis wasn't inventive. He'd con women with stories that he was a brain surgeon. He told others he was in the CIA or training to be an astronaut. He attracted ambitious, educated women. Like any effective con man, he used his prey's aspir-
ations against them. They wanted to believe they had found someone extraordinary. In fact, he was so convincing that many victims returned to him, even after they had begun to sense that something about "Dr. Jeff," or whatever he called himself, just wasn't right.
---It's not enough to do really manly work anymore. You have to fish, drive trucks, wrestle alligators and pan for gold in extreme conditions, climates and latitudes. As of tonight, it's not enough to weld -- you have to do it in Alaska, among fishermen. Yes, it's time for "Alaskan Steel Men" (10 p.m., Discovery, TV-14). These guys are marine welders, repairing fishing boats getting ready for the pollack season.
---Are films even film anymore? Keanu Reeves makes the most of his Hollywood connections to get his friends and colleagues to appear in "Side by Side: The Science, Art, and Impact of Digital Cinema" (9 p.m., PBS), a documentary he hosts and produced.
Reeves sits down with filmmakers and actors from James Cameron to Martin Scorsese to discuss how the advent of digital cameras and CGI effects have affected their storytelling. He also speaks with directors who will never give up traditional film. One exclaims that he will never trade "oil paints for crayons."
Actors, including Reeves, explain how the limitations of shooting in film affected the culture of a movie set. Takes could only last about 20 minutes before breaking to reload cameras. And the expense of shooting film put everybody on their toes, as if you could hear the "money" flowing through the camera.
Digital "filmmakers" don't have to wait for the film to come back from the lab to review their work. They can see what they've shot on the spot. And digital cameras are cheap and small enough for a director to use several, or even dozens, to get a multitude of angles. Director Danny Boyle explains that the frantic, kinetic energy of "28 Days Later" could never have been produced on a traditional film camera.
But has a certain heightened intensity been lost, now that actors have to be "on" for hours or days at a time? Will digital effects allow storytellers to dispense with actors entirely?
With "Side By Side," Reeves has at least begun an interesting conversation about a revolution in media. Speaking of revolutions, "Side by Side" has been available for streaming on Netflix.
Also available on Netflix,
beginning today: ABC's "Re venge," season two.
---The Cowboys host the Texans in preseason NFL football (8 p.m., NFL).
A young couple (Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Aaron Paul) try to go sober in the 2012 drama "Smashed" (9 p.m., Starz).
---Perez Hilton appears on "America's Next Top Model" (9 p.m., CW, TV-14).
---Robbie Rogers, Chris Fran-
jola, Sarah Colonna and Nico Santos appear on "Chelsea Lately" (11 p.m., E!, r).
---Jay Leno welcomes Sen. John McCain, Diablo Cody and Booker T. Jones with Mayer Hawthorne on "The Tonight Show" (11:35 p.m., NBC).
---Josh Duhamel, Adam Perry Lang and Luke Bryan appear on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" (11:35 p.m., ABC, r).
---Bryan Cranston, Common, Miranda Hart and Robin Thicke visit "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" (12:35 a.m., NBC, r).
---Craig Ferguson hosts Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Julie Chen, Neil Patrick Harris, Nikki Reed and Drew Brees on "The Late Late Show" (12:35 a.m., CBS, r).
Kevin McDonough can be reached at email@example.com.