From the second season premiere of 'The Parkers' to Court TV's 'Confessions,' a guide to notable programs during the week of September 8, 2000

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Monday September 4

If anything can be derived from this second season premiere, it’s that Mo’Nique and Countess Vaughn could use another summer break from their hack writers. Instead, we have to search for the humor in watching our plump protagonist chase down her marriage hungry daughter in Las Vegas. We’re ready to love The Parkers. If only those scribes weren’t fighting us every step of the way. C+
Lynette Rice

Tuesday September 5

Over 2.5 million kids are arrested each year, and more and more of them are serving time as adults. This look at how the Sunshine State is dealing with under-18 inmates could’ve provided a forum for thoughtful debate on the merits of ”adult crime, adult time,” but without any critical counterpoint, it comes off more like an infomercial for the Florida penal system: ”Come for the sun, stay for our bitchin’ lockups!” C+

Wednesday September 6

For those already wary of flying the friendly skies, exits are located on your remote control. For those remaining on board, feel free to roam about the cabin during this tedious ”Investigative Reports” lesson on the inner workings of Boeing 737s. After a 1994 flight inexplicably slams into the earth at 300 miles per hour, experts meet and systems are analyzed. But still, no real answers are uncovered. The bus has never looked so good. C-
Nancy Sidewater

Sunday September 10

Get ready for the dark side of reality TV: darker than a torch lit Tribal Council, seedier than a Big Brother ”love bed,” more tense than an O-Town boy band feud. With Confessions, Court TV drags us into the interrogation room for actual videotaped statements from real New York murderers. The fact that such atrocities (committed by drug ravaged or mentally ill subjects) are put on display for entertainment value is disturbing on one level to be sure, yet it’s hard not to find this stuff gripping. Suddenly, Rich and Sue don’t look like such bad apples after all. B


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