What To Watch
A day-to-day guide to notable programs. Times are Eastern daylight and are subject to change.
MONDAY June 11
9-9:30AM* JAY JAY THE JET PLANE (PBS, TV-Y) Think an airborne Thomas the Tank Engine as PBS’ new animated series achieves liftoff. *CHECK LOCAL LISTINGS
6-8PM HIGH SOCIETY (Turner Classic Movies, TV-G) It stars Grace Kelly, Bing Crosby, and Frank Sinatra, but we still like The Philadelphia Story a whole lot better.
8-9PM FEAR FACTOR (NBC, TV-14) The series that asks: What’s more revolting — contestants mingling with 400 live rats, or Joe Rogan as game-show host?
8-10PM THE LOVE BOAT (TV Land, TV-G) Love, exciting and new/Come aboard, TV Land’s expecting you!
9-9:30PM EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND (CBS, TV-PG-L) Robert asks his hot Italian babe to translate the phrase ”annoying as hell.” (R)
8-9:45PM LONG NIGHT’S JOURNEY INTO DAY (HBO, TV-PG) Formed in 1995, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (led by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, right) was a way for the new majority-ruled South Africa to confront its hateful past by allowing perpetrators of violence to seek amnesty for their actions. The four cases heard by the TRC in this Oscar-nominated docu make for a moving portrait of people at their worst and at their best, living in the gray twilight where both exist. B — Wook Kim
TUESDAY June 127:30-10PM
STANLEY KUBRICK: A LIFE IN PICTURES (Cinemax, TV-PG) If it’s a life in pictures, why do they need Tom Cruise to narrate?
8-10PM FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF (The WB, TV-PG-L) Hey, batter, batter, batter — saaaawing, batter.
8-8:30PM FRASIER (NBC, TV-PG) Niles proves he got game when he sinks a half-court shot at a SuperSonics contest. Well, Coach McMillan, what are you waiting for? Sign him up, dog! (R)
8-10:30PM WHITE NIGHTS (Bravo, TV-PG-L) It’s hot feet and a Cold War when Gregory Hines and Mikhail Baryshnikov try to dance their way out of Russia.
9-11PM THE REPLACEMENTS (HBO, TV-PG-13) Somehow we don’t think Hollywood would find a movie about a bunch of scab actors quite so hilarious.
8-11PM AFI’S 100 YEARS…100 THRILLS (CBS, TV-14-V) Harrison Ford, he of the Millennium Falcon and the trusty whip, seems like a solid choice to host a special countdown of the best in American action films. But we’re a tad concerned when we see names like Jean-Claude Van Damme, Steven Seagal, and Carl Weathers popping up on the list of celebrity interviewees. What, were Dolph Lundgren and Jeff Speakman too busy?
WEDNESDAY June 13
8-10PM DEF JAM’S HOW TO BE A PLAYER (Comedy Central, TV-14) Not for nothing, but shouldn’t that be playa?
8-8:30PM LADIES MAN (CBS, TV-PG-DL) Well, thank God they brought this back.
8-11PM TNN & CMT COUNTRY WEEKLY MUSIC AWARDS (TNN & CMT, TV-G) Football great Terry Bradshaw once put out a country album. Suffice it to say he sold a few million copies less than his cohost for the evening, Lee Ann Womack.
8-9PM THE WEST WING (NBC, TV-14) He may run the country, but like all men, Prez Bartlet still has to answer to his wife. (R)
8:30-9PM WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY? (ABC, TV-PG-DL) Wayne spoofs a female dancer in a rap video, while Brad plays televangelist. Madness, pure madness! (R)
9-10PM WORLD’S BEST: HOME ON THE RANGE (Travel Channel, TV-PG) If you can get past the cheesy narration in this profile of San Antonio, you’ll learn about several quirky and worthwhile attractions (like a watering hole that makes you feel drunk before you even walk in, the leaning Liberty Bar, above). But, believe it or not, there is one thing they did forget — yes, the Alamo. B-
THURSDAY June 14
8-10PM THE BREAKFAST CLUB (TNT, TV-14-DL) Demented and sad, but social.
9-9:30PM WILL & GRACE (NBC, TV-PG) Patrick Dempsey doesn’t want anyone to know he’s gay. After all, he is the one and only Loverboy. (R)
9-10PM CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION (CBS, TV-14) That’s the sound of murder you hear when Grissom investigates the death of a deaf student. Meanwhile, blame it on the caffeine when five folks in a coffee shop are shot. (R)
10-11PM ER (NBC, TV-PG) It’s a battle of the Toms, with Bosley and Poston full on going at it. (R)
MIDNIGHT-1AM WILD ON THE SPANISH RIVIERA (E!, TV-14) Host Brooke Burke gets an Arab bath treatment. Just a little FYI.
8-9PM DICK VAN PATTEN: THE SURE BET (A&E, TV-G) Dickie (as he’s known to his family) Van Patten seems like a nice guy, but his Biography isn’t all that fascinating. The biggest revelation: Clean-living dad Tom Bradford from 1977-81’s Eight Is Enough…likes to play the ponies! (Hence the subtitle.) At least it’s fun to see TV son Adam Rich all grown up and apparently getting his act together. But where the hell is Willie Aames? C — Bruce Fretts
FRIDAY June 15
THE PREMIERE PREMIERE SHOW (Cartoon Network, TV-G) Tonight’s show is about a cowboy called Yee Hah and his horse Doo Dah. It’s called Yee Hah & Doo Dah.
8-10PM IT HAPPENED AT THE WORLD’S FAIR (Turner Classic Movies, TV-G) Nice little piece of trivia here: The kid who kicks Elvis in the shins is none other than Kurt Russell, who later made his breakthrough portraying the King in Elvis. So there you have it.
8-8:30PM MAKING THE BAND (ABC, TV-PG) It’s every teen girl’s nightmare: the return of Ashley Angel’s ex.
8PM-12:40am THE ROYLE FAMILY: EXPECTING (BBC America, TV-14) Why spend several months getting through a whole season when you can plow through the entire thing in a single night? BBC America airs the complete second season of the real-time British sitcom.
9-11PM NOTHING TO LOSE (USA, TV-14-V) Except two hours of your life by sitting through this 1997 Martin Lawrence ”comedy.”
9-10PM VH1 STORYTELLERS: ELO (VH1, TV-PG) As long as they do the entire Xanadu soundtrack, we’re down.
10-11PM* THE KITCHEN (PBS) As in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City. An Egyptian immigrant tries to persuade his son to forget about a cockamamy music career and take over the family deli business instead.
*CHECK LOCAL LISTINGS
11:30PM-12:45AM BOUNCE: BEHIND THE VELVET ROPE (Showtime, TV-14) ”I don’t like working gay nights, ’cause I don’t get to do what I like to do, which is beat up people.” And that nugget of wisdom, ladies and gentlemen, is brought to you by Jordan Maldonado (above), one of the less cerebral bouncers profiled in this testosterone-heavy profile on the gatekeepers of New York’s and London’s trendiest hot spots. Similar sound bites from Jordan and his bouncer brethren abound, but after the initial shock of ultraviolence wears off, there’s no central event or story line strong enough to keep this party pumping. It’s like that nightclub with the flashy neon sign…and empty dance floor. B-
SATURDAY June 16
9-11PM WORLD STUNT AWARDS (ABC) We don’t know about you, but we won’t be able to sleep a wink until we find out who takes home the trophy for Best Driving. Seriously, though, tonight’s program pays tribute to Hollywood stunt performers and trainers, those fearless folks who put the act in action, like Randy Miller (above, giving his best Maximus impersonation). The rough-and-tumble (looking at least) Alec Baldwin hosts.
6-8PM THE BIG SLEEP (Turner Classic Movies) Something to do with private dicks and pornography.
7-8PM PARKINSON (BBC America, TV-PG) Sir Nigel Hawthorne talks about the joys of peeing next to Steve Martin.
BRUCE CAMPBELL ALERT!
9-11PM CONGO (NBC, TV-PG) Poor Bruce. Here he goes again, showing up only to be mutilated by killer gorillas.
9-10:30PM CHICKEN RUN (HBO, TV-G) You’ll start laughing when this stop-motion poultry-fest gets cookin’.
9:30-10PM X-CHROMOSOME (Oxygen) Nobody puts Baby in an animated Dirty Dancing spoof! Oh, wait, yes, they do.
11PM-1am THE PLAYER (Sundance Channel, TV-R) Tim Robbins plays a studio exec with a killer idea for a movie. (See, when we say ”killer,” we’re alluding to the fact that he actually does murder someone. But you probably picked up on that.)
SUNDAY June 17
6-8PM THE MALTESE FALCON (Turner Classic Movies) Quite simply, the finest detective story ever put on film. Plus, Humphrey Bogart belts out plenty of great old-school film-speak, like ”When you’re slapped, you’ll take it and like it.” Oh, we like it all right.
7:30-8PM KING OF THE HILL (Fox, TV-PG) Peggy slugs Randy Travis, but good. (R)
7:30-10PM STARSHIP TROOPERS (FX, TV-14-LSV) Probably your only chance to see Doogie Howser dressed up like some sort of space-age Nazi.
8-9PM EMERIL’S HAWAIIAN LUAU (Food Network, TV-G) Excuse us while we — BAM! — change the channel.
NIGHT COURT REUNION!
8-10PM TILL DAD DO US PART (Fox Family, TV-PG) Someone track down Richard Moll, because John Larroquette and Markie Post are back in action! And this time they’re on the same team, as a husband and wife trying to find the perfect groom for their daughter.
8-9PM SWIMMING WITH ALLIGATORS (Animal Planet, TV-G) ”Croc Week” kicks off with the Irwins rescuing an alligator smack-dab in the middle of a missile testing range. FIRE!
8-10PM PLANET STORM (Discovery Channel, TV-PG) Imagine a Martian storm with 300-mile-per-hour winds descending upon our humble little planet. Actually, you don’t have to imagine a damn thing, as the paranoid freaks at Discovery seem to have already pieced together the whole deadly scenario for us.
9-9:30PM SEX AND THE CITY (HBO, TV-MA) Carrie ponders the importance of good sex, as opposed to what she does every other week.
9-10PM AL ROKER’S AROUND THE WORLD IN NEW YORK CITY (Food Network, TV-G) Well, that sounds like quite a shortcut, if you ask us.
9-11PM HEROES OF IWO JIMA (A&E, TV-G) Narrator (and former Marine) Gene Hackman tells the story behind the famous photo.
10-11PM SIX FEET UNDER (HBO, TV-MA) We’re not experts by any means, but it would be our guess that losing body parts of the deceased is probably not the best way to go about running a funeral home.
10-11PM BANDS ON THE RUN (VH1) Harlow take advantage of a rich loser with cash to burn, while (surprise!) Flickerstick get wasted.
9-11PM NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK: THE E! TRUE HOLLYWOOD STORY (E!, TV-PG-LD) Leave it to the E! network to lend the appropriate mix of weight and ridiculousness to an NKOTB retrospective: ”The New Kids on the Block roller coaster came to a screeching halt in June 1994. The former teen idols had a new challenge to deal with — obscurity.” But this THS definitely has the right stuff, showcasing everything from the band’s short-lived cartoon series and Donnie’s arson PSAs to personal remembrances from Joey and the brothers Knight (Jordan and Jonathan). You’ll follow the group from their humble beginnings (as Nyuck), through their early growing pains (getting rocks thrown at them at a 1987 kite festival comes to mind), all the way to international superstardom. But with fame comes a price, as poor Jonathan soon learned, falling victim to ”wicked bad anxieties.” Hey, what happened to hangin’ tough, guy? B+