TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: “Titanic,” 8-11
p.m., ABC; concludes 9-10 p.m. Sunday.
It was 100 years ago tonight, just
before midnight, that the Titanic struck an iceberg. Now the story is
retold by Julian Fellowes, a master (“Downton Abbey” and “Gosford
Park”) of period dialog.
This is a British-Canadian-Hungarian
project, meant to be in four one-hour chunks. ABC lumps the first
three together, making an odd experience. People are boarding
lifeboats by the end of the first hour; then we keep flashing back to
learn more about them.
A few of themare overwrought, but many
soon become involving. We see multiple class structures in 1912, so
rigid that British passengers fume about having an Italian waiter. We
also see America as the goal; it's the one place where people can
grow … if the ship will get them there.
TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE II: “Saturday
Night Live,” 11:29 p.m., NBC.
Josh Brolin's first time hosting “SNL”
was impressive. Adele sang; Mark Wahlberg dropped in.
This time, the music guest is Gotye –
an electronic pop band which has a French pronunciation (like
Gauthier), is from Australia … and is actually one guy. That's
Wally de Backer; this year, his album has reached No. 9 on the
Billboard chart and his “Somebody That I Used to Know” was No. 4.
TONIGHT'S ALTERNATIVE: “Aladdin”
(1992) and“Beauty and the Beast” (1991), 7 and 9 p.m., ABC
Fast and frenetic, “Aladdin” is a
fairly fun film, including Robin Williams' hyperactive work as the
genie. “Beauty” is warmer, deeper and better, the first cartoon
nominated for the best-picture Oscar.
Songwriters Alan Menken and Howard
Ashman also won two Oscars for “Beauty”; they also did the music
for “Aladdin,” with Tim Rice stepping in after Ashman's death
Other choices include:
– Racing, 7 p.m. ET, Fox.There's no
“Cops” tonight; instead, it's NASCAR from Fort Worth, Texas.
– “Good Hair” (2009) and “I
Think I Love My Wife” (2007), 7 and 9 p.m.,BET. It's a Chris Rock
double-feature. He produced and hosts a documentary, then directs and
stars as a tempted guy.
– “CSI: NY,” 8 p.m., CBS. This
rerun is set on the 10th anniversary of th Sept. 11
attacks. That brings a flood of flashbacks, with Jaime Ray Newman as
Mac's late wife.
– “The Bodyguard” (1992), 8-11
p.m., AMC. This is the movie many people turned to after Whitney
Houston's death. The story – a tough pro (Kevin Costner) protecting
a music star (Houston) – is so-so, but there are stunning moments
when she sings Dolly Parton's “I Will Always Love You.”
– “48 Hour Mysteries,” 9 and 10
p.m., CBS. In a late change, CBS is pulling its “Mentalist” rerun
and running two straight true-crime hours.
– “Being Human” season-finale, 9
p.m., BBC America. The Old Ones arrive, intent on destroying the
world. This is not good.
– “Law & Order: Special Victims
Unit,”10 p.m., NBC. In a rerun, a military contractor has been
drugged and assaulted, but seems unwilling to testify. As Haden
(Harry Connick Jr.) joins the probe, it leads to a much larger
conspiracy in Iraq.