TONIGHT’S MUST-SEE: “Da Vinci’s Demons,” noon to 10 p.m.,
A great season concludes. If you don’t get Starz, try to
catch “Demons” later; if you have Starz, settle back to savor the entire
season, with the finale at 9 p.m., repeating at 10 and 11.
Leonardo da Vinci has been obsessed with a mystical book. He
pursued it to South America, where he found
a recording made by his mother, using a primitive code; then he returned to
despair: Prince Lorenzo, trying to forge a Florence-Naples coalition, instead
was captured by the fake Pope … who has secretly imprisoned the real one. Can
this be saved? And what of the Ottoman invaders? Stay tuned.
TONIGHT’S MIGHT-SEE: “Sing Your Face Off” debut, 9-11 p.m.,
Here’s the definition of a summer-Saturday show – easy to
watch, easier to forget. Each hour, five semi-celebrities impersonate singers;
they get big help from make-up, but the voices are their own.
Points are awarded (lamely), but it’s hardly a fair fight.
Sebastian Bach (portraying Adam Levine and Lady Gaga tonight) is a big-time
singer; 14-year-old China Anne McClain (Rihanna, Tixna Turner) is surprisingly
good. At the other extreme, basketball player Landry Fields (Lionel Richie,
Pitbull) has never performed; somewhere in between are Jon Lovitz (Elton John,
Luciano) and Lisa Rinna (Dolly Parton, Britney Spears).
TONIGHT’S ALTERNATIVE: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction,
8-11 p.m., HBO.
Most award shows have poor presenters and awful acceptance
speeches. Not here, at least when HBO is done editing. An opening tape reminds
us that rock people are frank and (often) funny. Then we get instant proof when
Chris Martin gives a witty introduction of Peter Gabriel, then jams with him.
Linda Ronstadt couldn’t be there, but was represented
wonderfully by Glenn Frey’s presentation and the voices of Carrie Underwood,
Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, Sheryl Crow and Stevie Nicks. Also inducted were Hall
and Oates, Cat Stevens and three bands – Kiss, Nirvana and the E Street Band.
Other choices include:
“Aliens” (1986), 6 and 9 p.m., IFC; or “Titanic” (1997),
6:15 and 10:20 p.m., Oxygen. James Cameron is a deeply gifted director and
writer, as we see tonight. “Aliens” is a rare case of a sequel, from a
different director than the original, working perfectly; then, after “Terminator”
time, Cameron made “Titanic.”
More movies, cable. At 7 p.m., there are two strong dramas, “Deliverance”
(1972, Sundance, also at 9:30) and “The Dark Knight” (2008, AMC). For fun, try “My
Fair Lady” (1964) at 8 p.m. ET on Turner Classic Movies or cartoons on ABC
Family – “Mulan” (1988) at 7:45, “The Little Mermaid” (1989) at 9:45.
Baseball, 7:15 p.m., Fox; or basketball, 8:30 p.m., TNT.
Baseball fans, varying by region, get Tampa Bay at Boston or Pittsburgh at the
Los Angeles Dodgers. Basketball has Oklahoma City at San Antonio.
“Bet on Your Baby” season-opener, 8 p.m., ABC. Ever wonder
how fast a toddler can unroll toilet paper? If so, you’ll find this hour to be
at least moderately entertaining.
“Mike & Molly,” 8 and 8:30 p.m., CBS. The first rerun has
Molly’s shoe spree creating financial trouble. The second has Mike wounded on
the job; he’s thinking of cherishing each day and quitting the police.
“The Mentalist,” 9 p.m., CBS. In a rerun, a mapmaker may
have been killed after discovering a spy ring.