TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: New shows, 8-11
Let's credit ABC for taking summers
seriously. From Mondays through Thursdays, 10 of its12 hours are new;
here's a sampling of seasom-openers from three styles.
At 8, “101 Ways to Leave a Game Show”
is sheer silliness. The questions are fairly interesting; the methods
of ejecting the losers are offbeat and sort of fun.
At 9, “Expedition Impossible” is a
brutal race across Morocco. Producer Mark Burnett gets no credit for
originality or humanity, but much for great camera work and
At 10, “Rookie Blue” is back for
its second season. Missy Peregrym brings depth and likability as a
young cop; tonight, a concert shooting has a personal effect on her.
TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE II: “Outcasts,”
9 p.m., BBC America.
Last week, we saw people building a
frontier world on another planet, as the Earth crumbled.
Now, for the first time in five years,
there are new arrivals. That brings conflict, including a bureaucrat
(Eric Mabius) and the teen who says he stole her mom's spot. Another
teen is grabbed by bandits.
“Outcasts” is so-so during violent
confrontations, terrific at ethical dilemmas. Liam Cunninghamis
especially good as the frontier president, a decent-but-flawed man on
a flawed planet.
TONIGHT'S ALTERNATIVE: More
Saturdays have become a great fantasy
zone. It starts with reruns of the great “Battlestar Galactica”
series (7 and 8 p.m., BBC America); tonight has the first episodes
after the opening mini-series.
That leads into “Outcasts” on BBC.
Then you could switch to a rerun of the “Falling Skies” pilot
film (10:12 p.m. on TBS) – a sharp Steven Spielberg production
about rag-tag armies, eluding aliens. Or you could have silly fun
with “Swamp Shark” (9 p.m., Syfy), mentioned below.
Other choices include:
– “Chaos,” 8 and 9 p.m., CBS. In
the first hour, the team rushes overseas after an apparent
assassination. In the second, it hopes a former agent (Bruce
Boxleitner) still has his skills.
– “The Dark Knight” (2008, TNT)
or “Pride & Prejudice” (2005, E), 8 p.m. Two master
filmmakers find opposite audiences. Christopher Nolan repeated the
visual power of his “Batman Begins” and added the Oscar-winning
brilliance of Heath Ledger; still, his film seems cold and metallic.
Joe Wright took a wordy novel and showed that pictures (especially of
Keira Knightly) can transmit rich emotions.
– “Law & Order: Criminal
Intent,” 9 p.m., NBC. In a tough and well-made rerun, Goren and
Eames probe the death of a banker whose only client was the Catholic
– “Swamp Shark,” 9-11 p.m., Syfy.
This film makes full use of the Louisiana experience, complete with a
swamp boat, party boats, bikini beauties, music and a gator festival.
In the midst of this is a standard tale of an evil sheriff and a
killer shark. Most of the guys, including a jailer played by former
baseball star Wade Boggs, are dim-witted. Fortunately, two sisters –
played by Kristy Swanson and Sophia Sinise (Gary's daughter) –
provide the missing IQ points.
– “Law & Order: Los Angeles,:
10 p.m., NBC. In a rerun, the investigation of a mortgage firm is
detoured by an accusation of racial profiling.
– “Saturday Night Live,” 11:29
p.m., NBC. Elton John doubles as host and music guest, in this rerun.