TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: “Hairspray”
(2007), 9-11 p.m., ABC.
This buoyant film came at the right
time. “High School Musical” and other Disney Channel films had
shown that musicals can be fun; “American Idol” and “So You
Think You Can Dance” had helped.
Then came “Hairspray,” which had it
all: John Waters' tale of a 1950s dance show in Baltimore … the
wonderful Broadway songs by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman … the
direction of Adam Shankman (a “Dance” judge) … the clever
casting of Zac Efron and newcomer Nikki Blonsky.
Casting John Travolta was pointless,
but everything else about “Hairspray” works wonderfully.
TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE II: Movies, 8 p.m.,
The great films of three generations
are packed together tonight.
The 1930s? Families can catch “The
Wizard of Oz” (1939) on Turner Classic Movies or “Snow White and
the Seven Dwarfs” (1937) – the first animated feature, spiced
with great songs – on ABC Family.
The 1970s? “The Godfather” (1972),
Francis Coppola's triumph, is on AMC.
The new century? “Pride &
Prejudice” (2005) proved that few words are needed, when a great
director (Joe Wright) has a richly expressive star (Keira Knightley).
TONIGHT'S ALTERNATIVE: “The Sunset
Limited,” 9 p.m., HBO.
One man (Tommy Lee Jones) is forlorn,
for little reason. Another (Samuel L. Jackson) is optimistic, for
even less reason. He has just saved this stranger's life; now, they
Don't expect any more. “Sunset
Limited” doesn't offer explanations, an ending or names for the
characters. It just talks. But the words (from Cormac McCarthy) and
the actors are superb.
TONIGHT'S ALTERNATIVE II: “Accidentally
in Love,” 9-11 p.m., Hallmark.
Here's the opposite of “Sunset
Limited.” It's forced and frenetic; it's also bright and fairly
A car accident involves a waitress
(Jennie Garth) with a big heart and an actor (Ethan Erickson) with a
big ego. Contrivances pile up, some pleasant and one (a little girl
going blind) excessive. Still, there's just enough wit here to keep
up tolerating the rest.
Other choices include:
– Auto racing, 8 p.m. ET, Fox. The
NASCAR season starts with the Budweiser Shootout. It isn't long
(187.5 miles) and doesn't offer championship points, but it suggests
longer, louder things ahead.
– “Harry's Law,” 8 p.m., NBC. In
a rerun, Tommy Jefferson (Christopher McDonald) tries to tone down
his courtroom antics and Adam is comforted by his ex-fiancee (Jordana
Spiro of “My Boys”).
– “NCIS: Los Angeles,” 8 p.m.,
CBS. An “agent needs assistance” brings a crisis, in this rerun.
– “CSI: Miami,” 9 p.m., CBS. The
man who killed Horatio's wife has broken out of prison and gone on a
rampage. In a rerun, team members scramble to figure out where he'll
– “Law & Order: Los Angeles,”
9 p.m., NBC. Rebecca Mader of “Lost” guest-stars in this rerun,
as a pregnant hit-and-run victim who may be linked to a married
– “Law & Order: Special Victims
Unit,” 10 p.m., NBC. This rerun has Maria Bello as a drug-addicted
woman who is missing. Benson, caring for the woman's son, obsesses on
– “Saturday Night Live,” 11:29
p.m., NBC. Russell Brand – who makes things interesting when
working live – hosts, with Chris Brown as the music guest.