[Sidebar] The Worcester Phoenix
May 3 - 10, 2001

[Hot Dots]

Hot Dots

by Clif Garboden


8:00 (4, 12) Survivor: Australian Outback. Now that Elisabeth's gone, we suspect a lot of viewers would just as soon find out who survives from the morning paper. Even last week, the show was clearly marking time. The cast seemed to be making no effort whatsoever to "survive." (Hungry? Look for food.) And the bulk of the hour was focused on the product-placement stunt of the week - in this case, awarding a Pontiac Aztek to Colby. The thing about that car - which is generally acknowledged as the current dog of the sport-utility world (Forbes reports that GM sold only 11,201 of them in the five months after introduction; we spotted two of them in Philadelphia last month but never saw one in Massachusetts) - is that it has this outrageous comic-book-artist rear end, which everyone except possibly 10-year-old boys would describe as "goofy." Okay, so when Colby visited his new wheels, the back was open and covered with a tent. Then (by some coincidence) the giveaway Survivor segment was followed by an ad for the Aztek, in which any view of the vehicle's rear had been scrupulously edited out. We understand why GM might be ashamed of the Aztek's ass - it looks as if the thing had backed into a Nissan and was carrying the victimcarcass around on its roof. But it says something when a show sinks so low that it can't even give away a car that can be seen in public. Could it be that this whole Survivor idea has run its course already? Remember Big Brother? (Until 9 p.m.)

8:30 (2) Basic Black: Anne Hobson Pilot: A Musical Journey. Following the plucky BSO harpist to Africa, where she looks to discover the origins of her instrument. To be repeated on Sunday at 5 p.m. (Until 9 p.m.)

9:00 (2) Mystery: Second Sight 2: Parasomnia, part two. The conclusion of the sleepwalking mystery. To be repeated on Sunday at 11 p.m. (Until 10 p.m.)


2:00 a.m. (2) Masterpiece Theatre American Collection: The Song of the Lark. Repeated from last week. Alison Elliot, Maximilian Schell, Arliss Howard, and Tony Goldwyn star in a Willa Cather adaptation about how young Thea Kronborg leaves Colorado to become an opera star. To be repeated on Sunday at 9 p.m., and at 1 and 4 a.m. on Channel 44, and on Tuesday at 2:30 a.m. (Until 4 a.m.)

Saturday 28

1:00 (5) Hockey. Stanley Cup quarterfinal action.

4:00 (25, 64) Baseball. The Sox versus the Oakland A's.

5:00 (7, 10) Racing. The 127th running of the Kentucky Derby, from Churchill Downs. Will we take the Express Tour or inherit the Millennium Wind? Who will run out of names first: thoroughbred breeders or garage bands? (Until 6:30 p.m., provided some thoroughbred from this stamina-challenged field has crossed the finish line by then. We never thought to ask, but is there a time limit on the Derby, the way there is in America's Cup yachting?)

6:00 (44) Nova: Nazis, Nazis, Everywhere. Three Nova shows about Hitler & Co. The first ("Decoding Nazi Secrets") recalls how Allied codebreakers busted the Enigma supercipher. Next, at 8 p.m., we visit the allegedly inescapable Nazi prison at Colditz ("Nazi Prison Escape"). And finally, at 9 p.m., we follow a diving team into the Atlantic, just 60 miles off the New Jersey shore, to salvage the mystery of a U-boat that apparently just ran out of gas and sank to the bottom ("Hitler's Lost Sub"). (Until 11 p.m.)

6:30 (2) La Plaza: Pancho Villa and Other Stories. Having located some people who actually witnessed the Mexican revolt (1910 to 1920), La Plaza asks them what Pancho was really like. (Until 7 p.m.)

6:30 (7, 10) Basketball. NBA action. We expect they'll have reached the conference semifinal stage by now. With the playoffs moving right along, the NBA should have no problem crowning a champion before next season's training camps start up.

7:00 (2) La Plaza: El Largo Viaje de Rústico. Tracing the spread of Canary Island culture into everyday life in Cuba. (Until 7:30 p.m.)

8:00 (5) Armageddon (movie). Repeated from last week - apparently ABC figures that if it works for cable . . . Anyway, if you were NASA and the earth were about to be hit by a runaway asteroid, who would you call? Naturally you'd dig up some reprobate oil driller and rocket him off to plant a bomb on the thing. Starring Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton, Ben Affleck, and Liv Tyler. (Until 11 p.m.)

9:00 (7, 10) Happy Gilmore (movie). Adam Sandler stars as a hockey player who takes up professional golf because he can't skate. But he still acts like a hockey player. With Julie Bowen, Bob Barker, and Ben Stiller. (Until 11 p.m.)


Noon (7, 10) Basketball. An NBA playoff tripleheader.

3:00 (2) The Yearling (movie). Gregory Peck and Jane Wyman star in a 1946 adaptation of the story by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings about a young boy and his love for a deer. The deer dies, and that provided at least one generation with a valuable lesson: never tell your parents about anything you love. (Until 5 p.m.)

4:00 (4, 12) Katarina Witt's Kisses on Ice. She always seems a little cold. Nonetheless, this "special" from Las Vegas celebrates romance. Brian Orser, Viktor Petrenko, Alexei Urmanov, and Nicole Bobek help out. Plus there's flamenco guitar from Jesse Cook, who just this past Monday opened at the FleetCenter for Charlotte Church. (Until 6 p.m.)

5:00 (2) Basic Black: Anne Hobson Pilot: A Musical Journey. Repeated from Thursday at 8:30 p.m.

7:00 (5) Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (movie). Some films are just so much a part of their time that it's actually incongruous to see them on TV. This 1994 comedy starring an as-yet-unarrived Jim Carrey as a private eye specializing in lost animals is such an effort. With - to drive the point home - Courtney Cox, Sean Young, and Tone Loc. (Until 9 p.m.)

8:00 (44) North by Northwest (movie). Excellent but overexposed 1959 Hitchcock classic starring Cary Grant as the innocent victim of global intrigue. With Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, and a memorable escape from a biplane. (Until 10:30 p.m.)

9:00 (2) Masterpiece Theatre American Collection: The Song of the Lark. Repeated from Friday at 2 a.m.

9:00 (4, 12) Follow the Stars Home (movie). A 2000 Hallmark Hall of Fame drama in which newlyweds Kimberly Williams and Eric Close are expecting, but then tests reveal the kid is in for a nightmare life, and Eric can't handle that, so he splits, but mom Blair Brown, friend Alexa Vega, and brother-in-law Campbell Scott rally 'round, and you know Kimberly will wind up with Campbell or else Eric will come back. (Until 11 p.m.)

9:00 (5) Who Wants To Be a Millionaire It's celebrity-edition week, continuing Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, starting at 8 p.m. If you want to be a millionaire, here's an idea - it's all yours, no charge. Play the background soundtrack to Who Wants To Be a Millionaire and the background soundtrack from The Weakest Link simultaneously. Call yourself DJ GameShow and get into the clubs. If there are enough drugs floating around, you could be the next overcompensated record player. Just a thought. Now how about fantasizing about some celebs you'd like to see in the hot seat? We figure the most entertaining possible concept would be to transplant the crew from Hollywood Squares. If anyone can handle Bruce Vilanch and Gilbert Gottfried, it would be Regis. (Until 10 p.m.)

9:00 (7, 10) Steve Martini's The Judge (movie), part one. As opposed to Joseph Wapner's or Judy Scheinlen's. Edward James Olmos is the title character in this adaptation of the 1996 bestseller (which, we confess, escaped our notice); Chris Noth is his lawyer adversary. Ed's cracking down on police corruption, but then he gets framed for soliciting a prostitute and needs . . . a good lawyer. You can take it from there. To be concluded on Monday, starting at 9 p.m. (Until 11 p.m.)

10:30 (44) Indie Select: Searching for Go-Hyang. The story of a Korean mother searching for her twin daughters, who were supposed to be in temporary foster care but ended up getting adopted and sent to America. (Until 11 p.m.)

11:00 (2) Mystery: Second Sight 2: Parasomnia, part two. Repeated from Thursday at 9 p.m.

Midnight (2) The American Experience: Truman, part one. Repeated from last week. Jason Robards narrates this exhaustive bio of our most underprepared president, who nonetheless managed to end a war on two fronts, wage a futile one in Korea, and play the piano. The concluding half airs on Monday at 9 p.m. (Until 2:30 a.m.)

1:00 and 4:00 a.m. (44) Masterpiece Theatre American Collection: The Song of the Lark. Repeated from Friday at 2 a.m.

Monday 30

7:30 (7) Jeopardy. It's teen-tournament week. (Until 8 p.m.) 8:00 (5) Air Force One (movie). A 1997 thriller about a group of terrorists who hijack the president's plane, which is also carrying the First Family. Little did the international thugs suspect that President Harrison Ford would be willing to take rescue matters into his own hands. With Gary Oldman and Glenn Close (who could have been offered to the terrorists as collateral). (Until 11 p.m.)

9:00 (2) The American Experience: Truman, part two. The conclusion. To be repeated tonight at 1 and 4 a.m. on Channel 44, and on Wednesday at 1 a.m. (Until 11 p.m.)

9:00 (7, 10) The Judge (movie), part two. The conclusion. (Until 11 p.m.)

9:40 (44) Schindler's List (movie). This is becoming a common event on PBS. Steven Spielberg's 1993 portrayal of Holocaust savior Oskar Schindler, a Nazi Party member who nevertheless saved more than 1100 Polish Jews from extinction. Starring Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, and Ralph Fiennes. (Until 12:55 a.m.)

1:00 and 4:00 a.m. (44) The American Experience: Truman, part two. Repeated from this evening at 9 p.m.


8:00 (2) Islam: Empire of Faith, part one. A three-part history of Islam covering everything from Muhammad's birth to the rule of Ottoman emperor Suleyman the Magnificent. Complete with re-enactments and snippets of Islamic art. To be repeated tonight at 3 a.m. on Channel 44, and on Thursday at 2 a.m. (Until 10:30 p.m.)

10:30 (2) Going Places: Turkey. Now that all that Suleyman talk has you hyped for more Turkey, you get to visit the country with Al Roker the Less Than Magnificent. (Until 11:30 p.m.)

2:30 a.m. (2) Masterpiece Theatre American Collection: The Song of the Lark. Repeated from Friday at 2 a.m.

3:00 a.m. (44) Islam: Empire of Faith, part one. Repeated from this evening at 8 p.m.


8:00 (2) Nova: Mystery of the First Americans. In 1996, someone dug up 10,000-year-old human remains in this hemisphere, and that disrupted traditional understandings of how our half of the world was settled and got some Native Americans all riled up about people's studying their ancestors. (Until 9 p.m.)

9:00 (2) Conquistadors with Michael Wood: Fall of the Aztecs and Conquest of the Incas. However the Americas' native populations got here (see above), they didn't stand a chance against the 16th-century European invaders who saw them as obstacles along the path to easy riches. Historian Wood discusses the 50-year conquest of the most advanced Native American cultures, starting with the Aztecs and the Incas. To be repeated on Thursday at midnight. (Until 11 p.m.)

1:00 a.m. (2) The American Experience: Truman, part two. Repeated from Monday at 9 p.m.


8:30 (2) Basic Black: Bobby McFerrin's Master Class. An interview with the talented musician whose career was all but permanently derailed when the stupid Republican Party mistook his "Don't Worry, Be Happy" tossoff as the ultimate express of African-American assimilationism. (Until 9 p.m. 9:00 (2) Mystery: Second Sight 2: Kingdom of the Blind, part one. Detective Tanner seeks the help of, yes, a blind man during an investigation. To be repeated tonight at 1 and 4 a.m. on Channel 44. (Until 10 p.m.)

Midnight (2) Conquistadors with Michael Wood: Fall of the Aztecs and Conquest of the Incas. Repeated from Wednesday at 9 p.m.

1:00 and 4:00 a.m. (44) Mystery: Second Sight 2: Kingdom of the Blind, part one. Repeated from this evening at 9 p.m.

2:00 a.m. (2) Islam: Empire of Faith, part one. Repeated from Tuesday at 8 p.m.

| home page | what's new | search | about the phoenix | feedback |
Copyright © 2000 The Phoenix Media/Communications Group. All rights reserved.