Archive for Saturday, November 2, 2002

Yeah, you gotta have Bart

November 2, 2002


In my humble opinion, the television year really doesn't get under way until the season premiere of "The Simpsons" (7 p.m. Sunday, Fox). America's favorite yellow family kicks off its 14th season with its Halloween "Treehouse of Horror XIII" trilogy.

In the first segment, a swarm of Homer clones threatens the nation's sanity as well as its beer supply. A weak second story revolves around Lisa's gun-control crusade. The show concludes with a witty send-up of the horror classic "The Island of Dr. Moreau." In one scene, the evil Dr. Hibbert has turned Homer's boss into a fur wrap. "Hey," Bart observes, "it's Mr. Burns, with a whole new Fox attitude!" God bless "The Simpsons."

"King of the Hill" (7:30 p.m. Sunday, Fox) enters its seventh season with a strong episode. Hank freaks out when he catches Bobby "dirty dancing" with a classmate at a concert. Hank's traditional values collide with those of two permissive parents (the guest voices of Debra Messing and David Herman) at the same time that Peggy tries to get her straight-arrow husband to loosen up. I am glad this smart and consistently well-written comedy has the post-"Simpsons" time slot it deserves.

Now in its fourth season, "Malcolm in the Middle" (8 p.m. Sunday, Fox) may be showing its age. Malcolm is approaching his awkward years and spends most of this first episode in an existential funk. Not even a trip to the zoo, where Lois's old boyfriend happens to work, can cheer him up. Most of the comedy involving the four boys seems forced.

The Cartoon Network's bizarre "Adult Swim" (10 p.m. today) animation franchise offers several reasons to stay up late on Sunday nights. Viewers who have not seen the cartoon "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" better get with the program. A deliberate spoof of animation licensing, "Force" features three hero detectives who are also fast-food products.

Turner Classic Movies unspools 24 consecutive hours of John Wayne movies, beginning 5 a.m. today with the 1932 short feature "Haunted Gold." Fans of the Duke can enjoy his breakthrough 1939 drama "Stagecoach" (9:45 a.m.) as well as the rarely shown 1953 feature "Hondo" (7 p.m.).

The two-hour special, "TV Land Legends: The '60 Minutes' Interviews" (8 p.m. Sunday, TV Land) offers vintage conversations with Jackie Gleason, Jerry Seinfeld, Johnny Carson and Carol Burnett. "Legends" will return as a half-hour series at 9 p.m. every Sunday.

Today's highlights

A body found in a barrel may hold clues to a 30-year-old murder on "Forensic Files" (7 p.m., NBC).

Robert De Niro, Marlon Brando and Edward Norton star in the 2001 heist caper "The Score" (7 p.m., Showtime).

A high-tech sleuth (Denzel Washington) teams with a rookie cop (Angelina Jolie) to find a serial slayer in the 1999 thriller "The Bone Collector" (7:30 p.m., NBC).

Director Ridley Scott's Roman action epic "Gladiator" (8 p.m., ABC) concludes.

Sunday's highlights

Scheduled on "60 Minutes" (6 p.m., CBS): South Africa's germ warfare program; tight election races in Texas.

Mike Weinberg stars as the often-abandoned Kevin in the made-for-television sequel "Home Alone 4" (6 p.m., ABC).

Backstreet Boy Nick Carter guest stars as 1960s crooner Jay Black on "American Dreams" (7 p.m., NBC).

Pierce Brosnan stars in the 1999 James Bond thriller "The World is Not Enough" (7:30 p.m., CBS).

A middleman tampers with life-saving medicine on "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" (8 p.m., NBC).

Jack fights to win Sydney's trust on "Alias" (8 p.m., ABC).

Smith vows to protect a child witness from a ruthless mob boss on "Boomtown" (9 p.m., NBC).

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