Archive for Friday, July 8, 2005

Cartoon Network takes notes on camp

July 8, 2005


Just in time for summer-camp season, the Cartoon Network introduces "Camp Lazlo" (7 p.m., Cartoon Network), a new animated comedy from Joe Murray, creator of the 1993 series "Rocko's Modern Life."

¢ azlo is not the name of the camp. He's a fun-loving adolescent Brazilian monkey. Truth be told, I had no idea what kind of creature Lazlo is supposed to be, but the press material calls him a monkey, so that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

His best friends are an Indian elephant named Raj, who speaks with an Indian accent, and a pygmy Rhino named Clam, who looks neither like a rhino nor a clam. Raj does resemble an elephant - a nervous, stammering and long-winded one at that. He's a polysyllabic pachyderm and, as such, is my favorite character.

"Camp Lazlo" actually takes place at Camp Kidney, home of Leaky Lake, next to Pimpleback Mountain. The control-freak camp counselor is a moose, of sorts, named Lumpus. "Lazlo" does a nice job of contrasting the structured atmosphere of summer camp with the anarchic, anything-goes world of modern animation. Kids should enjoy "Lazlo" even if they can't tell one misshapen animal from the other.

¢ "Monk" (9 p.m., USA) enters its fourth season with a special guest appearance by Jason Alexander as a rough-around-the-edges private eye who appears to give Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub) some serious competition as the police force's favorite eccentric consultant.

After a mall detective is murdered during a jewelry store robbery, Marty Eels (Alexander), a disheveled detective with a long history of failures, arrives at the scene of the crime. With maddening speed, Marty appears to "intuit" the location of the missing getaway car, buried loot and hidden evidence. Adrian balks that he is "cheating," but Capt. Stottlemeyer (Ted Levine) dismisses this as a jealous spat between two odd ducks. He irks Adrian when he insists that he stay behind at the precinct house while Marty finishes up the case. "Marty's in the zone," the captain insists, to Monk's growing infuriation.

Alexander is nicely cast here. He brings a needy, slightly soiled desperation to Marty that makes him a perfect foil to Shalhoub's clean-freak character. Fans of the series will be delighted to note that during this season John Turturro will reprise his role as Monk's brother Ambrose, who is even more obsessive-compulsive than Adrian.

Tonight's other highlights

¢ Scheduled on "60 Minutes" (7 p.m., CBS): an interview with Ken Lay of Enron; the wife and mother who will pilot the space shuttle Discovery.

¢ A member of a tribute band (Mark Wahlberg) lives out his arena-rock fantasy in the 2001 drama "Rock Star" (7 p.m., UPN), co-starring Jennifer Aniston.

¢ The railroad's arrival changes the dynamic between settler and native on "Into the West" (7 p.m., TNT).

¢ Scheduled on "Costas Now" (8 p.m., HBO): an interview with Jack Nicklaus.

¢ A pattern emerges in a series of bank heists on "Numb3rs" (9 p.m., CBS).

¢ Two officers stand trial for murdering a suspect in custody on "Law & Order: Trial by Jury" (9 p.m., NBC).

¢ Scheduled on "20/20" (9 p.m., ABC): three teens with extraordinary stories to tell.


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