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Archive for Monday, July 31, 2006

Women’s lives exploited in TV series

July 31, 2006

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"The Secret Lives of Women" (9 p.m., WE) returns for a second season, documenting some of the hidden obsessions and sorrows of wives, sisters, mothers and aunts. As the show's title implies, the material and narrative tone fluctuates between shocking expose and prurient exploitation.

In tonight's episode, we meet three women, a young Goth-next-door, a student and a pastor's wife, who harbor the terrible need to cut their skin with knives, razors and even pushpins.

Like any peephole perspective of unhealthy behavior, "Lives" has a certain grim appeal. But it's far more disturbing than illuminating. One can't help feeling that these women should be sharing their secrets with a therapist and not with a camera crew. And us.

This raises a sticky moral issue. By throwing the gasoline of exhibitionism on the fire of self-destructive inclinations, are the producers crossing a line and actually encouraging this behavior? Just a thought.

Tonight's other highlights

¢ Exhibitionists under wraps on "Big Brother: All Stars" (7 p.m., CBS).

¢ On back-to-back episodes of "House" (Fox), role-playing takes its toll (7 p.m.), a sterile room proves anything but (8 p.m.).

¢ On back-to-back episodes of "Gilmore Girls" (WB), Luke's past returns (7 p.m.), Carole King guest stars (8 p.m.).

¢ Angela Lansbury discusses her life and career on "Private Screenings" (7 p.m., TCM), followed by her great performance in the 1962 satire "The Manchurian Candidate" (8 p.m., TCM).

¢ Many are called, few are chosen on "The One: Making a Music Star" (7:30 p.m., ABC).

¢ Auditions continue on "Last Comic Standing" (8 p.m., NBC).

¢ Scheduled on "48 Hours Mystery" (9 p.m., CBS): new evidence about the night Marilyn Monroe died in 1962.

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