Archive for Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Are we shifting into ‘American Idle’?

February 13, 2008


Twenty-four semifinalists emerge on "American Idol" (7 p.m., Fox). While there have been some interesting personalities to date, no talent has really stood out. Has watching "Idol" becoming more of a chore than a joy? Is it fun? Or merely a habit?

¢ A talent competition of another sort takes place on "America's Ballroom Challenge" (7 p.m., PBS, check local listings). Dancers compete in the International Standard division: waltz, tango, Viennese waltz, fox trot and quickstep. Traditionalists consider International Standard to be ballroom's oldest style, its most recognizable and most elegant.

¢ Tradition and elegance went out the window on last week's "Project Runway" (9 p.m., Bravo) competition, when the remaining talents were asked to design outfits for female WWE wrestlers.

Some, most notably Chris and Christian, rose to the occasion and seemed to have fun in the process. The lachrymose Ricky got the boot for an uninspired outfit, while Sweet P barely survived after creating a silver spandex nightmare. In a group of creative extroverts, Sweet P remains the most curious enigma. She sports some kind of biker past and has the tattoos to prove it, but she wears outfits that seem inspired by "Little House on the Prairie." Go figure.

Tonight's show marks the final competition before the big fashion-week face-off. According to the Bravo listings, designers will be encouraged to "use their artistic expression." How's that for vague? Or is that Vogue?

I see Jillian and Christian in the final three, with the third spot being anybody's guess. I used to think Rami was the best of the group, but he seems reluctant to get outside his comfort zone. Make it work, people!

¢ For what it's worth, tonight is Valentine's Day Eve. Forget cupid and arrows. "Explorer: Testosterone Factor" (7 p.m., National Geographic) gets right down to the chemical that separates the men from the boys. Researchers in psychology, biology and anthropology reveal testosterone's fascinating influence on strength, status, success and even commitment.

¢ "Blood Roses & Deadly Diamonds" (9 p.m., Current TV) sends undercover journalists to document the economic exploitation of the workers in Colombia's flower industry to the pesticide-laden bouquets that may really be "to die for." From there, we move to Sierra Leone to the squalid conditions faced by workers in that country's diamond industry.

Talk about guilty pleasures! Perhaps this is the year to settle for a box of chocolates.

Tonight's other highlights

¢ A college-football squad forms a wall of silence on "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" (8 p.m., NBC).

¢ The business series "American Greed" (8 p.m., CNBC) continues with "Preying on Faith."

¢ The hosts of "Mythbusters" (8 p.m., Discovery) take suggestions from the show's Web site.

¢ A homeowner goes green on "Deserving Design" (8 p.m., HGTV).

¢ Sophie vents about her parents' breakup on "In Treatment" (8:30 p.m., HBO).

¢ A burglar targets posh addresses on "CSI: NY" (9 p.m., CBS).

¢ A rally spins out of control on "Law & Order" (9 p.m., NBC).

¢ Juliet faces a bitter divorce on "Cashmere Mafia" (9 p.m., ABC).

Cult choice

The cast of the cult TV drama returns for the 1992 theatrical prequel "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me" (8 p.m., IFC). By the time of its release, the popular buzz had worn off the offbeat "Peaks," and critics and filmgoers met the film with indifference.


Commenting has been disabled for this item.