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Archive for Friday, May 16, 2008

Ghosts, vampires make Friday fright night

May 16, 2008

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Poltergeists, vampire detectives and crime fighters doubling as math wizards appear to have added up for CBS this season. CBS is the only network to finish up the season with its fall Friday lineup intact.

¢ "Ghost Whisperer" (7 p.m., CBS) ends its third season with Melinda discovering more about her father's secret and just how much her mother (Anne Archer) did to cover it up.

Starting in the fall of 2009, look for repeats of "Ghost Whisperer" to appear on Sci Fi. You may recall that network also picked up episodes of the CBS post-apocalyptic thriller "Jericho."

¢ The detective/vampire mash-up "Moonlight" (8 p.m., CBS) ends its rookie season with Mick and Beth pondering their future together, given their differing backgrounds, not to mention their positions on mortality.

l A friend falls under suspicion of being a terrorist on the fourth-season finale of "Numb3rs" (9 p.m., CBS).

¢ Cable appears to have become the place where viewers turn to enjoy grotesque stereotypes.

Nostalgic for the minstrel show? Turn on VH1's "Flavor of Love." Love to hate spoiled, rich Manhattan shopaholics? How about "Real Housewives of New York City"? Do you want to believe that all gay men are fabulous and superficial and can help you shop and cut your hair? Turn on any Bravo show at any time. Want a cliched dose of testosterone? The History Channel has turned over a great deal of its programming to tough guys. Think anyone under 21 is self-absorbed? Head for "The Hills."

Critics of cable news (and not just Fox News) and its obsessive-distraction stories of the week should keep this all in mind. It's not the "news" part that's the problem, but the cable. Endless stories about runaway brides, imperiled and missing blonde teens and trumped-up "outrage" at the story or target of the week fit in seamlessly in a cable universe where knee-jerk reactions substitute for thought.

Now, CMT plays into hillbilly stereotypes with "Mobile Home Disaster" (8 p.m., CMT), a "redneck" take on "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." Comic John Caparulo hosts this eight-part series that promises to renovate trailer-park tragedies into mobile home sweet homes. Hold the possum.

¢ Tom Bergeron hosts the two-hour season finale of "America's Funniest Home Videos" (7 p.m., ABC). Even by the strike-truncated standards of this TV year, it's hard to claim that "Videos" has really been on for a season. The show seems to show up every time ABC has a scheduling plug to fill. But ABC calls this the end of its 18th season, putting it right up there with "Cops," "Law & Order" and "The Simpsons" in terms of longevity.

Tonight's other highlights

¢ Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller star in the 2004 comedy "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story" (7 p.m., Fox).

¢ The title of the 2005 animated feature "The Batman vs. Dracula" (7 p.m., Cartoon Network) pretty much sums things up.

¢ "True Hollywood Stories" (8 p.m., E!) reviews "Dating Nightmares."

¢ Bear survives Indonesia on "Man vs. Wild" (8 p.m., Discovery).

¢ A dramatic banquet on "Battlestar Galactica" (9 p.m., Sci Fi).

Cult choice

The 2006 documentary "Loudquietloud: A Film About the Pixies" (9 p.m., Sundance) profiles the influential band as they reunite for a 2004 tour.

Comments

filmguru 6 years, 7 months ago

Apparently Mr. McDonough doesn't believe in even a cursory bit of research for his articles. Fans of the CBS series Moonlight have been in mourning this week because the network announced that it had given the vampire detective drama a stake through the heart. Perhaps LJWorld needs an entertainment editor on staff rather than relying on shoddy wire services.

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