Archive for Saturday, October 4, 2008

Rocco’s loitering act is getting old

October 4, 2008

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Reality television mints a new "personality" every day, perhaps every moment. Why do some of them vanish into the landfill of pop culture while others never leave the premises? How does Omarosa endure? Where have you gone, Darva Conger? Rocco DiSpirito lingers. The "star" of a trainwreck of a reality series back in 2003, Rocco has returned to judge "Top Chef" and now competes on "Dancing with the Stars."

But you don't manage a tick-like grip on our collective consciousness by staying idle, so Rocco moonlights on the new series "Rocco Gets Real" (noon today, A&E;).

Just how does a reality star become even more "real," you ask? By hobnobbing with "real" people and helping them overcome their fear of the kitchen.

As someone who considers himself "real" in the vaguest sense of the word, I find that people don't avoid the kitchen out of "fear," but out of inertia, or a deep-seated disinclination to cook for themselves. None dare call them lazy.

But Rocco wants his "real" guests to feel the love and impart an appreciation for cuisine as part of a larger sense of family and community. Look for him to talk about his "mama" quite often and share tips with the formerly phobic as they pick up their spatulas and prepare meals for special occasions.

¢ "Masterpiece" (8 p.m. Sunday, PBS, check local listings) departs the cozy confines of the 19th century for a five-part thriller set in the not-too-distant future. "The Last Enemy" offers a smart meditation on the challenges of an unending war on terror and the consequences of a total-surveillance society created in the name of security.

Borrowing from George Orwell's "1984" and a bit of Graham Greene's "The Third Man," this smart thriller invites viewers to enter mysteries within mysteries in a labyrinth of state terror, official deception and personal betrayal.

Today's highlights

¢ The Brewers host the Phillies in Game 3 of the National League Divisional Playoff (5:30 p.m., TBS).

¢ Scheduled on "48 Hours Mystery" (7 p.m., CBS): A "Sopranos" star may hold clues to a Hollywood murder mystery.

¢ A saber-toothed tiger ruins a paintball outing on "Primeval" (8 p.m., BBC America).

¢ The Dodgers host the Cubs in Game 3 of the National League Divisional Playoff (9 p.m., TBS).

¢ Anne Hathaway hosts "Saturday Night Live" (10:30 p.m., NBC), featuring musical guests the Killers.

Sunday's highlights

¢ Scheduled on "60 Minutes" (6 p.m., CBS): An attempt on Osama bin Laden; the elusive electric car; the credit crisis.

¢ The Jaguars host the Steelers on "Sunday Night Football" (7 p.m., NBC).

¢ Bart impersonates Denis Leary (as himself) on "The Simpsons" (7 p.m., Fox).

¢ Greek gods relocate to Los Angeles to help mortals find love in the new series "Valentine" (7 p.m., CW).

¢ Fred Willard hosts the First Annual Worldwide Fido Awards (7 p.m., Nickelodeon).

¢ Launching a new series called "Easy Money" (8 p.m., CW) in the teeth of a credit crisis can't be easy. Laurie Metcalf stars.

¢ "Murder in Black and White" (9 p.m., TV One) revisits unsolved homicides from the Civil Rights era.

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