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Archive for Saturday, February 28, 2009

Saturday is now boys night in?

February 28, 2009

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Saturday nights used to belong to chick flicks, a chance for WE or Oxygen to air “Under the Tuscan Sun” for the 400th time. But if today’s schedule is any indication, it’s the guys who are scanning the dial for comfort food. Why else broadcast two helpings of Adam Sandler: “Happy Gilmore” (7 p.m., today and 9 p.m., Family)? There’s also a double-dose of Will Ferrell: “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” (6 p.m., TBS) and “Old School” (8 p.m., TBS). He’s also in “Bewitched” (8 p.m., ABC). But since it stars Nicole Kidman, it might not count.

If you really need your gender reinforced, there’s “Man Vs. Wild” (7 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., Discovery); “Man v. Food” (7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Travel); and “Guy’s Big Night” (7 p.m., Food). Old-school movie fans of exult in the classics “Blazing Saddles” (7 p.m., AMC) and “Caddyshack” (9 p.m., AMC). And if none of that satisfies, there’s always “Goodfellas” (7 p.m., History), about as far from “Under the Tuscan Sun” as you can get.

• Rosie O’Donnell stars in and serves as executive producer for “America” (8 p.m., today, Lifetime), set in the foster care system. Newcomer Philip Johnson stars as America, a 17-year-old who has arrived at a facility that serves as the end of the line for youth who have run through the system. O’Donnell plays therapist Dr. Maureen Brennan, who attempts to get America to divulge his past and let her (and us) know just what happened to force him to attempt suicide. America’s past emerges as he adjusts rather fitfully to life under Brennan’s care. Like many films of this sort, the therapy sessions go in fits and starts, leaving both Brennan and viewers frustrated.

While Johnson does a capable job of portraying a tormented young man, the pacing of “America” may drive many potential viewers to seek the refuge of their remote controls before America’s backstory is revealed. O’Donnell’s film does not sugarcoat a forbidding story, but for all of its good intentions, “America“ is often just too grim and

s-l-o-w to endure.

• Apparently, nobody has the nerve to inform Donald Trump that “The Apprentice” (8 p.m., Sunday, NBC) died some years back. Now, as if trying to distract us from its ripening remains, NBC has arranged a “Celebrity” version. Like that saved “The Mole.”

Among the once bold-faced names on hand are Joan and Melissa Rivers and standup vulgarian Andrew Dice Clay. Tom Green and Dennis Rodman are there, too. They were huge once. But then again, so was “Ned & Stacy.”

The presence of Herschel Walker is an interesting one. A college football superstar, he surprised the NFL in the mid-1980s by signing with the fledgling new league, the USFL, and played for the New Jersey Generals, owned by the brash real estate mogul Trump. The USFL folded after two hype-filled years. Too bad “The Apprentice” didn’t follow its example.

Today’s highlights

• Kanye West appears on “Storytellers” (8 p.m., VH1).

• Neil Patrick Harris hosts “Saturday Night Live” (10:30 p.m., NBC), featuring musical guest Taylor Swift.

Sunday’s highlights

• A baby arrives amidst crises on a two-hour helping of “Brothers & Sisters” (8 p.m., ABC).

• Nicki walks on eggshells on “Big Love” (8 p.m., HBO).

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