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Archive for Saturday, January 10, 2009

Love stories evoke different emotions

January 10, 2009

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Sometimes a wrong turn can put you in the right direction. That’s the message of the the feel-good movie “Expecting a Miracle” (8 p.m. today, Hallmark). The “Expecting” part applies to an overworked and seemingly infertile couple, Pete and Donna (Jason Priestley and Teri Polo). The “Miracle” arrives later when, on a spur-of-the-moment Mexican vacation, their big SUV runs into a ditch outside of a sleepy Disney version of a Mexican village, home to happy, laughing peasants and their priest (Cheech Marin). This is hardly the first movie about nervous fish out of water who learn to go with the flow. And it’s hardly the worst, either.

• Romance of a whole different sort can be found in the riveting and strange 2008 documentary “Crazy Love” (9 p.m. today, Sundance). Back in 1959, lawyer Burt Pugach began dating a young Bronx beauty named Linda. She was a knock-out while he was an homely ambulance chaser. But money, moxie and the proximity to glamour and power intoxicated Linda.

Or it did until she discovered that Burt already had a wife. After a bitter breakup, a jealous Burt conspired an assault on his ex-lover that left her blind. He would serve 14 years for his heinous crime. But the whole time he begged Linda’s forgiveness, and in 1974, in an act that surprised everyone, Linda did just that and even agreed to marry him.

Publicist-turned-filmmaker Dan Klores makes the most of his archival material. The result is a near perfect match of subject and style, a story that is lurid and sleazy yet compelling and even romantic at the same time.

• After a nearly two-year hiatus, “24” (7 p.m. Sunday, Fox) season 7 hits the ground with guns blazing, conspiracies rampant and Jack Bauer’s voice as raspy and determined as ever. The first four hours of “24” will unfold over Sunday and Monday nights. Don’t miss a second.

As we saw in the subpar two-hour movie “24: Redemption” and countless coming attractions, Bauer (Keifer Sutherland) has been remanded to Washington to testify before a Senate hearing. We also know from “Redemption” that America has a new president, Allison Taylor (Cherry Jones), who arrives in office with a crisis in Africa very much on her mind. Watch for Colm Feore as Taylor’s husband, a man tortured by a personal tragedy that appears to be at the heart of the new season’s darkest cabal.

“24” also continues the tradition of pairing Bauer with a fetching law-enforcement type, in this case FBI agent Renee Walker (Annie Wersching). “24” favorite Tony Almeda (Carlos Bernard) also returns, seemingly from the dead. Perhaps this season should be subtitled “24: Resurrection.”

Janeane Garofalo joins the cast as the keyboard-clicking computer whiz.

Tonight’s other highlights

• Scheduled on “48 Hours Mystery” (9 p.m., CBS): A teacher and a quiet wife becomes the center of a murder plot.

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

Sunday’s other highlights

• The Hollywood Foreign Press Association presides over the 66th annual Golden Globe Awards (7 p.m., NBC), honoring film and television in 25 categories.

• A reporter’s murder may have resulted from her first big story on “Cold Case” (8 p.m., CBS).

• Kitty hawks her new book on the talk-show circuit on “Brothers & Sisters” (10 p.m., ABC).

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