Archive for Monday, July 20, 2009

‘Wanted’ presents tangled legal affair in a global investigation

July 20, 2009


Never send a sniper to do a lawyer’s job. This is one of several lessons to be drawn from “The Wanted” (9 p.m., NBC), a weird news special that combines techniques from “Dateline’s” “To Catch a Predator” series and “America’s Most Wanted.”

Tonight’s “Wanted” assembles a team of veteran terrorist hunters, former soldiers and other undercover types who would not be out of place on “The Unit.” They scour the globe to build a case against radical cleric Mullah Krekar, a man who has been called “Bin Laden 2.0” for organizing and inciting suicide bombings and other violence.

Despite international arrest warrants, Krekar now lives in Norway. Many Norwegians fear that he is fomenting new attacks against the West, but their government seems reluctant to hand him over to either the Americans or Iraqis.

For all of the hints of impending action, “Wanted” boils down to a tangled legal and diplomatic affair. By the end of the hour (which includes an interview with the cleric), it’s tough to ascertain just who “The Wanted” considers worse, Krekar or the namby-pamby Norwegian bureaucrats who stand in the way of justice. Not to mention a tidy dramatic resolution.

• How do you commemorate a historic milestone like the first moon landing watched by a worldwide TV audience? If you’re network TV in 2009, you ignore it completely. Hey, it’s time for the men to tell all on “The Bachelorette” (7 p.m., ABC)!

History and space buffs will have to watch “Moonshot” (7 p.m., History), a glance back at the momentous occasion from the points of view of the three Apollo 11 astronauts. The two-hour documentary includes much NASA archival footage converted to high definition as well as network news coverage from CBS, anchored by Walter Cronkite.

• Three men and three women share a house so generic it could be from “The Sims” on “Dating in the Dark” (9 p.m., ABC). They can fraternize only in a cave-like room devoid of all light. That takes shallow appearance-based first impressions out of courtship, but believe me, it leaves plenty of room for stupidity. For viewers who find “Big Brother” too subtle.

Tonight’s other highlights

• A teen exhibits a rare genetic disorder on “House” (7 p.m., Fox).

• A gang leader’s rehabilitation is put to the test on “Lie to Me” (8 p.m., Fox).

• Echoes of Tokyo Rose on “History Detectives” (8 p.m., PBS, check local listings).

• A shootout leaves three dead on “The Closer” (8 p.m., TNT).

• “Prom Night in Mississippi” (8 p.m., HBO) looks at a high school’s very first integrated prom, held in 2008.

• A sci-fi franchise returns with the five-night miniseries “Torchwood: Children of Earth” (8 p.m., BBC America, nightly through Friday).

• Eating adventures down under as “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations” (9 p.m., Travel) visits Australia.

• “The T.O. Show” (9 p.m., VH1) features a widely loathed NFL star. The title “Everybody Hates Terrell” seemed unoriginal.

Cult choice

Director George Melies delighted audiences with his 1902 fantasy short “A Trip to the Moon” (7 p.m., TCM). “For All Mankind” (7:15 p.m.), a 1989 documentary recalling the Apollo missions, follows.


ralphralph 8 years, 7 months ago

"The Wanted - Kansas Edition" could be next .. 226 parole absconders - these are people who were in prison, but were release on the condition that they be good and not take off. 1,221 community corrections absconders - these are people who would be in prison if not for the myth of intensive supervision in community corrections. All told, some 1,447 cons on the loose, plus a handful of actual escapees, and that number does include (and I'd guess doesn't approach by half) the number of cons on regular, old-fashioned probation who have taken it on the lam.
Nobody is really looking for any of them. Parole and community corrections are set up to supervise cons, not to go out and find fugitives. There is a very bureaucratic atmosphere about the whole system, and there ain't nobody knocking themselves out trying to bring the lost sheep back to the fold of justice. Any journalists with a camera out there?

cthulhu_4_president 8 years, 7 months ago

"How do you commemorate a historic milestone like the first moon landing watched by a worldwide TV audience? If you’re network TV in 2009, you ignore it completely."

Ouch. I just died a little.

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