Archive for Friday, August 20, 2010

‘Kids’ are back

August 20, 2010


The cult comedy troupe Kids in the Hall reunites for “Kids in the Hall: Death Comes to Town” (9 p.m., IFC). This deliciously ludicrous eight-part gothic, comic miniseries reunites the original “Kids,” Dave Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald, Mark McKinney and Scott Thompson, who all play multiple characters with their accustomed gender-bending enthusiasm.

The title says it all. The Grim Reaper arrives in the small Ontario city of Shuckton via Greyhound bus and proceeds to ride a chopper motorcycle in an outfit too ridiculous to describe. The city is already reeling from its failed attempt to host the 2028 Olympics when the mayor is found murdered with his head jammed in his own mailbox.

In typical “Kids” fashion, a news crew descends on the grim scene in the person of an enthusiastic female meteorologist, who has absolutely nothing to report, except to recall the weather conditions at the time of death.

“Death” allows the guys to portray a wide array of offbeat characters from the coroner to glue-sniffing ne’er-do-wells and a 600-pound retired hockey star. Everyone falls under suspicion.

A Canadian export since 1989, “Kids” has appeared on both HBO and CBS in the United States over the years. Their 1996 feature film “Brain Candy with The Kids in the Hall” still has a rabid audience, and “Death” should find one too.

• Sarah Jessica Parker searches for her mother’s roots on “Who Do You Think You Are?” (7 p.m., NBC). The “Sex and the City” star discovers that her ancestors were on this continent as early as 1635 and that at least one may have been persecuted as a witch in Salem, Mass.

Parker cannot escape her glamorous reputation, even while scouring the hall of records. The historical discoveries of “Who” are frequently undercut by the production, which often resembles a soft-focus shampoo commercial.

• “Kids in the Hall” aren’t the only cult figures from North of the Border celebrated tonight. The 2010 documentary “Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage” (7:30 p.m., VH1 Classic) captures Rush in concert and interviews friends and fellow musicians about their career and legacy. The cult of Rush loomed large in the 2009 comedy “bro-mance” parody “I Love You Man.”

• TCM invites viewers (or their DVRs) to stay up all night with Katharine Hepburn, who co-stars with Cary Grant in the 1938 comedy “Bringing Up Baby” (11 p.m.), considered the pinnacle of the screwball comedy genre. The ageless “Philadelphia Story” (1 a.m.) also co-stars Cary Grant, and “Summertime” (3 a.m.) follows, starring Hepburn as a schoolteacher of a certain age finding love (Rossano Brazzi) against the backdrop of glorious Venice as celebrated by director David Lean. Part of a 24-hour 13-film salute to Hepburn, beginning at 5 a.m.

Tonight’s other highlights

• Allison fears that Ariel’s boyfriend may be a killer on “Medium” (7 p.m., CBS).

• The Cincinnati Bengals host the Philadelphia Eagles in NFL Preseason Football (7 p.m., Fox).

• Christian Bale and Russell Crowe star in the 2007 remake of the Western “3:10 to Yuma” (7 p.m., TNT).

• DNA evidence may clear a convicted killer on “CSI:NY” (8 p.m., CBS).

• Altered states on “Eureka” (8 p.m., Syfy).

• A high school athlete falls into suicidal depression after he is kidnapped on “Flashpoint” (9 p.m., CBS).

• Things don’t seem so clear on “Haven” (9 p.m., Syfy).


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