Archive for Saturday, May 8, 2010

Stefanie Powers, Tom Selleck and Betty White too!

May 8, 2010


Custom made for Mother’s Day, “Meet My Mom” (8 p.m. today, Hallmark) begins with gentle music and a scene of a doting grandmother (Stefanie Powers, “Hart to Hart”) festooning her front lawn with welcome-home signs and festive balloons.

But as anyone can expect, the homecoming isn’t perfect. Her daughter (Lori Loughlin, “90210”) and grandson have relocated after a particularly nasty divorce and everybody seems a tad out of place. But this feeling of alienation lasts about five minutes, in time for the son’s class to become pen pals with faraway soldiers. When one GI happens to be a lonely divorced guy with the time and inclination to throw a baseball around, romance with a single mom can be only a few commercial breaks away.

• Powers and Loughlin aren’t the only female stars of hit shows past to appear this Saturday night. Betty White (“The Golden Girls,” “Mary Tyler Moore”) hosts “Saturday Night Live” (10:30 p.m. today, NBC).

At 88, White becomes the oldest person to host the long-running series. In 1977, an 80-year-old grandmother named Miskel Spillman won an “Anyone Can Host” contest, and she did just that.

Actress Ruth Gordon hosted that same year when she was 80 years old. Like Betty White, Gordon was an actress with a lengthy career and multi-generational appeal, owing to her remarkable performances and sassy characters in “Rosemary’s Baby” and “Harold & Maude.”

To coincide with White’s “SNL” gig, WE will run a marathon of “Golden Girls” (5 p.m. through midnight today, WE) episodes. A Mother’s Day “Golden Girls” marathon follows from 9 a.m. through 3 p.m., Sunday on WE.

• Tom Selleck returns for the sixth time as the rumpled, therapy-seeking detective in the TV movie “Jesse Stone: No Remorse” (8 p.m. Sunday, CBS), based on a series of novels by the late Robert B. Parker. Kathy Baker and Kohl Sudduth are back as Rose and “Suitcase,” his former police colleagues in the small town of Paradise.

Suspended from the force and torn up by a breakup, Jesse’s a bit of a mess. He’s been drinking too much, avoiding calls and having the hardest time programming his new cell phone. He can’t even feel comfortable around his own dog.

After he’s hired by an old Boston colleague to consult on a serial-murder case, it takes some time for Jesse to get his juices flowing. And of course, he can’t help meddling in Paradise affairs, even though he has been ordered not to.

Some of the Paradise powers-that-be have accused Jesse of “infecting” the police force with his unorthodox ways. In fact, the script, by Selleck and Michael Brandman, has affected every character with Jesse’s staccato speaking style, giving most conversations and nearly every scene a cryptic and elliptical quality and a vague sense that everyone has been reading far too many hard-boiled detective novels.

Look for the always enjoyable Saul Rubinek (“Warehouse 13”) as a local car dealer just out of prison and the former husband of a saucy young lady a little too eager to get her hands on our hero. The very young and capable Mae Whitman appears briefly as a convenience-store clerk in a vulnerable spot, and William Devane, veteran of many a TV movie and sweeps event, returns as Jesse’s therapist, a man even more adept at the pregnant pause and dangling understatement than the tortured Mr. Stone.

Despite dialogue that sometimes verges on the absurd, Selleck fans will have no remorse after watching this TV movie and will be looking forward to the “Jesse Stone” No. 7 evidently set up in the movie’s cliffhanger ending.

• Moe departs Springfield on “The Simpsons” (7 p.m. Sunday, Fox). But not before writing to Homer, Apu and the Rev. Lovejoy implying that he has run off with one of their wives.

Only the writers of “The Simpsons” could assume that their audience would get a reference to the 1949 movie “A Letter to Three Wives” directed by Joseph Mankiewicz. And only “The Simpsons” could make it silly enough to make it funny for viewers not in on the joke.

Today’s highlights

• River Song returns on “Doctor Who” (8 p.m., BBC America).

• Scheduled on “48 Hours Mystery” (9 p.m., CBS): a woman’s last gasp.

• Jennifer Lopez and Alan Davies appear on “The Graham Norton Show” (9 p.m., BBC America).

Sunday’s highlights

• A “Eureka” marathon (8 a.m. through 11 p.m., SyFy) lets viewers get acquainted with a quirky town peopled by America’s most gifted visionaries.

• Scheduled on “60 Minutes” (6 p.m., CBS): homegrown terrorists; homeowners who walk away from their mortgages; Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

• Finalists travel from Shanghai to San Francisco and the grand prize on “Amazing Race” (7 p.m., CBS).

• Racial tensions between American troops result in murder on “Foyle’s War” on “Masterpiece Mystery!” (8 p.m., PBS, check local listings).

• The fight for Okinawa proves long and grueling on “The Pacific” (8 p.m., HBO).

• Albert pressures a local politician on “Treme” (9:05 p.m., HBO).


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