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Archive for Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Yet another show displays teen with supernatural powers

June 14, 2011

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One day’s she’s 16 and never been kissed and the next, she’s sporting killer nails and has a legion of men who just can’t wait to get their hands on her. That’s the basic premise of “The Nine Lives of Chloe King” (8 p.m., ABC Family). It’s the latest to tap into the “Twilight"-driven mania for tales of teens with hidden powers and brooding inner lives, kids who have to fight ancient evil conspiracies all night and still make it to homeroom on time.

Skyler Samuels stars in the title role of this series based on a series of books by Celia Thomson. She acquits herself well kicking and fighting and fending off supernatural baddies. Her hardest acting job is convincing us that she was some kind of unpopular, anti-social nerd before all of this unusual static began.

• “Jon Benjamin Has a Van” (9:30 p.m., Comedy Central) joins the ranks of news parody series. Don’t go looking for “Daily Show"- or “Onion News Network"-level writing here. Most of this consists of a hapless journalist carrying on shenanigans with his crew. The show opens with a somber visit to a wounded veteran whose wounds had nothing to do with combat. This envelope-pushing sendup would have been more powerful had it been remotely funny.

“Van” lists one of its producers as “Funny or Die,” the website forum for comics who often seem more intent on cracking each other up than entertaining audiences. That pretty much sums up the philosophy of “Jon Benjamin Has A Van.”

• Some shows don’t last past their first few outings. Others seem to run forever. One TV producer once told me that programming longevity often boils down to the axiom, “The longer you’re on, the longer you’re on.” Which may explain how, or why, “Gene Simmons Family Jewels” (9 p.m., A&E) can return for a sixth season.

TV-Themed DVDs available today include “The Best of the ‘80s: The A-Team.”

Tonight's other highlights

• If required, the Mavericks and Heat meet in the seventh and final game of the NBA Finals (8 p.m., ABC). If not, look for repeats of “Wipeout” and “Rookie Blue.”

• The prospect of an arctic hurricane puts fishing on the back burner on “Deadliest Catch” (8 p.m., Discovery). Familiar faces kick back in Hawaii, of all places, on “After the Catch” (9 p.m., Discovery).

• An inmate on death row needs Alicia’s help on “The Good Wife” (9 p.m., CBS).

• “Independent Lens” (9 p.m., PBS) ends its season with “Two Spirits,” a documentary take on a hate crime on a Navajo reservation.

Cult choice

• A ballerina (Jessica Harper) has no idea that she’s matriculated into an academy run by an evil coven in the 1977 shocker “Suspiria” (7 p.m., Fox Movie Channel), directed by Dario Argento. A terrifying film in every way, “Suspiria” features staggering cinematography and a throbbing, mesmerizing score by Italian progressive rock band Goblin. And look for Hollywood veteran Joan Bennett, too!

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