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Archive for Monday, October 3, 2011

A haunted ‘House’ and the king of horror

October 3, 2011

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All shows, even good ones, start repeating themselves. A few seasons back, “House” (8 p.m., Fox) kicked off with our dyspeptic doctor in a mental institution. Tonight, House finds himself 12 months into a prison sentence for purposefully driving his car into Dr. Cuddy’s (Lisa Edelstein) home.

With only five days before parole, House is facing pressure from all sides — his homicidal cellmate, blackmailing inmates, even skinhead mafia.

But we’re not here to see him squirm. The real purpose of the episode is to introduce Dr. Jessica Adams (Odette Annable), a young, bright, but bored prison doctor. House immediately sizes her up as a rich kid slumming in a do-gooder job. But after a few withering put-downs, they collaborate on saving a prisoner patient while Dr. Adams pleads with House not to give up his gift and his medical practice.

• Turner Classic Movies will devote every Monday night in October to the horror genre, kicking off tonight with “Frankenstein” (8 p.m.) and “Freaks” (9:15 p.m.), as well as the German silent film “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” (2:30 a.m.).

But first, TCM presents “The Horrors of Stephen King” (7 p.m.), an opinionated survey of scary movies by the best-selling author of “Carrie,” ‘‘The Shining” and many other tomes that have been turned into movies and miniseries.

King discusses movies at a rapid clip, offering completely subjective and personal takes on the films that scared him and those he just didn’t get. For instance, King always found Bela Lugosi slightly silly. While discussing “Night of the Living Dead,” he makes some nuanced observations about seeing movies multiple times. After awhile, King asserts, you’re not enjoying the film anymore, but trying to re-create the emotions you felt the very first time around. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

While discussing movies based on his own books, he shares great disappointment with Stanley Kubrick’s version of “The Shining,” a film he found visually brilliant but cold and emotionally empty, likening it to a beautiful car “without an engine.”

It’s fun to watch King as a movie critic. He’s sure to suggest some favorite that you’ve never seen.

Tonight’s other highlights

• Songs from the 1960s on “The Sing-Off” (7 p.m., NBC).

• Flying reptiles threaten the camp on “Terra Nova” (7 p.m., Fox).

• “Dancing With the Stars” (7 p.m., ABC) continues.

• An underground society and economy emerge as millions ignore the new law on part two of Ken Burns’ documentary series “Prohibition” (7 p.m., PBS, check local listings).

• The Buccaneers host the Colts in NFL action (7:30 p.m., ESPN).

• A man with a grudge threatens the facility on the two-hour season finale of “Warehouse 13” (8 p.m., Syfy).

• A Navy SEAL’s suicide seems suspicious on “Hawaii Five-O” (9 p.m., CBS).

• Nick’s campaign begins on “The Playboy Club” (9 p.m., NBC).

• A trail of blood yields no victim on “Castle” (9 p.m., ABC).

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