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Archive for Saturday, September 22, 2012

Teen driving tragedy unfolds

September 22, 2012

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Lifetime dabbles in teenage tragedy with “Last Hours in Suburbia” (7 p.m. Saturday). Kelcie Stranahan stars as Grace, a 17-year-old charged and convicted in the vehicular manslaughter death of her best friend, Jenny (Maiara Walsh, “Switched at Birth”).

It’s not like I’m giving away the plot here. “Hours” kicks off with Grace’s trip to the big house and then travels down the dangerous highway of flashbacks. Grace, afflicted with blackouts by the accident’s trauma, tries to regain her memories with the help of Jenny herself — or at least her ghostly memory.

Movies this melodramatic, jam-packed with teen angst and messages of promise cut short and lives ruined, just don’t come along that often anymore. Not even on Lifetime. They recall the golden age of the morbid pop music ballads that mixed teenage hormonal longings with cautionary lessons in driver’s education. The best (or worst) of the genre included “Dead Man’s Curve,” ‘‘The Leader of the Pack,” ‘‘Tell Laura I Love Her” and the immortally maudlin “Teen Angel.”

These teenage death songs seem like silly relics today. But are they any more ridiculous (or profound) than the stories of moody teens mooning over undead boyfriends in the “Twilight” novels?

Saturday’s other highlights

• Hallmark salutes inspirational teachers with the 2011 made-for-television movie “Beyond the Blackboard” (6 p.m.), starring Emily VanCamp, and “The Ron Clark Story” (8 p.m.) from 2006, with Matthew Perry in the title role.

• Oklahoma hosts Kansas State in college football (6:30 p.m., Fox).

• Notre Dame hosts Michigan in college football (6:30 p.m., NBC).

• Florida State hosts Clemson in college football (7 p.m., ABC).

• A torrent of mysterious black cubes pummels the Earth on “Doctor Who” (8 p.m., BBC America).

• Kate Beckinsale stars in the vampire sequel “Underworld: Awakening” (8 p.m., Starz).

• Joseph Gordon-Levitt hosts “Saturday Night Live” (10:30 p.m., NBC), featuring musical guest Mumford & Sons. “SNL” has received 156 Emmy nominations since its debut in 1975.

Saturday series

Murder in a casino on “CSI” (7 p.m., CBS ... More casino killings on “Criminal Minds” (8 p.m., CBS ... Incarcerated in Mexico, a reality TV producer discusses charges that he murdered his wife on “48 Hours Mystery” (9 p.m., CBS.

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