MONDAY
JULY 28
2014

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

TCM, 6:00 a.m. ET

TCM clears its previous film schedule today to present a dozen movies featuring the late James Garner. The tribute begins early, at 6 a.m. ET, with 1956’s Toward the Unknown, one of the Wartner Bros. studio movies he made as a supporting player before breaking out as a star, for the studio’s newly formed TV division, in the classic Western Maverick. Shoot-Out at Medicine Bend, made in 1957, follows at 8 a.m. ET, and the first real Garner starring vehicle of the day begins at 9:30 a.m. ET, with him driving a vehicle in 1966’s Grand Prix (pictured). Among the rest of the day’s Garner films are these especially worthy examples: 1966’s Mister Buddwing, co-starring Jean Simmons, Suzanne Pleshette and a pre-Graduate Katharine Ross, at 6:15 p.m. ET; 1964’s The Americanization of Emily, co-starring Julie Andrews, at 10 p.m. ET; and his version of Marlowe, from 1969, at 4:30 a.m. ET.

 
  
 
 

HBO, 9:00 p.m. ET

The title of this week’s new HBO documentary has a double meaning. The parents of a South Korean baby named Sarang are accused of neglecting her – and charged with essentially starving her – while they immersed themselves in an online role-playing game. Sarang translates as “Love,” and this nonfiction study is an immersion into the world of avatars and “second lives,” and the addictions such a fantasy world can feed. The game the parents play is called Prius – and while the legal defense their attorney offers is dubious, there’s certainly a subject here worth examining.

 
  
 
 

Starz!, 9:00 p.m. ET

The TV series Disneyland began 60 years ago as a full-length unabashed infomercial for Walt Disney’s brand-new theme park, and the Disney folks haven’t lost any of that marketing savvy or cross-promotional boldness in the generations since. With this 2013 animated film becoming such a huge hit – not only at the worldwide box-office, but with its musical soundtrack sales as well – it was only a matter of time before sisters Elsa and Anna were embodied in three dimensions, not only as theme-park attractions but as characters on ABC’s Disney fantasy series, Once Upon a Time. For viewers of that show, that time arrives in September, so it may be worth taking another look now at the two-dimensional originals.

 
  
 
 

PBS, 10:00 p.m. ET

This new POV begins with the earthquake that devastated parts of China in 2008 – specifically, with the completely crumbled town of Beichuan, which instantly earned the Fallen City name of this documentary’s title. What’s amazing is that, in just two years, a new Beichuan has risen in its place – and what’s surprising is how that affects some of the survivors. Check local listings.

 
  
 
 

TNT, 10:00 p.m. ET

The season-long murder mystery that is TNT’s Murder in the First doesn’t conclude tonight (there are two more episodes left), but the murder trial supposedly does – and with the defendant insisting to take the stand. If you’ve stayed with this series all along, you know that’s a significant, and risky, change of legal strategy.

 
  
 
 
 
 
Read and add comments HERE for today's Best Bets!
 
 
 
 
Leave a Comment: (No HTML, 1000 chars max)
 
 Name (required)
 
 Email (required) (will not be published)
 
 Website (optional)
 
 
 
 Page: 1 of 23  | Go to page: 
441 Comments
 
 
Please call back later http://www.berlinhotelandsuites.com/social-gatherings/ cheap amitriptyline professional year one or two. All 80 hours must be completed before a student will be
Jul 27, 2014   |  Reply
 
 
We used to work together http://www.berlinhotelandsuites.com/social-gatherings/ buy cheap endep Individual counterpart relationshipsâ??based on mutual respect and trust and striving for
Jul 27, 2014   |  Reply
 
 
John
You know maybe I'm a little weird or something but I already saw episode 3 of the Bridge before it aired tonight on the 23rd. It was a new episode. Am I missing something?
Jul 24, 2014   |  Reply
 
 
marlene
Surprised not to see a mention of the 1932 Maurice Pagnol film (and play) "Fanny" upon which the 1961 version and Umbrellas of Cherbourg are both based. It's part of his wonderful trilogy Marius/ Fanny/ Cesar. Chez Panisse is named after the "older gentleman".
Jul 16, 2014   |  Reply
 
SharonGS
Thank you, Marlene, for mentioning Pagnol. I'm sure Robert Osborne will mention him as well. Pagnol's films are well worth watching.
Jul 16, 2014
 
 
 
Mac
Hoping to catch The Divide on one of the probable repeats.Had to check if I'm still paying for this channel.Trailer showing up on other channels didn't look too compelling,but reviews are encouraging.And Stephen Bochco's Murder In The First let me down.Hoping the Philly vibe comes through more than the Geico Gecko dancing in front of Geno's.
Jul 16, 2014   |  Reply
 
 
SharonGS
Thank you for highlighting the Tour de France. The prime-time show is a recap; live coverage is in the mornings with repeats overnight. Café au lait, croissants, and the Tour are a nice start to the morning.
Jul 8, 2014   |  Reply
 
 
SharonGS
I have seen no publicity about this, and it didn't get a mention on your site, but the second season of the wonderful "Last Tango in Halifax" just started on at least some PBS stations. The series features complex but realistic relationships, lovely scenery, and wonderful acting.

Also, the Tour de France starts Saturday: exciting racing and amazing images.
Jul 3, 2014   |  Reply
 
Linda D.
We at TVWW agree with you, SharonGS. We've been touting the beauty of "Last Tango in Halifax" since the beginning (see: http://tvworthwatching.com/post/Last-Tango-In-Halifax-December-December-ROmance-Charms.aspx) and continue to report about it on the site (http://tvworthwatching.com/post/PBSUpStreams-Ahead-More-Sherlock-Ken-Burns-and-Downton-Abbey.aspx). Just not today. But it is certainly TV Worth Watching.
Jul 3, 2014
 
 
 
Keith Robin
David, I was thrilled to read that you feel the same way about '$' that I do, and have, since first seeing it in the '70's! Thank you for the heads up...I always seem to miss its broadcasts and they are usually on one time only. Now, at last, good Lord willin' and the creek don't rise, I'll be able to record it in hi-def (no bluray available) on my dvr! In addition to the great music, there are also some solid performances from the cast that includes Robert Webber, Scott Brady, and the delightful Gert Frobe. It was wonderful to see him in a comedic role after his portrayal of one of the best Bond villains, Auric Goldfinger. I saw this movie for the first time when I returned to the US after a three-year tour of duty in West Berlin. I had been to Frankfurt several times, so it was great to "revisit" again so soon! Finally, I can't help but chuckle every time I hear a particular German word when spoken by Mr. Kessel (Frobe): "kaugummi"*! I laugh just thinking about it.

*chewing gum
Jun 30, 2014   |  Reply
 
 
Casey
Speaking on Sunday aft. before first ep of "The Leftovers", I choose to doubt these guys would do a "Lost" number. My wish is for an existential adventure where god is simply not an option, fairytales don't come true, and animals get half a break.
Jun 29, 2014   |  Reply
 
Casey
Graham, it's like they knew what we wanted and did precisely the opposite. Well, if it bombs, maybe they'll try our recipe.
Jul 1, 2014
 
 
Graham
I agree, but having just watched it looks like we're out of luck on every count.
Jun 30, 2014
 
 
 
Mac
Interesting that the 1938 edition is the only one of the four Big Broadcast films have been tranferred to VHS or DVD.Stayed for the televised 1937 edition and was entertained completely.Finished off the evening with an episode of Burns & Allen.What a lost treasure is Gracie Allen.
Jun 29, 2014   |  Reply
 
 
Mark
I have access to Dish and DirecTV in San Francisco. Neither one has the GREAT PERFORMANCES AT THE MET: "LA BOHEME" either tonight or in the future. DirecTV shows it on the national feed tonight but I'm unable to get it due to having access to local PBS station(s!). Why do you do this PBS?!
Jun 27, 2014   |  Reply
 
jim
The problem isn't with PBS. It's your local PBS station that determines when and whether to broadcast this program. I just did a little googling to see when it would be broadcast in the SF area and came up with the following info:
KQED Life: Mon, Jun 30, 2014 -- 7:00pm
KQED Life: Tue, Jul 1, 2014 -- 1:00am
Jun 27, 2014
 
 
 
David
PENNY DREADFUL was INCREDIBLE last night! Eva Green freaked me out, she is an amazing actress. The show just keeps getting better, it's like "True Blood" with class and decent writing.
Jun 23, 2014   |  Reply
 
 
Graham
I just wanted to let everyone know that if you don't have cable but rely on over the air broadcast, Univision is running almost every single World Cup game. The commentary is in Spanish, of course, but the video feed is HD and might even be the same as ABC/ESPN.
Jun 22, 2014   |  Reply
 
 
SharonGS
The film 'Sous les Toits de Paris' is available on DVD through the Criterion Collection and may also be available through HuluPlus. TCM deserves a lot of credit for featuring it in prime time.
Jun 18, 2014   |  Reply
 
 
Erin
There's a repeat of an excellent 30 for 30 documentary on ESPN 2 at noon eastern today. It's called "June 17, 1994," and it recounts the strange confluence of sports-related events that day, including the travels of a slow white Bronco.
Jun 15, 2014   |  Reply
 
 
Harry
NHL finals > NBA finals
Jun 5, 2014   |  Reply
 
Dennis
Harry, well said.
Jun 7, 2014
 
 
 
Neil
In previewing "Jennifer Falls", you write: "...and their mom is played by one of the funniest TV moms in recent history, Jessica Walter of Arrested Development." Yes, but she also provides the voice of Mallory Archer in the "Archer" animated series, and she's at least twice as funny there as the dysfunctional, perpetually drunken head of a third-rate spy agency. Credit where it's due, Walters is quite a piece of work, who's found the perfect role to be typecast in!
Jun 4, 2014   |  Reply
 
 
jwarthen
What a sad disappointment you are, this morning. LONGMIRE starts its third season, a word-of-mouth favorite that is still making itself known, and you miss your cue. That the series descends from models like FOYLE'S and WALLANDER hardly degrades it-- LONGMIRE's use of its uncommon Wyoming setting, its wonderful casting, and tangy idiomatic dialogue recall JUSTIFIED in seasons better than its last one.
Jun 2, 2014   |  Reply
 
EG
TVWW has reviewed the Season One premiere of "Longmire" (here: http://www.tvworthwatching.com/post/Longmire-Contemporary-Western-Rides-High.aspx) and featured the annual DVD releases in our New This Week block. As you mention, the series has a great lead actor with Robert Taylor playing the hangdog, sometimes down and out Sheriff Longmire and some spectacular western panoramas. Yet, it remains in the "Shows We Want to Love, But Can't" category due to it's habitual use of preposterous plot devices that are often needed to wiggle out of it's own, self-made handcuffs. We're still watching, though... we still need westerns. –EG
Jun 2, 2014
 
 
 
Andy in Cambridge
Um, "Hell and catch fire," above, should be changed to "Halt and catch fire."
Jun 1, 2014   |  Reply
 
Daniel
Nobody cares!
Jun 1, 2014
 
 
 
Mac
Re:Comparisons of Seth McFarlane's "Million Ways" to "Blazing Saddles".
Early reviews of the McFarlane opus reveal a mixed message on Rotten Tomatoes.33% of critics liked it,52% of the audience liked it.Sounds "meh" to me. The Philadelphia Inquirer's Stephen Rea thinks McFarlane,while clearly influenced by Brooks' film,doesn't understand the difference between mean-spirited racial jokes and satirizing racism.Brooks clearly mocked the haters by having the black sheriff the only hope in saving the bigoted townsfolk;Seth has no such point of view. "Million Ways" may be praised as the" funniest western since BS",but there really hasn't been any competiton. Monty Python never tackled the Wild West.
Jun 1, 2014   |  Reply
 
 
 
 Page: 1 of 23  | Go to page: 
 
 

David Bianculli

Founder / Editor

Behind David in the picture is the first TV owned by his father, Virgil Bianculli, a 1946 Raytheon. (The TV, not his father. His father was a 1923 Italian.) David Bianculli has been a TV critic since 1975, including a 14-year stint at the New York Daily News, and sees no reason to stop now. Currently, he's TV critic for NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross, and is an occasional substitute host for that show. He also teaches TV and film history at New Jersey's Rowan University, and his most recent book, 2009's Dangerously Funny: The Uncensored Story of 'The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, has recently been purchased for film rights.  He's currently at work on another.

 
 
New From TVWW