Blue Glow

Salon's TV picks for
Weekend, July 16-18, 1999

By Joyce Millman
July 16, 1999 8:00PM (UTC)
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Series

Law & Order (10 p.m. Fri., NBC) reruns the "Homicide" crossover that begins with the murder of a Baltimore fed and ends with McCoy tangling with a White House-investigating special prosecutor. Nickelodeon's new Saturday morning cartoon series, Spongebob Squarepants (8:30 p.m. Sat., Nickelodeon), gets a prime-time showcase. From the creator of "Rocko's Modern Life," Spongebob is a plucky yellow household sponge who lives in a pineapple at the bottom of the ocean. Now you know why your parents used to get stoned and watch cartoons. On a rerun of The Simpsons (8 p.m. Sun., Fox), Apu reveals a talent for the poetry of love. The new cable series GvsE (8 p.m. Sun., USA) is a mind-blowingly stylish comedy noir created by indie filmmakers the Pate brothers (Jonas and Joshua). Clayton Rohner and Richard Brooks (the long-lost "Law & Order" co-star, sporting an impressive 'fro) play two dead guys who aren't quite bad enough for hell, but not good enough for heaven. They're recruited by a mysterious other worldy outfit called the Corps and given a chance to return to Earth to save souls from Satan's grasp. Yeah, Satan's bloodthirsty minions are everywhere, looking as normal as you and me. Among them, we're told, are Don King, Jane Fonda, Orrin Hatch and Gavin McLeod. Former football great Deacon Jones appears as himself, and he's working for the man upstairs. The frequent use of split screens, freeze frames and highly saturated color owe a lot to Steven Soderburgh's "Out of Sight"; the smart-ass brutality is pure Tarantino; the seedy Los Angeles milieu and '70s-meets-'90s look recalls Mark Frost's short-lived CBS detective series "Buddy Faro." "GvsE" is derivative as heck, but it sure is a fun, wild ride. And Brooks' jones for vintage Commodores music is a nice touch.

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Specials

"September." "Shining Star." "Boogie Wonderland." What are hits by Earth, Wind and Fire? Yes! And the '70s funksters perform in Earth, Wind and Fire: Live by Request (9 p.m. EDT/10 PDT, Sat., A&E). Meanwhile, in the land of the rock gods, we have Eric Clapton and Friends: The Crossroads Concert (9 p.m. Sat., VH1), a benefit taped last month at Madison Square Garden to raise money for the rehab clinic Clapton founded on Antigua. Bob Dylan, Sheryl Crow and Mary J. Blige help out. The Tom Hanks produced miniseries From the Earth to the Moon (7 p.m. Sun., HBO) gets another airing, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the lunar landing. Joe Mantegna takes over the role of Spenser, Robert Parker's Boston-based sleuth, in the new TV movie Small Vices (8 p.m. EDT/9 PDT, Sun., A&E). Spenser and his girlfriend Susan Silverman (Marcia Gay Harden) work to free a man unjustly imprisoned for murder. Moment of Impact: Stories of the Pulitzer Prize Photographs (8 p.m., Sun., TNT) features award-winning photo-journalists telling the stories behind their famous shots. Sam Waterston narrates. Masterpiece Theatre (check local times, Sun., PBS) airs Kenneth Branagh's 1993 adaptation of Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing."

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Sports

Baseball:

Braves at Yankees (7:30 p.m. Fri., TBS)

Padres at Mariners, or regional game (4 p.m. Sat., Fox)

White Sox at Cardinals (8 p.m. Sat., FX)

Braves at Blue Jays (1 p.m. Sun., TBS)

Mets at Orioles (8 p.m. Sun., ESPN)

WNBA:

Monarchs at Rockers (8 p.m. Fri., Lifetime)

Sparks at Mercury (4 p.m. Sat., NBC)

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Talk

Rosie O'Donnell (syndicated) Roberto Benigni, Blondie (rerun)

David Letterman (CBS) Steve Martin, Cokie Roberts (rerun)

Jay Leno (NBC) Lili Taylor, Jon Stewart, the Pretenders

Dennis Miller (HBO) Trey Parker and Matt Stone

Politically Incorrect (ABC) Sandra Bernhard, Robbie Robertson

Conan O'Brien (NBC) Jerry Orbach, Gillian Welch and Emmylou Harris


Joyce Millman

Joyce Millman is a writer living in the Bay Area.

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