Blue Glow

Salon's TV picks for Monday, July 9, 2001

Published July 9, 2001 10:52PM (EDT)


RuPaul is in the spotlight on a new Biography (8 p.m., A&E). The King of Queens (8 p.m., CBS) reruns the one where Doug overdoses on cold medicine, falls asleep in front of the TV and dreams that he's in "The Honeymooners," "Brian's Song" and other classic TV bits. Angel tries to win back his friends' trust and ferret out a vampire motivational speaker at the same time on a rerun of Angel (9 p.m., WB). Sure, everybody remembers Michael Mann's epochal '80s cop show "Miami Vice." But do you remember Mann's follow-up to "Vice"? It was a tough and strange number called Crime Story (9 p.m., A&E) that lasted for only two seasons on NBC, but what a ride it was. A&E is running the series on Mondays, starting with tonight's two-hour pilot. The story begins in Chicago in the early 1960s. A Blues Brothers-type cat named Detective Mike Torello (Dennis Farina), head of Chicago's Major Crimes Unit, loses a pal (David Caruso in a small role) to vicious young gangster Ray Luca (Anthony Denison). Torello swears to bring him down, come hell or high water. As the series goes on, Torello and his men (including Billy Campbell of "Once & Again") pursue Luca to Vegas, and Torello and Luca's testosterone-fueled battle of wills plays out as a metaphor for two-fisted American cutthroat capitalism and nuclear cockiness. Even before the show's over-the-top first season climax, in which Luca and his henchmen get caught in an Army atomic bomb test in the Nevada desert, you're noticing how much Luca's towering pompadour resembles a mushroom cloud. "Crime Story" also had an outstanding casting director; among the heavyweights soon to be making guest appearances are Kevin Spacey, Ving Rhames, Gary Sinise, Lorraine Bracco, David Hyde Pierce and, as a teenage incest victim, a young actress named Julia Roberts. In its daring, brutal, darkly humorous way, "Crime Story" was a forerunner of "The Sopranos."


All-Star Home Run Derby (8 p.m., ESPN)


Rosie O'Donnell (syndicated) Andy Dick, Dido (rerun)
David Letterman (CBS) Reese Witherspoon
Jay Leno (NBC) Pamela Anderson, the Rock (rerun)
Politically Incorrect (ABC) Jay Mohr, Mark Langston
Conan O'Brien (NBC) Matt Dillon, Our Lady Peace (rerun)

All times Eastern unless noted.

By Joyce Millman

Joyce Millman is a writer living in the Bay Area.

MORE FROM Joyce Millman

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