Blue Glow

Salon's TV picks for Weekend, July 13-15, 2001


Joyce Millman
July 14, 2001 12:50AM (UTC)

Series

Hot-headed Jacob, possibly headed for a meltdown like Backstreet Boy A.J., takes out his frustrations on a record exec on Making the Band (8:30 p.m. Fri., ABC). The new half-comedy, half-sci-fi series The Chronicle (9 p.m. Sat., Sci Fi) debuts. Tabloid journalists probe X-Files for fun and profit. With Rena Sofer, Chad Willett, Jon Polito and Curtis Armstrong as Pig Boy, a half-man, half-porker who toils in the paper's file room. E! True Hollywood Story (9 p.m. Sun., E!) presents "The Last Days of John F. Kennedy Jr." You know you're going to watch. Carrie has a computer crisis on Sex and the City (9 p.m. Sun., HBO). Ruth gets a job and Billy intrudes on Nate and Brenda's weekend plans on Six Feet Under (9:30 p.m. Sun., HBO). Any Day Now (10 p.m. Sun., Lifetime) has its fourth season opener.

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Specials

Vanessa Williams and Timothy Hutton star as FBI agents hunting terrorists plotting germ warfare on the U.S. in the new TV movie WW3 (8 p.m. Fri., Fox). The weather started getting rough, the tiny ship was tossed ... hope this doesn't give away too much of The Perfect Storm (9 p.m. Sat., HBO), making its premium cable debut. George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg star. The new documentary When Dinosaurs Roamed America (8 p.m. Sun., Discovery Channel) uses computer animation to show the prehistoric creatures that might have lived in our backyards. The four-hour miniseries The Mists of Avalon (8 p.m. Sun., TNT) is an irresistible adaptation of Marion Zimmer Bradley's pre-Lilith bestseller about the womanpower behind the legend of King Arthur and Camelot. Written by Gavin Scott and directed by Uli Edel, "The Mists of Avalon" is reasonably faithful to Bradley's feminist thesis, which recast the Camelot tale as a struggle for the spiritual future of England. In one corner, we have the goddess-centered ancient pagan religion, as practiced by Arthur's sister Morgaine, their mother Igraine and aunt Viviane, the "Lady of the Lake"; in the other, we have the rigid, misogynistic Christianity. Of course, Christianity won out -- or did it? The miniseries is the chick flick of the year, an unabashed revel in all things Wicca. Julianna Margulies (Morgaine, the heroine and narrator), Anjelica Huston (Viviane) and Joan Allen (Viviane's bad-girl sister Morgause) throw themselves whole-heartedly into their roles, which require them to sport facial tattoos, drag around in heavy, flowing robes and fight with broadswords. The women (including Samantha Mathis as devoutly Christian Gwenhwyfar -- that's Guinevere to you) are handsome. The men -- Edward Atterton as Arthur, Michael Vartan as Lancelot and Hans Matheson as Mordred -- are pretty. There are lots of misty visions and lusty castle intrigue. Oh, and let's not forget the hot three-way between King Arthur, Queen Gwenhwyfar and Knight of the Round Table Lancelot -- you might want to forego "Sex and the City," just for this week. As far as costume miniseries go, "The Mists of Avalon" is as good as it gets. (Concludes Monday.)

Sports

Baseball:
Orioles at Braves (7:30 p.m. Fri., 7 p.m. Sat., TBS)
Padres at Astros (8 p.m. Sat., FX)
Devil Rays at Braves (1 p.m. Sun., TBS)
Diamondbacks at Mariners (8 p.m. Sun., ESPN)
Padres at Angels (8 p.m. Sun., ESPN2)

Talk

Rosie O'Donnell (syndicated) "Mists of Avalon" cast (rerun)
David Letterman (CBS) TBA
Jay Leno (NBC) Janet Jackson (rerun)
Politically Incorrect (ABC) Dave Navarro, Harland Williams
Conan O'Brien (NBC) Julianna Margulies, Merrill Markoe
Craig Kilborn (CBS) Vince Vaughn, Candace Bushnell

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All times Eastern unless noted.


Joyce Millman

Joyce Millman is a writer living in the Bay Area.

MORE FROM Joyce Millman

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