TV Daily

Friday/Weekend: HBO's heartbreaking dark comedy. Plus: What did you think of the "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" finale?


Salon Staff
November 16, 2007 4:00PM (UTC)

Weekend Pick

Photo: HBO

HBO calls its original movie "Pu-239" (8 p.m. EST Saturday) a "dark comedy," but it should come as no surprise that there aren't a lot of big laughs in this story of a Russian worker suffering from radiation exposure. Even so, this beautifully written, heartbreaking tale is well worth the time. If you've ever wondered who would be desperate enough to put the entire globe at risk of a nuclear holocaust by selling weapons-grade plutonium, "Pu-239" lays out a very real possibility, from the sick man who feels he has no other choice to a small-time thug who desperately needs to scrape together some cash to save his own neck. Based on a short story by Ken Kalfus, this is a poetic and tragic little yarn with massive global significance -- which is probably what got executive producers Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney interested. Just be forewarned: If "Pu-239" is a comedy, then "Syriana" is a spirited romp among the Middle East's rich and famous.

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On Friday, you'll forget those tragic meerkats seconds after spending a little time with the expressive charmers of "Orangutan Island" (8:30 p.m. EST on Animal Planet), while on "Friday Night Lights" (9 p.m. EST on NBC), Julie starts to regret her wandering eyes when her ex Matt decides to play the field (the other field). On Saturday, "Torchwood" airs at 9 p.m. EST on BBC America, and "Baghdad Diary" airs at 10 p.m. EST on the History Channel. On Sunday, the American Music Awards features performances by Alicia Keys and Avril Lavigne (8 p.m. EST on ABC), Masterpiece Theatre's "The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard" wraps its run (9 p.m. EST on PBS, check listings), and one contestant goes from "frazzled" to downright hysterical over a temperamental camel on "The Amazing Race" (8 p.m. EST on CBS).

Last night

What did you think of Thursday's "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" finale? Go here to discuss.

On the talk shows -- Friday

Regis and Kelly

ABC, 9 a.m. EST

Richard Gere, Michael C. Hall, Wolfgang Puck, guest co-host David Duchovny

The View

ABC, 11 a.m. EST

Keri Russell

Ellen DeGeneres

Syndicated, check local listings

James Taylor, 7-year-old reptile expert Enzo Monfre

Oprah Winfrey

Syndicated, check local listings

Peter Walsh

Charlie Rose

PBS, check local listings

The Coen brothers, Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem

Larry King

CNN, 9 p.m. EST

James van Praagh, Lisa Williams

David Letterman

CBS, 11:30 p.m. EST

Jennifer Connelly, Slash, Nicole Atkins (repeat)

Jay Leno

NBC, 11:35 p.m. EST

Robin Williams, Allison Sweeney, Rascal Flatts

Tavis Smiley

PBS, check local listings

James Taylor

Jimmy Kimmel

ABC, 12:05 a.m. EST

Paul Giamatti, Alicia Keys

Conan O'Brien

NBC, 12:35 a.m. EST

Jonah Hill, Timothy Olyphant, Fonzworth Bentley

Craig Ferguson

CBS, 12:35 a.m. EST

D.L. Hughley, Kaitlin Olson, Hannibal Burress (repeat)

Contributors: Megan Doll, Heather Havrilesky, Eryn Loeb, Amy Reiter


Salon Staff

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