WATCH-O-RAMA THE HIGHLIGHTS AND LOWLIGHTS OF THE COMING TV WEEK.Byline: David Kronke
(KCET KCET Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo (Japan)
KCET Kamaraj College of Engineering and Technology ; 7 tonight and 10 p.m. May 26)
Think: Huell Hauser visits Death Valley, which recently received an extreme makeover, thanks to abundant storms. The area suffered some destruction but also received abundant greenery and even a lake, drawing unprecedented numbers of tourists.
Don't think: Isn't kayaking in Death Valley a sign of the Apocalypse?
In a nutshell: Gorgeous visuals and Hauser's trademark charisma and appreciation for kitsch (if not his fashion sense - we first see him in yellow shirt and baggy shorts) make this fun viewing.
(Fox Channel 11; 8:30 tonight)
Think: Bart and Homer find religion through a hip Catholic priest (voice of Liam Neeson). Marge tries to convert Bart back to Protestantism.
Don't think: As Homer says, ``I never heard of someone getting so upset because of religion.'' Unless the religious right gets wind of this episode.
In a nutshell: See the episode knocked off the schedule (albeit briefly) due to the pope's death. Apparently, it's again OK to mock superficial conversion methods and doctrinal misinterpretation.
``DL Hughley: Shocked & Appalled''
(Comedy Central; 10 and midnight tonight and 11 p.m. Friday)
Think: Politics, terrorism and race are among the topics skewered by the smart, topical comic in a concert recorded last summer.
Don't think: Up-front, Hughley apologizes for appearing in ``Soul Plane.'' Apology accepted.
In a nutshell: Occasionally familiar but more often very funny stuff.
in full National Broadcasting Co.
Major U.S. commercial broadcasting company. It was formed in 1926 by RCA Corp., General Electric Co. (GE), and Westinghouse and was the first U.S. company to operate a broadcast network. Channel 4; 8 p.m. Monday)
Think: Effects-crazy teleflick about Zeus' son (Paul Telfer Paul Telfer is the name of more than one notable individual:
Sobieski was born Liliane Rudabet Gloria Elsveta Sobieski , Elizabeth Perkins and Timothy Dalton.
Don't think: What must longtime producer Robert Halmi Sr. have on network executives that keeps them buying these cheesy cheesy (che´ze) caseous. productions?
In a nutshell: Here's how much faith NBC has in this: It's been chopped down from four hours to three and scheduled opposite the ``Everybody Loves Raymond'' finale.
(WB Channel 5; 8 p.m. Tuesday)
Think: Fifth-season finale of the uber-clever mother-daughter comedy finds Lorelai (Lauren Graham Lauren Helen Graham (born March 16, 1967) is a American actress best known for her starring role as Lorelai Gilmore on the long-running television series Gilmore Girls. ) picking up Rory (Alexis Bledel) at the police department for stealing a yacht, then contemplating selling her inn while her daughter considers major life decisions.
Don't think: Bledel's an angel all this time, then appears in ``Sin City'' and she's got a criminal record. Lesson: Kids, those graphic novels will corrupt your minds.
In a nutshell: Lorelai learns that Luke (Scott Patterson) is the only person she can trust. Graham's wonderful in a strong close to a highly successful season.
``Britney and Kevin: Chaotic''
(UPN UPN User Principal Name (Microsoft Windows 2000)
UPN United Paramount Network
UPN Unión del Pueblo Navarro (Navarrese People Union)
UPN Umgekehrte Polnische Notation Channel 13; 9 p.m. Tuesday)
Think: Reality show starring those tabloid and snarky-fashion-Web-site staples, Britney Spears and Kevin Federline. She was famous for something else before this, but for the life of us, we can't remember what.
Don't think: Can you spell ``train wreck''? In Federline's case, the question's intended literally.
In a nutshell: Not available for review; you know what that means. But here's hoping there's plenty of footage of the ultra-romantic wedding, where Federline's groomsmen wore track suits with the word ``pimp'' elegantly printed across the backs. (Honest. They're a classy pair.)
``That '70s Show''
(Fox Channel 11; 8 p.m. Wednesday)
Think: Eric (Topher Grace) prepares to split town - and, with Ashton Kutcher, the show - in the once-nostalgic sitcom's seventh-season finale.
Don't think: Why would Fox renew this after losing Grace and Kutcher while possibly dumping the far superior ``Arrested Development''? (Actually, if you're a Fox executive, please think about this hard.)
In a nutshell: You know a show's running on fumes fumes
odorous gases and other volatile materials; inhalation of irritating fumes causes coughing and, if sufficiently severe, irreversible pulmonary edema. when it makes jokes about ``jumbo shrimp'' and cribbing cribbing
see crib-biting. Benny Hill. But Grace - who has always been the show's sweet soul - remains game to the end.
``Animal Icons: 'Star Wars' Creatures''
(Animal Planet; 9 p.m. Wednesday)
Think: Just in time to promote a movie that scarcely needs any extra hype comes this ``documentary'' about the film series' sundry colorful (and, yes, goofy) alien species.
Don't think: The Jedi Knights are pretty much erased in ``Episode III - Revenge of the Sith.'' Just think how much more satisfying it would be if George Lucas indulged in Ewok-icide instead.
In a nutshell: More Lucas hagiography hagiography
Literature describing the lives of the saints. Christian hagiography includes stories of saintly monks, bishops, princes, and virgins, with accounts of their martyrdom and of the miracles connected with their relics, tombs, icons, or statues. in the guise of an Animal Planet show about nonexistent non·ex·is·tence
1. The condition of not existing.
2. Something that does not exist.
non beasties. Nonetheless, essential for fanboys.
(BBC America; 11 p.m. Thursday)
Think: Medical sitcom about quirky, self-absorbed physicians, minus actual patients, kind of like the past couple of seasons of ``Scrubs.''
Don't think: Juxtapositions between jaunty jaun·ty
adj. jaun·ti·er, jaun·ti·est
1. Having a buoyant or self-confident air; brisk.
2. Crisp and dapper in appearance; natty.
b. Genteel. fast-motion and sultry slow- motion makes sense on a shallow show like ``Las Vegas,'' but just looks kind of desperate here.
In a nutshell: Actual jokes would've come in really handy.
``The Muppets' Wizard of Oz''
in full American Broadcasting Co.
Major U.S. television network. It began when the expanding national radio network NBC split into the separate Red and Blue networks in 1928. Channel 7; 8 p.m. Friday)
Think: Kermit and company update L. Frank Baum's classic; Miss Piggy plays witches both wicked and kindly (if somewhat tetchy tetch·y also tech·y
adj. tetch·i·er, tetch·i·est
Peevish; testy: "As a critic gets older, he or she usually grows more tetchy and limited in responses" James Wolcott. ). Soul singer Ashanti plays Dorothy and Jeffrey Tambor is the Wizard.
Don't think: Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain in concealment; in secret.
See also: Curtain - or, in this case, to anyone in front of it, either.
In a nutshell: There's a reason the Muppets used to make theatrical releases but are today relegated to TV flicks: Scripts devolved from sophisticated wit for the whole family to dopey exercises aimed solely at kids. As Ashanti tells the Wizard, ``Seriously: You're embarrassing yourself.''
(1 -- color) ``THE MUPPETS' WIZARD OF OZ''
(2 -- color) ``HERCULES''
(3 -- color) ``THE SIMPSONS''
(4 -- color) ``BRITNEY AND KEVIN: CHAOTIC''
(5 -- color) no caption (``Animal Icons: 'Star Wars' Creatures'')