DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

KARLE DUNBAR

Social Media Manager

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

TOM BRINKMOELLER

GERALD JORDAN

MONIQUE NAZARETH

CANDACE KELLEY

GABRIELA TAMARIZ

DAVID SICILIA

NOEL HOLSTON

JONATHAN STORM

 
 
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SATURDAY
JUNE 24
2017

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

Encore, 7:21 p.m. ET

It’s been 40 years since George Lucas made his first Star Wars movie, now called Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. That’s the one that, in 1977, introduced Harrison Ford as Han Solo, Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, and Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia – icons all, along with other memorable characters like C-3PO, R2-D2, Chewbacca, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader. And it’s now been 30 years since Mel Brooks spoofed that movie, its imagined universe and its many colorful characters in 1987’s Spaceballs. Since then, somewhat surprisingly, Spaceballs has become Brooks’ most lucrative and popular movie of all, even more than Blazing Saddles, The Producers, and Young Frankenstein. Revisit it and see why: It’s as loving and smart a parody, in its way, as Young Frankenstein, which is as good, and as brilliant, as cinematic spoofs get. A young Bill Pullman stars as the Han Solo-like Lone Starr, with Daphne Zuniga as Princess Vespa, John Candy as Barf (the giant canine equivalent of Chewbacca), and Rick Moranis as Dark Helmet.

 
  
 
 

TCM, 8:00 p.m. ET

Beginning tonight, The Essentials host Alec Baldwin teams up with his old 30 Rock co-star, Tina Fey, for his latest round of animated movie discussions. (It’s the discussions that are animated, not the movies.) Tonight’s topic, “Eyewitness,” is about movie characters whose lives are changed or threatened after they witness something significant – and allows Baldwin and Fey, and us, to revel again in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 masterpiece, Rear Window, starring James Stewart and Grace Kelly. What a movie. What a visual master stroke. And Grace Kelly? What a beauty, and what a flirty, playful, self-assured actress and character… the ultimate of all of Hitchcock’s icy blondes.

 
  
 
 

BBC America, 9:00 p.m. ET

Tonight’s “World Enough and Time” is the last episode before next week’s season finale, which will be the last episode before this year’s Christmas special – which will mark, somehow, the final appearance of Peter Capaldi as the current incarnation of the Doctor. The show’s current plot line, therefore, is running out of time – and tonight, Time is in play not only as an abstract, but as an adversary. And so is another Time Lord, making a return, and significant, appearance. Also making a return appearance tonight: one of this show’s original villains back when it premiered in the 1960s, the Cybermen!

 
  
 
 

BBC America, 10:00 p.m. ET

This final season of Orphan Black is beginning to serve up answers, rather than puzzles – and tonight, finally introduces us to the long-discussed, never-seen scientist P.T. Westmoreland. It also takes several of the clones played by Tatiana Maslany – including Cosima, Rachel, and Alison – and realigns them yet again. And watch for Alison’s suburban husband Donnie, played by Kristian Bruun, to also be placed in serious danger this week. He’s not only in danger of being killed – he’s in danger of being kilt.

 
  
 
 

NBC, 11:29 p.m. ET

This repeat from May, only one month ago, is hosted by Melissa McCarthy. Worth seeing again – even though, in terms of politics, so, so much has happened since then…

 
  
 
 
 
 
Read and add comments HERE for today's Best Bets!
 
 

VIDEO WORTH WATCHING

There’s a Certain Glow About Them – Based on the ’80s show GLOW, the new Netflix series of the same name uses fictional characters to tell the back story of struggling actresses (and others) who were cast and became professional wrestlers. Starring Alison Brie (Community, Mad Men) and Betty Gilpin (Nurse Jackie), the tale of the spandex world of staged fighting gets a positive review from TVWW’s Ed Bark. Marc Maron is also along as the troupe’s coke-addled mastermind. Co-produced by Orange is the New Black’s Jenji Kohan, GLOW seems like the rightful sister companion to that series. All 10 episodes are available Friday, June 23rd. —Eric Gould

 
 

TV WE'RE WATCHING

  
   Visit TV We're Watching for these and other shows on
our DVRs right now...


The Carmichael Show
NBC
Wednesdays
10 PM ET

Flaked
Netflix
Streaming

GLOW
Netflix
Streaming

The Great British Baking Show
PBS
Sundays
9 PM ET

Loch Ness
AcornTV
Streaming

Orange is the New Black
Netflix
Streaming

Orphan Black
BBC America
Saturdays
10 PM ET

Real Time with Bill Maher
HBO
Fridays
10 PM ET

Silicon Valley
HBO
Sundays
10 PM ET

Twin Peaks:
The Return

Showtime
Sundays
9 PM ET
 
 

BUT WAIT... THERE'S MORE!


FRESH AIR FAVES

Audio of Bianculli's favorite 'Fresh Air' reports, and the stories behind them...


FAVES FROM
"THE MORGUE"

Bianculli's favorite newspaper articles, and the stories behind them...


EXTRAS & FEEDBACK

Share your favorite TV in-jokes and first TV loves...
 
 
 

Good news, TVWW readers: David’s new book from Doubleday, The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific is available on Amazon for $20. (Paperback will be available September 5th, here.)

Doubleday says: “Darwin had his theory of evolution, and David Bianculli has his. Bianculli's theory has to do with the concept of quality television: what it is and, crucially, how it got that way."

"The Platinum Age of Television is an effusive guidebook that plots the path from the 1950s’ Golden Age to today’s era of quality TV. For instance, animation evolved from Rocky and His Friends to South Park; variety shows moved from The Ed Sullivan Show to Saturday Night Live; and family sitcoms grew from I Love Lucy to Modern Family. A high point is the author’s interviews with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Bob Newhart, Matt Groening, Larry David, Amy Schumer and many others...Bianculli has written a highly readable history." —The Washington Post

 
 

This Day in TV History

 
 
 
 
TV WWorth Buying
 TOP TVWW SPECIAL DEAL$
The Chair

This is a reality show that fans of scripted TV will appreciate: the 2014 Starz series matching two aspiring directors against each other, filming the same screenplay, with the same budget, and both productions using locations in the same city. Brought to you by Project Greenlight creator Chris Moore, this is a fascinating look into how the written word branches off the page into two different visions. The Chair also has The Prize: a $250,000 check for the audience-voted winner. Each contestant cut is included. On sale at Amazon for under $20. —Eric Gould