Alibi V.13 No.18 • April 29-May 5, 2004 

Week in Sloth

Thursday 29

“Will & Grace” (KOB-4 8 p.m.) Well, Will anyway. Grace (or at least actress Debra Messing) is off having a baby. That leaves Will, Jack and Karen to romp their way through a Las Vegas wedding season finale. A Jennifer Lopez cameo has been added to up the star power. Didn't help Jersey Girl any.

“Launch: A Product is Born” (Discovery Channel 8 p.m.) So what sort of planning, researching, building, advertising and hyping go into creating a new consumer product? Find out in this revealing documentary.

Friday 30

Robert Siodmak Tribute (TCM 6 p.m.) TCM celebrates German-born writer/director Robert Siodmak (brother of writer/director Curt Siodmak) with a trio of his best film noir thrillers. We start off with the atmospheric 1944 mystery Phantom Lady. At 7:30 p.m., we get the 1946 lady-in-distress thriller The Spiral Staircase. Things wrap up nicely at 9 p.m. with the tight 1949 crime flick Criss Cross.

Saturday 1

“Surviving Nugent 2: The Ted Commandments” (VH1 8 p.m.) Another group of poor unsuspecting contestants sign up to get put through the rock 'n' roll ringer by bow-hunting Republican wacko Ted Nugent.

Sunday 2

10.5 (KOB-4 8 p.m.) This is the kind of stuff that made television great. Here we have a real throwback to the '70s: a splashy, star-filled two-night mini-series in which a natural disaster makes a whole lot of things blow up, fall over or otherwise crash to bits. Place your bets on which star dies first. Will it be Beau Bridges, Kim Delaney, Fred Ward or Bo Duke himself, John Schneider?

Scooby-Doo and the Monster of Mexico (Cartoon Network 8 p.m.) These animated films from Warner Brothers are quite a bit better than the live-action outings. None has quite matched the appeal of the first one, 1998's Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island, but they're all fairly entertaining. The last one, Scooby-Doo and the Legend of the Vampire, was a pretty weak entry, and looked like it might signal an end to the franchise. This one, which takes the Mystery Inc. gang down to Mexico to fight the Chupacabra, has its moments, however.

Monday 3

Unbreakable (KOAT-7 7 p.m.) Despite the popularity of M. Knight Shyamalan's The Sixth Sense, I think this underrated follow-up is his best film. Check out Bruce Willis' subtle perf as a man who comes to realize that he may or may not be invincible. Audiences couldn't quite figure out what the genre was, but it deserves another look.

Tuesday 4

The Treasure of Sierra Madre (TCM 8 p.m.) For my money, Humphrey Bogart is at his best when he's dirty. Sure, he's great (and well-dressed) in The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca. But look at him in The African Queen or this Wild West parable, all scruffed-out and looking like fuzzy, leftover meatloaf. He's incredible!

Wednesday 5

“Dateline: NBC” (KOB-4 8 p.m.) Two weeks ago, NBC's “Dateline” program devoted an entire hour to the last episode of “The Apprentice.” This week, they're devoting an entire hour to the final episode of “Friends.” Jeez, you'd think these so-called “journalists” could leave the building once in a while to dig up a news story.