Thursday, July 8, 2004

TV Best

Gannett News Service


Friends, 8 and 8:40 p.m., Channels 5, 22.

Two extra-long episodes add up to 80 entertaining minutes with TV's best comedy.

The first has the return of Rachel's self-centered sister Amy (Christina Applegate). She claims she's more mature now and ready to baby-sit Emma. Meanwhile, Joey tries to use big words in writing a letter to the adoption agency that Monica and Chandler applied to; also, Phoebe keeps foiling Mike's plans to propose to her.

The second centers on the Phoebe-Mike wedding. It has hilarious moments but reflects the show's occasional habit of making its characters too silly.

This time, Monica is the overwrought wedding planner, Joey's the overbearing father substitute and Chandler and Ross are overly concerned with being groomsman. The result is excessive, but fun.

Worth watching

Oliver & Company (1988), 8 p.m., Disney Channel. Oliver Twist was turned into this fairly funny cartoon with songs by Billy Joel.

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, 9 p.m., Channels 12, 7. A body is found tied under a prison bus. Was it a failed escape attempt?

Wide Angle: The Russian Newspaper Murders, 10 p.m., Channels 48, 16. Togliatti is a stark industrial town, this documentary says, employing 100,000 people in its auto factories, making three-fourths of Russia's cars.

Since Communism ended, it has been mob-controlled. One newspaper fought to cover organized crime but in less than two years, two of its editors-in-chief have been murdered.

Capturing the Friedmans (2003), 9 p.m., HBO. Andrew Jarecki was directing a film about New York party clowns when he found a stunning detour.

One of his prime subjects was David Friedman, and Friedman's father and little brother were being accused child molestation.

Since the entire family liked to be in home movies, Jarecki found rich material for this documentary.

It won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, was nominated for an Oscar and was hailed by the New York Times as "one of the most astonishing debut features ever."

Will & Grace, 9:20 p.m., Channels 5, 22. In a funny rerun, Will is sensitive about being the only unattached person at a cooking class.

Guests include Tracey Ullman as the cooking teacher, Dave Foley as Jack's new boyfriend and Suzanne Pleshette as Karen's mom.

Las Vegas, 10 p.m., Channels 5, 22. In a transplanted rerun, Alec Baldwin plays an old CIA buddy who is selling the hotel a security system.

Ruffled minis make their mark
Skirting the issue of too short
Medical ordeal makes family appreciate
Award-winning pianist joins CCM
311 grooves on reggae roots
Pianist prepares for moment
Opera-tunity knocked
'Crossballs' combines fake and real
Top 10s
Detailed bio of Guthrie
'Bachelor' Bob marries Budig
Milk ads featuring Olsen twins pulled
The early word
TV's best bets
Get to it!