January 26, 2008 in Features

Christina Aguilera gets ‘Back to Basics’

Mike Hughes Gannett News Service
 

Today’s must-see

“Christina Aguilera: Back to Basics Tour,” 10 p.m., VHI, Logo and MHD.

As soon as the first note emerges we’re reminded of the obvious: Aguilera, 27, is one amazingly gifted singer. This concert, taped in Australia, has her old hits and a few new songs – backed by a great band and zesty dancers.

Tonight’s might-see

Figure Skating, 1-3 p.m. and 8-11 p.m., NBC. Here are the U.S. Championships. This afternoon has the finals for pairs – Brooke Castile and Ben Okolski are defending champions and the women’s short programs. Tonight brings the finals for women (Kimmie Meissner is defending champion) and dance teams (Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto). Guys get their turn Sunday.

Other choices include

“Super Bowl’s Greatest Commercials 2008,” 8 p.m., CBS. The game is still eight days away, but here are some of the commercials that have debuted during previous ones.

“Evening of Stars,” 5 p.m., cable station WGN. The annual fundraiser for the United Negro College Fund is stuffed with talent.

“Miss America Live 2008,” 8-10 p.m., TLC. The classic pageant, once a hit on the big networks, has moved to a cable channel.

“Daniel’s Daughter,” 9-11 p.m., Hallmark Channel. A prosperous magazine editor (Laura Leighton) returns to her little hometown to spread her dad’s ashes. The story is predictable and a stretch, but this film makes up for it with Leighton’s subtle performance and the warm use of its setting.

“Torchwood” season-opener, 9 p.m., BBC America. In the season finale, Captain Jack Harkness disappeared. He shows up now, but so does Captain John Hart, his former partner.

Sunday’s must-see

“The Russell Girl,” 9 p.m., CBS. Sarah Russell (Amber Tamblyn) is a smart, young store executive. Beneath that attractive surface are two crises. A health problem has her retreat to her hometown. There, she can’t avoid a tragic memory from her teen years.

Sunday’s must-see II

“Breaking Bad,” 10 p.m., AMC.

The opener pushed a mild-mannered chemistry teacher (Bryan Cranston) to the breaking point. Then he linked with his worst student and they started a meth lab. They also thought they killed two toughs.

Now the second episode is even better than the first. Alternately funny and tragic, it shows two regular guys trying to improvise big-time crime.

Other choices include

Figure Skating, 7-9 p.m., NBC. Here are the men’s finals for the U.S. Championship.

“The 14th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards,” 8-10 p.m., TBS and TNT. Here are worthy awards, chosen by actors. Charles Durning gets a lifetime award.

“Crude,” 8-10 p.m., History Channel. A few generations ago, this documentary says, Pennsylvania was the world’s top oil producer. That portion is fascinating, as we see the oil industry evolve. Less interesting is the opening part, which uses great graphics to show how oil is formed.

“Masterpiece: Mansfield Park,” 9-10:30 p.m., KSPS. Billie Piper, a delight in “Doctor Who,” stars as Franny Price, a typically plucky Jane Austen heroine. At first, she feels like an outsider in her new home. It’s a pleasant story, with strong acting and filming.

“Behind the Great Wall,” 9-11 p.m., Discovery Channel. This film is at its best when showing China’s wall and how it was built. It’s weaker when visiting military history or trying heavy-handed re-enactments of palace intrigue.


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