October 17, 2008 in Features

‘Crash’ debut masterful

By MIKE HUGHES Gannett News Service
 

Tonight’s must-see

“Crash” debut, 10 p.m., Starz; second episode at 11. This series uses little from the Oscar-winning movie.

It has none of the film’s characters, little of its theme of modern bias. It shares only a location (Los Angeles), an attitude (anger) and a style, with stories entwining.

Still, the first hour is masterful. Most of the characters are compelling; when they crash together, the result is intense.

It’s best to forgive the opening scene. That character – a crazed music producer in the Phil Spector style – is the weakest part of a strong show.

Tonight’s might-see

“Crusoe” debut, 8 p.m., NBC. Hugely ambitious, the two-hour opener takes the “Robinson Crusoe” story everywhere.

It’s a light-hearted romp, with pirates and Spaniards. It’s a romance, via flashbacks. It’s a drama about friendship.

Philip Winchester and Tongayi Chirisa are excellent as Crusoe and Friday. Often entertaining, “Crusoe” also becomes too busy and, at times, too silly.

Other choices include

“Everybody Hates Chris,” 8 p.m., CW. The good news is that a cute girl has asked Chris to Homecoming. The bad news is that her dad must approve.

“Ghost Whisperer,” 8 p.m., CBS. Didn’t you assume the online world would be safe from ghosts? Apparently not; Melinda spots one during a game.

“The Ex List,” 9 p.m., CBS. In the first two weeks, Bella had to search for old boyfriends. Now one comes to her; he’s a cop, responding to the call when she is robbed.

“Numb3rs,” 10 p.m., CBS. Eight people, including two cops, were killed in a coffee shop murder. An investigation leads to tangles of crime and corruption.

“Life,” 10 p.m., NBC. Online romances can be tricky sometimes. This story involves a triangle; each person was hiding behind a false identity and now one of them is dead.

Mike Hughes covers television for the Lansing State (Mich.) Journal and Gannett News Service. Reach him at mhughes@lsj.com.

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