September 13, 2008 in Features

Election fodder for new ‘SNL’

By MIKE HUGHES Gannett News Service
 

Today’s must-see

“Saturday Night Live” season-opener, 11:29 p.m., NBC.

With an election year to satirize, this show is in a hurry. It starts early and will do four straight Saturdays, and then borrow a prime-time half-hour on three Thursdays.

There’s more than politics to mock, though. Tonight’s host is Olympic star Michael Phelps, with music by Lil Wayne.

Tonight’s must-see II

“Coco Chanel,” 8-11 p.m., Lifetime.

Steeply ambitious, this film offers four decades of a revolutionary fashion designer. Director Christian Duguay captures a beautiful period look.

Shirley MacLaine is top-billed, playing the tart Chanel during a comeback in her mid-60s. Still, most of the film flashes back to catch Barbora Bobulova as the young Coco.

Bobulova – in one of her first English-language roles – is radiant and moving. She also faces the film’s main flaw: It spends too much time on a hapless love story, not enough on the rest of a compelling life.

Other choices include

“Chuck,” 8 p.m., NBC. Chuck never thought there would be two beauties in his life. Now he’s dating a gorgeous sandwich-maker (Rachel Bilson of “The O.C.”). Sarah, the secret agent who was his fake girlfriend, may be jealous.

Sunday’s must-see

“Fringe,” 8 p.m., Fox, and “True Blood,” 9 p.m., HBO.

Here’s a genre TV has mastered. These are smart thrillers – shows that are weird and visceral, yet also have deeply textured characters.

“Fringe” reruns Tuesday’s debut. Investigating a mass death, an FBI agent (Anna Torv) links with a semi-crazed scientist and his skeptical son.

“True Blood” says synthetic blood allows a vampires to live openly. A wide-eyed waitress (Anna Paquin) was delighted when one moved into her little Louisiana town.

In the opener, she rescued him from two nasties. As the hour ended, they were savagely beating her in revenge.

There’s more ferocity tonight, alongside some wonderfully tender moments.

Other choices include

“Privileged,” 8 p.m., CW. Here’s a rerun of another good show that debuted Tuesday. Joanna Garcia gives a warm and funny portrait of a Yale grad who tutors two rich teen girls.


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