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‘She Fought Alone’ Way Off The Mark

By John Martin New York Times Syndicate

“She Fought Alone” (NBC at 8) was concocted as a TV-movie pairing for “Beverly Hills, 90210” lovebirds Tiffani-Amber Thiessen and Brian Austin Green.

Something went wrong with the two young stars who, by the time this movie aired in late 1995, were in Splitsville, 90210. The NBC drama didn’t exactly work out either.

Intended as an inspirational story of personal courage, it contains irresponsible mixed messages about the fate of rape victims.

Thiessen plays high school student Caitlin Rose, who is raped by a football star (David Lipper) and then sexually harassed by fellow students when she threatens to take action against her assailant.

Green plays a teammate who buys his pal’s story that Rose “wanted it.” He leads a wild clique that turns Rose’s life into a nightmare.

Inexplicably, Rose never reports the crime to police even though her little sister would appear to be a credible witness. And when Rose and her mother (Isabella Hofmann) prevail, she remains a pariah.

So what’s the message? This movie suggests that ugly consequences are in store for women who fight back.

Caitlin’s principal doesn’t believe her and allows her to be humiliated by other students. She’s jumped by a gang of teens that cuts her hair and threatens worse.

The movie also says that even if you do “win,” you become an outcast, as Rose is ultimately driven from town.

So if you’re raped, why not just remain silent?

Thanks for nothing, NBC.

Highlights

“Prophecies of the Millennium,” FOX at 8: Edward James Olmos hosts this special that examines predictions from clairvoyants and biblical prophets that some think could come true at the end of the century. As if people don’t have enough to worry about.

“Mark Russell,” KSPS at 7: The satirist unleashes more sarcastic songs and sassy one-liners. These specials have become hit and miss, but Russell occasionally scores as Washington’s reigning political comic.

“Grace Under Fire,” ABC at 8: Grace (Brett Butler) is hit on by a new neighbor (Garrett M. Brown), which would be flattering but for the minor detail that he’s a married man. Repeat.

“Murphy Brown,” CBS at 8:30: In one of the season’s few laugh-out-loud episodes, Frank (Joe Regalbuto) is horrified when his autobiographical play opens, and the one true love of his life has been recast as a gay man.

“Coast to Coast,” CBS at 9: Stories include a profile of a resourceful cardiac surgeon and an unbelievable tale of a woman and her genealogist.

“Chinatown,” KSPS at 9: Folklorist Charlie Chin and performance artist Genny Lim contribute to this thoughtful 150-year history of San Francisco’s Chinese community.

“48 Hours,” CBS at 10: Special Wednesday editions of the news series air four of the next five weeks and feature updated versions of past stories.

Cable Calls

“The Member of the Wedding” (1997), USA at 9: Carson McCuller’s tender coming-of-age novel is revisited. Academy Award-winner Anna Paquin (“The Piano”) stars as feisty 12-year-old Frankie Addams, and Emmy-winner Alfre Woodard (“Hill Street Blues,” “L.A. Law”) plays her family cook.

Paquin is captivating. Woodard, as always, is rock solid, etched in intensity and compassion.

One complaint: Those who know the book (and the faithful 1952 film adaptation) will be annoyed by USA’s gentler ending. It diminishes the tale’s impact but maintains Frankie’s bittersweet resolve.

Talk Time

“Tonight,” NBC at 11:35: Singer Lisa Stansfield.

“Late Show With David Letterman,” CBS at 11:35: Actor/talk-show host Charles Grodin, actor Billy Connolly and singer David Byrne.

“Politically Incorrect With Bill Maher,” ABC at 12:35 a.m.: To be announced.

“Late Night With Conan O’Brien,” NBC at 12:35 a.m.: Actor Martin Sheen, author Judith Martin and musical guests Steve Miller and Curtis Salgado.

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