If she'd lived longer, "Little Edie" Beale could have been a reality celebrity, teamed with Corky Ballas on Dancing with the Stars. Instead, she and her bedridden mother, Big Edie, are forever trapped in the grimy amber of the famous 1975 documentary Grey Gardens. The Beales, society ladies who counted Jackie Onassis as a relative, lived in dilapidated squalor in what had once been a fine Hamptons house. They weren't deluded about the filthiness of their latter days, when the rooms were crammed with trash and cats, but both were addled (and sustained) by fantasies of show business. The documentary, a voyeuristic classic, is crushingly bleak. This more conventional biographical movie, which includes flashbacks to days of parties and prettiness, is much sweeter—we know these are just actresses and, better yet, ones who are superb. As Little Edie, Drew Barrymore
is a guileless, frustrated doll of a woman: a pitiable Baby Jane. And Jessica Lange's transformation into old Edie is startlingly close to the original. The real Beales would have been thrilled with this extension of their strange, modern-gothic fame.
ABC, Wednesdays, 10 p.m. ET/PT |
The tone of this hour-long series feels as if the cops on Law & Order and The Shield watched old Barney Miller episodes in their downtime. It's grim yet jocular—and trying too hard to really succeed on either note.
Amber Tamblyn is a young Manhattan cop who has trouble getting anyone to take her seriously, perhaps because she's always fielding calls from her socialite mother. Meanwhile, Adam Goldberg (a cop with a death wish) and Harold Perrineau (a cop with a panic disorder) force a confession out of a suspect by locking him in a squad car with a bunch of cats. The best thing here is what's least unusual: Jeremy Renner, as a detective who's just lost his partner, has the classic hard-boiled looks of a pulp-fiction hero.
TV Land, April 15, 10 p.m. ET/PT |
This is basically a 40-year-old Bachelorette sharing a mansion with guys in their 20s. That may have seemed titillating when the "cougar" concept was catching on a year ago, but now the reality universe is more excited by FOX's upcoming show about overweight romance. Real-estate broker Stacey Anderson, a divorced mom, does indeed look great, and in the premiere she's gracious and likable. Her problem is that the host, actress and fellow cougar Vivica A. Fox, has enough flashy star presence to steal one scene after another. The best gimmick is a variation on the Bachelorette rose ceremony: Stacey commands the men to kiss her. If she offers her lips, he stays. Cheek, he goes. This means Cougar's big moment of suspense hinges on whether she'll abruptly swivel her head to the side.
"These actresses—Drew Barrymore
and Jessica Lange—are superb"
>1 FIRST LADY TRACEY SUN. 4/12, 10 P.M. SHOWTIME
In a new season of Tracey Ullman's State of the Union, her characters include Laura Bush, home in Texas.
2 TORI'S BACK ON 90210 TUES. 4/14, 9 P.M. CW
OMG! Tori Spelling
returns as Donna, the character she played on the original Beverly Hills, 90210 produced by her papa, Aaron.
3 FRESH CATCH TUES. 4/14, 9 P.M. DISCOVERY
Season 5 begins with the fleet and crew starting to feel creaky with age, even as the king crabs wait out thar in the deep sea.
4 D-LIST, A-LIST WED. 4/15, 10 P.M. BRAVO
Funny-mean Kathy Griffin is back to host the A-List Awards. Last year she paid tribute to people who were dead—to her.
5 SPONGEBOB'S NEW BUDDY FRI. 4/17, 8 P.M. NICKELODEON
voices surfer Jack Kahuna Laguna on a special SpongeBob SquarePants. Cool.
>Osment, 17, goes country with her Hannah Montana costar Miley Cyrus
in a movie version of their hit show.
WHY WILL HANNAH MONTANA FANS LIKE THE MOVIE? It's a very real story that gives you an insight into Miley's personal life.
HOW WAS FILMING IN TENNESSEE? We shot 20 minutes from where Miley grew up. Her room was decorated like it was in sixth grade when she left [for L.A.]. It's adorable.
SO YOU AND MILEY ARE PALS? You can't keep us apart. Today, during a scene, she was texting me!
DO YOU GET ALONG WITH BROTHER HALEY JOEL? All siblings fight. As we both matured, we became closer. We're always e-mailing.
>• The Irish actress had to watch her back as the star in CBS's new murder mystery series Harper's Island.
DID YOU EVER GET SCARED FILMING MURDER SCENES? No. It would probably be easier if someone would scare the crap out of you so you don't have to act, just react. It takes a lot of energy [to act scared]. You get knots in your back.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE MURDER MYSTERY? I used to watch Murder, She Wrote. It's very much the same formula every episode. That's where this show differs: I couldn't see the formula. All we talked about between takes was who you thought the killer was and who would die!
WHAT DO YOU MISS MOST ABOUT THE U.K.? Well, my family. And rashers! The bacon here is really not good. I've been craving a full Irish breakfast.
>• The Charisma bedding pitchwoman, 27, advises Dad on Celebrity Apprentice.
EVER THINK GOSSIP GIRL IS YOUR STORY? Not at all. It's a total parody, but I find it to be unbelievably funny.
DO YOU SHARE DAD DONALD'S GUSTO FOR FIRING PEOPLE? I don't think anyone likes to fire somebody. You'd have to be a little bit sick. But you need to do it.
HAS THE ECONOMY CRIMPED YOUR LIFESTYLE? No. I didn't live in a very ostentatious manner.
HBO, April 18, 8 p.m. ET/PT |