SUNDAY, AUG. 12
DIANA: LAST DAYS OF A PRINCESS
8 P.M. | TLC
A mix of documentary interviews and dramatic recreations. Genevieve O'Reilly, as Diana, looks more like Di's biographer Tina Brown.
MONDAY, AUG. 13
9 P.M. | FOX
Finale to a rollicking season—a four-star meal prepared by an ogre. Chef Gordon Ramsay returns next month with Kitchen Nightmares.
10 P.M. | SHOWTIME
Emmy-nominated Mary-Louise Parker in a new season of the bright suburban satire. Matthew Modine (right) joins the cast as a smarmy developer.
WEDNESDAY, AUG. 15
NEWPORT HARBOR: THE REAL ORANGE COUNTY
10:30 P.M. | MTV
Laguna Beach retires to give way to a shiny clone. Shocker! Everyone (including Chrissy and Clay, right) is hot and date-crazy. The Hills is back this week too.
THURSDAY, AUG. 16
SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE
8 P.M. | FOX
Down at last to the final four, with the winner revealed in a live two-hour wrap-up. And, as always, thanks to Cat Deeley: She handles the hosting chores with more spirit and grace than do most. It's her own special dance.
FRIDAY, AUG. 17
HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 2
8 P.M. | DISNEY
Summer empties East High and the kids snag jobs at the country club, where they continue to dance as if life were an endless pop video. This sequel to last year's surprise hit isn't as much fun—if you recall your summer jobs, you might see the drawbacks of a musical version—but it snaps awake for the big numbers. Zac Efron (left, front) sings romantic ballads with the sincerity of a Disney cartoon prince.
Showtime, Aug. 13, 10:30 p.m. ET |
David Duchovny, in his first major TV series since The X Files, plays an L.A. novelist licking his wounds over an absurd, bitter disappointment: His one great book, God Hates Us All, has been transformed into Hollywood-studio schlock and sent out to Cineplexes nationwide with the title A Crazy Little Thing Called Love. Hank Moody, for such is the man's not very subtle name, can't seem to get another novel going, and he squanders his talent and his days chasing women—the show, fairly explicit, kicks off with a nun fantasy—and dismissing the world with a dead-eyed, deadpan combination of amusement and disgust. This sort of attitude Duchovny does very well. He's a smart actor whose performances tend to be wry, minimalist affairs in which the comedy tiptoes discreetly in and out. But there's a false nobleness to this show, and it makes the first episode a bit of a clunker. Californication seems to be saying that, sure, Moody is immature, but that's all Los Angeles really deserves of any sensitive, thinking individual. Moody can't live with the bull. Please. You don't see Larry David walking around L.A. eating his heart, do you? Natascha McElhone, as Moody's ex and the mother of their precocious daughter, a sad-eyed little Goth, looks soulful and Streepish.