Picks and Pans Review: Viewer's Choice
CABLE RECOGNIZES A PAIR OF TANGY American originals this week. First A&E presents The Infamous Dorothy Parker (Thurs., Nov. 17, 9 p.m. ET), a breezy yet illuminating portrait of the writer, notorious wit and bon vivant (1893-1967). The film combines running commentary from the likes of Gloria Steinem and Fran Lebowitz with scenes from the upcoming feature film Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle. TNN, meanwhile, devotes itself to a different kind of legend with Merle Haggard: An American Story (Tues., Nov. 22, 8 p.m. ET). The special begins with the craggy country star visiting California's San Quentin Penitentiary, where he served three years for burglary in the 1950s. (It's an experience he credits with inspiring his music career.) Also in attendance are such country stars as Brooks & Dunn, Vince Gill, Lorrie Morgan, Alan Jackson and others, paying fealty to the master. This slapdash two-parter, which concludes the following night at the same time, is, like the Hag's music, ragged but right.