Wednesday, January 24, 2001
New York "Strange Frequency" (8 p.m., VH1) is not quite great, but it is perfect in many ways. For one thing it revives the old spooky story anthology genre. Think "Twilight Zone" and "Night Gallery." And the culture of rock music is perfect for a series of supernatural campfire stories. Ever since blues pioneer Robert Johnson was said to have sold his soul to the devil for his guitar talent, the world of rock, rhythm and blues has been marinated in some seriously spooky mythology.
Add to that the music's built-in arrested adolescence and the stoned wonder of too many rockers, and you have a ready audience for weird, wonderful tales.
All four stories on "Strange Frequency" are cleverly plotted.
The best of the batch features Chris Masterson (Danny's brother and star of "Malcolm in the Middle") and Eric Roberts as rock fans from different generations who take their loathing for bad music to truly homicidal extremes. Wickedly funny.
Tonight's other highlights
ï¿½ A talking bass plaque dispenses career advice on "Ed" (7 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).
ï¿½ A sicko (Corin Nemec) stalks a mom (Jane Seymour) who finds herself trapped in a mall during a power failure in the 2001 thriller, "Blackout" (8 p.m., CBS, TV-PG, D, L). Californians may not find this entertaining.
ï¿½ Leo pushes hard for a missile defense program while the president mulls a public tongue lashing of eco-extremists on "The West Wing" (8 p.m., NBC, TV-14).
ï¿½ In the ever-ripening pop culture compost pile that is reality television, it's interesting to note that "Temptation Island" (8 p.m., Fox, TV-14, D) has drawn the most flies.
ï¿½ As big band goes out of style and many bands go out of business, jazz continues to evolve in the postwar period on "Jazz" (8 p.m., PBS, check local listings, part eight of ten).
ï¿½ The real Gen. George Patton is compared with the mythical character captured in the 1970 drama, "Patton," on "History vs. Hollywood" (8 p.m., History, TV-G).
ï¿½ A tycoon's wife is found dead in Central Park after a parade fracas on "Law & Order" (9 p.m., NBC, TV-14).
ï¿½ Judy faces romantic choices while Eli wonders about his new girl friend on "Once and Again" (9 p.m., ABC, TV-PG, S).
ï¿½ Sigourney Weaver steals the movie as the evil step-mother in the dark 1997 adaptation, "Snow White: A Tale of Terror" (8 p.m., Sci Fi).
ï¿½ "'70s" and "Seven Days" are repeats ... Bette turns a homework assignment into a cable show on "Bette" (7 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) ... Red evicts Hyde on "That '70s Show" (7 p.m., Fox, TV-14, D, L) ... Mass hysteria in a small town on "Seven Days" (7 p.m., UPN, TV-PG) ... Worries about college and Pacey are behind Joey's bender at Jen's party on "Dawson's Creek" (7 p.m., WB, TV-PG).
Rival Super Bowl parties on "Welcome to New York" (7:30 p.m., CBS, TV-PG, L) ... Sean takes Jimmy to a Ramones concert on "Grounded For Life" (7:30 p.m., Fox, TV-PG).
Drew's old trousers have magic powers on "The Drew Carey Show" (8 p.m., ABC, TV-PG, D, L) ... Someone's having a baby on "Star Trek: Voyager" (8 p.m., UPN, TV-PG) ... Jack's frisky father (Corbin Bernsen) encourages Jill to sow some wild oats on "Jack & Jill" (8 p.m., WB, TV-PG, D).
A friendly poker game may revive Charlie's bad old habits on "Spin City" (8:30 p.m., ABC, TV-PG, D, L).
ï¿½ All are new ... President Bush will appear on "Late Show With David Letterman" (10:35 p.m., CBS) ... Drew Carey and Dream are Jay Leno's guests on "The Tonight Show" (10:35 p.m., NBC).
A.J. Langer and Amy Pietz are Bill Maher's guests on "Politically Incorrect" (11:05 p.m., ABC).