Saturday, July 12, 2003
There are at least 100 ways to be offended by "Banzai!" (7:30 p.m. Sunday, Fox), which is no mean feat considering that it's only a half-hour show. A hit in Britain, this oddball gambling/variety/comedy show pretends to be some over-the-top curiosity from Japan. Viewers are encouraged to bet on strange stunts that include dueling grandmothers in wheelchairs, geisha girls, a soccer shootout between a one-armed goaltender and a one-legged kicker, a chicken attached to helium balloons, and an aerobics battle between a rabbi, a priest and Lou Ferrigno.
However racist, crude and cruel "Banzai!" may appear, viewers should still find time to laugh at the absurdity of some of the stunts and their twisted presentation. Any show that manages to drag Kelsey Grammer and Simon Cowell into confusing stunts can't be all bad.
- Like the fairy tale that inspired it, "Prince Charming" (7 p.m. Sunday, TNT) is a peculiar movie. Sean Maguire stars in the title role as the randy Prince John, who gets turned into a frog after disgracing himself on the morning of his arranged marriage to the fair lady (Christina Applegate) of a rival kingdom. Fortunately, he's not alone. His squire and all-around fool, Rodney (Martin Short), shares his slimy fate. Our two medieval heroes remain amphibians for more than 500 years before they are transported to present-day New York City, where John Frog is kissed by the aging actress and all-around drama queen Margo (Bernadette Peters).
Once the two froggy visitors return to human form, they set about trying to find Margo, so John can marry her and undo the spell. If not, he and Rodney will return to their lily-pad status forever. And if that weren't complicated enough, John falls rather madly in love with a horse-drawn carriage driver named Kate (Christina Applegate, again).
- Catch 21 consecutive episodes of the tween cartoon "Kim Possible" (11 a.m., Disney).
- A bitter teen is tutored by an eccentric widow (Gena Rowlands) in the 2003 drama "The Incredible Mrs. Ritchie" (6 p.m., Showtime).
- Scheduled on "48 Hours Investigates" (7 p.m., CBS): A controversial decision to have a child to save another.
- Two venerable gunslingers (Burt Reynolds and Bruce Dern) saddle up to take on a gang of bad hombres in the 2003 western "Hard Ground" (8 p.m., Hallmark). Nothing new here except Burt's gray mullet.
Sunday's other highlights
- They've revived "Star Search," so why not bring back "Dance Fever" (6 p.m., Family)? Eric Nies is host of this revival, with Carmen Electra, MC Hammer and Jamie King serving as judges.
- Agatha Cristie's Hercule Poirot (David Suchet) is back in the 2003 mystery "Evil Under the Sun" (7 p.m., A&E;).
l Antonio Banderas, Anthony Hopkins and Catherine Zeta-Jones star in the 1998 adventure "The Mask of Zorro" (7:30 p.m., CBS).
- Diana Rigg returns as 1920s sleuth Adelia Bradley in the 2003 mystery "Death at the Opera" on "Mystery" (8 p.m., PBS).
- Top-bill names including Madonna, Britney Spears, Nelly, Jon Stewart, Andy Dick, Carmen Electra, Jimmy Kimmel, Adam Carolla, Jeffrey Ross and Sarah Silverman are on hand to roast Carson Daly on the MTV "Bash!" (8 p.m., MTV).