'Murder' indulges in touch of the blarney

Friday, May 9, 2003

Detective novelist Jessica Fletcher returns in the TV movie "Murder She Wrote: The Celtic Riddle" (8 p.m., CBS). Angela Lansbury's well-known character travels to Ireland when she's named in the will of Eamon Byrne (Peter Donat), a man she met decades earlier. Eamon's last testament is a muddled affair. For, in addition to money and property, he has left his heirs clues to a treasure hunt. But, he insists, they'll only find the prize if they cooperate with each other.

But that won't be easy. The clues are a confusing jumble of cryptic, Celtic aphorisms and Gaelic verse. And Byrne's family is the crankiest band of Irish stereotypes to hit the screen since the wee green monster chased Jennifer Aniston to his pot of gold in the 1993 horror movie "Leprechaun."

Soon, the Byrne brood begins to quarrel, fight and die under mysterious circumstances. And, even worse, we have to endure "Riverdance"-type performances! Only diehard "Murder" fans should sit still for this weak serving of blarney stew.

l Unlike most documentaries that emphasize the fabulous side of the fashion racket, "Models: The Real Skinny" (8 p.m., A&E) explores the often brutal aspects of the beauty business.

Tonight's other highlights