Pax tale is true fish out of water

Sisterhood is powerful -- even under the sea. That's the muddled message of the decidedly odd TV movie "Mermaids" (8 p.m. today, Pax). A botched combination of "Splash" and "Charlie's Angels," this fish tale begins as some ornery anglers use dynamite to bring home their chicken of the sea. These callous bad guys wind up killing a male mermaid (or merman, for you landlubbers), the father of one tough mermaid, Diana (Erika Heynatz). He's no relation to Ethel Merman, by the way.

After dad's death, Diana decides to seek out her two sisters, who have decided to take a little sabbatical on dry land. Venus (Nikita Ager) shakes her tail in a seedy bar with an aquatic dancing tank. June (Sarah Laine) works at an aquarium where she harbors a crush on the local harbormaster.

The sisters' effort to avenge their father's murder becomes a two-hour excuse to show off their shapely fins and scales. Just when did the chaste Pax network sign off on this soggy piece of saltwater cheesecake?

  • The three-hour documentary special "JFK: A Presidency Revealed" (7 p.m. Sunday, History) offers an exhaustively researched look at Camelot's 1,000 days, with a particular emphasis on JFK's many medical maladies. This portrait paints the 35th president as an Elvis-like imbiber of pills, potions and injections.

Filled with interviews of friends and survivors, including his brother Sen. Ted Kennedy, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara and biographer Richard Reeves, "Revealed" left me more confused than ever about contradictory Kennedy myths and scandals.

Tonight's other highlights

  • Scheduled on "48 Hours Investigates" (7 p.m., CBS): identical twins, separated at birth, reunite after 20 years.
  • Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen star in the 2003 adventure "The Challenge" (7 p.m., ABC).
  • Steve Irwin is host of "Croc Hunter Exposed" (7 p.m., Animal Planet), a two-hour behind-the-scenes look at his nature series.

Sunday's other highlights

  • Scheduled on "60 Minutes" (6 p.m., CBS): lack of security at chemical plants; gays in the military; oil-rich Equatorial Guinea.
  • JJ ships out for combat duty on "American Dreams" (7 p.m., NBC).
  • Debra Messing, Eric McCormack, Megan Mullally and Sean Hayes of "Will & Grace" are on "Inside the Actors Studio" (7 p.m., Bravo).
  • Documentary provocateur Michael Moore guest stars on "The Simpsons" (7 p.m., Fox).
  • Jimmy Kimmel is host of "The American Music Awards" (7 p.m., ABC).

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