Monday, October 4, 2004
The truth is anything but plain or simple in the compelling TV drama "Plain Truth" (8 p.m., Lifetime). Mariska Hargitay ("Law & Order: Special Victims Unit") stars as a burnt-out corporate lawyer who takes on the defense of an Amish teen (Alison Pill) accused of murdering her newborn infant after hiding her pregnancy from her family and tight-knit religious community.
Clearly inspired by "Witness," "Plain" makes the most of the attractive Pennsylvania farm-country scenery. The camera is in love with Hargitay, too: She strikes a few too many glamorous poses to be convincing as a legal shark. But "Plain" keeps you guessing, as the vulnerable suspect throws up a series of deceptive stories to protect her family, the father of her child and her own place in a closed society.
¢ The five-part series "And You Don't Stop: 30 Years of Hip Hop" (9 p.m., VH1) kicks off tonight with "Back in the Day," a glance at the origins of the sound in the DJ parties in the mid- to late 1970s in the South Bronx. The hour includes vintage clips of pioneer DJs, including Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash, Grand Wizard Theodore and others who transformed mere record playing into an art form.
"Back" concludes with the radio success of rap singles such as "Rappers Delight" by the Sugar Hill Gang and "Rapture" by new wave artists Blondie -- the first song to introduce rap to a wider and whiter audience. Nightly installments will cover the mainstream popularity of hip-hop, the rise of "gangsta" rap and the genre's murderous rivalries, as well as contemporary hip-hop and its celebration of materialism and "bling."
Tonight's other highlights
¢ High stakes hoops on "The Benefactor" (7 p.m., ABC).
¢ A fight between Debra and Marie worries Ray on "Everybody Loves Raymond" (8 p.m., CBS).
¢ Stolen lobsters derail a posh wedding on "Las Vegas" (8 p.m., NBC).
¢ The Baltimore Ravens play the Kansas City Chiefs on "Monday Night Football" (8 p.m., ABC).
¢ Mass-transit murder on "CSI: Miami" (9 p.m., CBS).
¢ Illusionists JB Benn and Chris Korn perform their own brand of "Mondo Magic" (9:30 p.m., A&E).