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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, June 25, 2001

Tube Notes

By Mike Hughes
Gannett News Service

TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE (network TV): "Everybody Loves Raymond," 8 p.m., CBS. Slowly and quietly, "Raymond" has become one of TV's best comedies. This rerun shows why. The entire story is confined to two rooms. The issue is small — whether Ray's wife, Debra (Patricia Heaton) returned a canister to his mom, Marie (Doris Roberts). Within that, however, are waves of human traits — jealousy, stubbornness, weakness, even nobility. Heaton is wonderful, backed by other perfect performances; this is both observant and hilarious.

TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE (cable): "State of Grace," 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Fox Family Channel. Here's something rare — the summertime premiere of a cable series that has wit, wisdom and more. "State of Grace" seems a little like a copy of "The Wonder Years," but that's hardly a bad thing. It has a narrator — Oscar-winner ("Fargo") Frances McDormand — looking back on her 1960s past. The focal point is Hannah (Alia Shawkat), a 12-year-old Jewish girl in North Carolina whose parents (Michael Mantell, Dinah Manoff) bear shadows from the Holocaust. She meets Grace (Mae Whitman), who is rich, flashy, and enviable — at least for a while. "State of Grace" is partly comedy, partly drama and always well made. It opens with two episodes; by then, you may be hooked.

"Two Came Back" (1997), 8 p.m., ABC. Melissa Joan Hart stars in this fairly involving true story of young people lost at sea.

"Backstory: Valley of the Dolls," 8:30 p.m., American Movie Classics. The story behind the classic 1967 Fox movie based on the risque bestseller and starring Barbara Parkins, Patty Duke, Paul Burke, Sharon Tate, Tony Scotti and Martin Milner. Directed by Mark Robson; written by Helen Deutsch and Dorothy Kingsley, the film courted controversy throughout the process.

"Empires of Industry: The Cola Wars," 10 p.m., History Channel. This four-night series looks at titanic battles for money and power. Tonight, Coke and Pepsi fight for dominance of the $100-billion soft drink business. Coming next are oil wildcatters on Tuesday, airlines on Wednesday and the du Pont family on Thursday.