By Mike Hughes
Gannett News Service
By Mike Hughes
"The War," 8 p.m., PBS. Many World War II tales are filled with wise commanders and triumphant decisions. Here's a healthy detour. The episode is entitled "Fubar." (In an R-rated moment early on, a former soldier explains that word and "snafu.") It relates tragic errors. The island of Peleliu was considered of little tactical value. It was invaded anyway, with two months of deadly fighting. In the Hurtgen Forest, GI's were thrown into an unwinnable campaign. In the mountains, a Japanese-American unit had to make up for a general's inflated ambition. These are tough stories, told firmly by the survivors.
"Desperate Housewives" season-opener, 9 p.m., ABC. Last season ended in chaos — Edie seemingly committing suicide, Gabrielle learning her new husband is a jerk, Lynette secretly battling cancer. Now we get the aftershocks, plus new twists. There are big surprises for Susan; there's also a new family — Dana Delany, Nathan Fillion, and Lyndsy Fonseca — with some sort of odd secret. It's a packed episode, with a neat mixture of humor and serious plot twists.
"High School Musical" (2006, 6 p.m.) and "High School Musical 2" (2007, 8 p.m.), Disney Channel. Here's the whole experience in one burst, full of bright faces and upbeat music.
"Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" season-opener, 7 p.m., ABC. In Hawai'i, this show says, a family helped poor people while its own home was dilapidated and sinking. The team arrives to fix it up.
"The Simpsons," 7 p.m., Fox. First are reruns of two episodes with Kiefer Sutherland. In the first, he's a Marine colonel, with Homer as a too-casual recruit; in the second, he's his "24" character, Jack Bauer. Then comes a new episode, with Homer becoming an opera star.
"Cold Case," 9 p.m., CBS. Back in 1998, a 15-year-old girl was found partly clothed and beaten to death. Now her tank top has been found in a wheel well and the case is reopened.
"American Dad" season-opener, 9:30 p.m., Fox. It's time to take another great vacation, Francine figures. Then she gets some shocking news about all those past trips. The result has a few funny moments.
"Shark," 10 p.m., CBS. Someone has already been convicted of killing Isaac's fiancee. Now there are doubts and the case is re-opened.
"Brotherhood" season-opener, 10 p.m., Showtime. Tommy Caffee, the ex-convict, frets about his interrogation by the district attorney's office and about the fact that his daughter attacked someone in school.
"Brothers & Sisters" season-opener, 10:01 p.m., ABC. This is supposed to be a time to celebrate the birthday of Kitty (Calista Flockhart) and to recall her late father (Tom Skerritt). Instead, people are busy worrying about her troubled brother Justin (Dave Annable), who left for Iraq three weeks ago.
A soldier near Hurtgen, Germany, in December 1944. PBS' "The War" tonight looks at the unwinnable situation GI's were thrown into in Hurtgen Forest, along with other WWII stories. The documentary intertwines vivid eyewitness accounts of the front lines with reflections of Americans in their home towns. PBS