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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Tube Notes

By Mike Hughes

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Anne Hathaway stars as a recent college graduate whose first job is as an assistant to an impossibly demanding boss in "The Devil Wears Prada."

Twentieth Century Fox

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"The Devil Wears Prada" (2006), 5:30 p.m., and "Damages" season-opener, 8 p.m.; both FX. Only in recent years has Hollywood discovered a great sort of character a female boss who can seem glamorous one moment, cruel the next. Meryl Streep captured that perfectly in "Prada." She makes life agonizing and interesting for her intern (Anne Hathaway), in a film that deftly blends comedy and drama. Glenn Close takes it to another level as Patty Hewes in "Damages." She's a great lawyer who, in the first season, won a huge victory over an evil billionaire (Ted Danson). She lies, cheats, schemes and may be responsible for the murder of the fiance of her young assistant, Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne). Now Ellen is secretly working with the FBI, to bring Patty down. Meanwhile, a man (William Hurt) from Patty's past is involved in a murder case with huge implications. This opening hour, in "Damages" style, offers rich depth, intelligence and emotion.


"13 Fear is Real," debut, 7 p.m., CW (Oceanic Digital Channel 93). Here's an interesting attempt to do a reality show with the style and feel of a horror film. Thirteen strangers are taken to a distant location. In the horror tradition, all are young and most are attractive. The setting (Louisiana bayou) is spooky and the camera work is grainy and handheld. That adds a sense of urgency, even when things are manipulated in standard style. The contestants seem a bit thick at times, especially in relation to a box that offers a key. Also, why would someone who says she's immensely fearful of everything sign up for a reality horror show?


"Scrubs," 7 and 7:30 p.m., ABC. If you missed the season-opener Tuesday, the episodes rerun here. We meet the unethical new boss (Courteney Cox) and a funny band of interns. There's a fair amount of humor in the first episode, then some moving moments in the second.

"Spectacle," 7 p.m., Sundance Channel. Elvis Costello starts by chatting separately with Andy Summers, Stewart Copeland and Sting, the three members of the Police. Then they're together for a brief conversation and three quick songs. Copeland also a terrific film composer tends to overwhelm the others in conversation, but it adds up to a fascinating hour.

"Great Performances: Cyrano de Bergerac," 8 p.m., PBS. This really is a great performance by Kevin Kline, rolling through the rich and complex language with skill and panache. The theme obsession with the beauty of a face, rather than beauty of a soul remains as relevant today as it was when Edmond Rostand wrote the play 111 years ago. What seems terribly outdated, however, is the style of the show, with characters forever proclaiming in epic paragraphs. Viewers will admire Kline's immense talent, but might not stick with the show.

"People's Choice Awards," 8 p.m., CBS. The awards season starts with one of the most insignificant shows. The good news is that viewers see lots of stars and host Queen Latifah. CBS is happy, anyway, because it has half the nominees in favorite-new-show categories. For comedies, "Worst Week" and "Gary Unmarried" face NBC's "Kath & Kim"; for dramas, "The Mentalist" faces Fox's "Fringe" and CW's "90210."

"Barbara Walters Special," 9 p.m., ABC. Eight days before the debut of his new series "The Beast," Patrick Swayze discusses his struggles with pancreatic cancer. Walters talks with Swayze and Lisa Niemi his wife of 33 years and his dance partner since their teen days in Houston.