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Around the remote: Television picks for the week of Oct. 15-21

Chuck Barney
Contra Costa Times

DON'T MISS: "PROJECT RUNWAY" FINALE - For weeks, they've been showing off their dresses - some dazzling, some disastrous - but now it's time for the fashion-minded finalists to sew things up and determine a winner. Will it be Laura Bennett, the pregnant mother who specializes in cocktail wear? Jeffrey Sebelia, the avant-garde risk-taker? Michael Knight, the hip fan favorite? Or Uli Herzner, the lover of safari prints? Tonight's episode caps an eventful third season and is the back end of a two-parter that began last week with the fab four working on their collections for New York's prestigious Fashion Week. Gorgeous host Heidi Klum will present $100,000 to the winner, who also gets a spread in Elle magazine. 10 p.m. Wednesday, Bravo.


TONIGHT: "Cold Case" offers up a poignant episode that has Lilly delving into a case of a baby girl whose death in 1982 was attributed to sudden infant death syndrome. As usual, there are several possibilities: Mom admits to being highly stressed out at the time, Dad reveals that he never wanted a second child and the older brother has grown up thinking he was somehow responsible. 9 p.m. CBS.

MONDAY: On "The New Adventures of Old Christine," Barb (Wanda Sykes) is getting a divorce, so Christine shows her support by taking her in as a temporary roommate. You know that's only going to lead to hairy, sitcom-like situations. 9:30 p.m., CBS.

TUESDAY: Unfortunately, excellent shows sometimes go ignored by the masses. That appears to be the fate of "Friday Night Lights," which thus far is struggling to find an audience. Tonight's episode has the citizens of Dillon up in arms after their beloved team loses to a school it was expected to stomp. Do yourself a favor and check it out. 8 p.m., NBC.

TUESDAY: "The Deadliest Plane Crash" is a new installment of NOVA that revisits the 1977 collision of two Boeing 747 airliners on a foggy runway in the Canary Islands. The disaster resulted in the deaths of 538 people and led to a number of mandated improvements in air safety. 8 p.m., PBS.

WEDNESDAY: The new season of "Lost" continues with an episode that finally lets us in on what happened to Locke, Eko and Desmond after the hatch went ka-boom. Meanwhile, Hurley reports back to camp with the sad news that fellow castaways Jack, Kate and Sawyer have been abducted by those sinister islanders known as the Others. 9 p.m., ABC.

WEDNESDAY: Tyler Perry ("Madea's Family Reunion") hosts the 2006 Black Movie Awards, an annual gala designed to celebrate past and present creative contributions in the cinema. Cicely Tyson and Laurence Fishburne are scheduled to receive special career honors and "Lady Sings the Blues," the big-screen Billie Holiday biography, gets inducted into the program's Hall of Fame. 10 p.m., TNT.

THURSDAY: Everyone knows the gal at the center of "Ugly Betty' could use some sartorial embellishments. But while her excited co-workers have a closet-cleaning, swag-hoarding day at Mode, she's too busy with other duties to participate. Adding to her woes is the fact that her father's health insurance has been cut off. 8 p.m., ABC.

THURSDAY: "After Innocence" is a documentary that tells the compelling story of seven men who were wrongfully imprisoned for decades and their struggles to rebuild their lives after being exonerated. The film raises important questions about human rights and society's moral obligation to the innocent. 8:30 p.m., Showtime.

FRIDAY: Things apparently are getting a bit too dangerous in "Las Vegas." As the series launches its fourth season, Big Ed is the victim of an armed attack that rattles the Montecito crew. Meanwhile, Derek is stunned to learn that Delinda has feelings for Danny. 9 p.m., NBC.

FRIDAY: In the latest episode of "Numb3rs," Megan struggles to figure out if the death of a man on an L.A. freeway can be attributed to a random act of road rage or is the work of a serial killer. As usual, Charlie performs some kind of mathematical gymnastics in an attempt to produce a theory. 10 p.m., CBS

SATURDAY: "Steven Wright: Live at the Elgin Theatre" is a new stand-up special starring the king of deadpan delivery. In addition to his latest ramblings, the hourlong program will feature several of the comedian's oddball songs, which are sure to be delivered in his lovely monotone. 9 p.m., Comedy Central.





The Kinks and Their Bad-Mannered English Decency

Mark Doyles biography of the Kinks might complement a seminar in British culture. Its tone and research prove its intent to articulate social critique through music for the masses.


ONO Confronts American Racial Oppression with the Incendiary 'Red Summer'

Decades after their initial formation, legendary experimentalists ONO have made an album that's topical, vital, uncomfortable, and cathartic. Red Summer is an essential documentation of the ugliness and oppression of the United States.


Silent Women Filmmakers No Longer So Silent: Alice Guy Blaché and Julia Crawford Ivers

The works of silent filmmakers Alice Guy Blaché and Julia Crawford Ivers were at risk of being forever lost. Kino Lorber offers their works on Blu-Ray. Three cheers for film historians and film restoration.


Rush's 'Permanent Waves' Endures with Faultless Commercial Complexity

Forty years later, Rush's ability to strike a nearly perfect balance between mainstream invitingness and exclusory complexity is even more evident and remarkable. The progressive rock classic, Permanent Waves, is celebrating its 40th anniversary.


Drum Machines? Samples? Brendan Benson Gets Contemporary with 'Dear Life'

Powerpop overlord and part-time Raconteur, Brendan Benson, grafts hip-hop beats to guitar pop on his seventh solo album, Dear Life.


'Sell You Everything' Brings to Light Buzzcocks '1991 Demo LP' That Passed Under-the-Radar

Cherry Red Records' new box-set issued in memory of Pete Shelley gathers together the entire post-reunion output of the legendary Buzzcocks. Across the next week, PopMatters explores the set album-by-album. First up is The 1991 Demo LP.


10 Key Tracks From the British Synthpop Boom of 1980

It's 40 years since the first explosion of electronic songs revitalized the UK charts with futuristic subject matter, DIY aesthetics, and occasionally pompous lyrics. To celebrate, here's a chronological list of those Moog-infused tracks of 1980 that had the biggest impact.

Reading Pandemics

Poe, Pandemic, and Underlying Conditions

To read Edgar Allan Poe in the time of pandemic, we need to appreciate a very different aspect of his perspective—not that of a mimetic artist but of the political economist.


'Yours, Jean' Is a Perfect Mixture of Tragedy, Repressed Desire, and Poor Impulse Control

Lee Martin's Yours, Jean is a perfectly balanced and heartbreaking mix of true crime narrative and literary fiction.


The 60 Best Albums of 2007

From tech house to Radiohead and Americana to indie and everything in between, the 60 best albums of 2007 included many of the 2000s' best albums.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Solitude Stands in the Window: Thoreau's 'Walden'

Henry David Thoreau's Walden as a 19th century model for 21st century COVID-19 quarantine.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Will COVID-19 Kill Movie Theaters?

Streaming services and large TV screens have really hurt movie theaters and now the coronavirus pandemic has shuttered multiplexes and arthouses. The author of The Perils of Moviegoing in America, however, is optimistic.

Gary D. Rhodes, Ph.D
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