Tracey Ullman, a lady full of laughs

TODAY'S TV

October 09, 1993|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,Contributing Writer

If you have cable, you've got lots of entertainment options, including a delightful Tracey Ullman special. If not, you've got the Phillies and the Braves, the Blue Jays and the White Sox, and Jeff Goldblum and Aerosmith.

* "National League Championship Series" (3 p.m.-conclusion, WBAL, Channel 11) -- Game 1 was a thriller, Game 2 was a massacre, and now the Philadelphia Phillies are in Atlanta for a daytime Game 3. CBS.

* "American League Championship Series" (8 p.m.-conclusion, WBAL, Channel 11) -- Game 4 of the AL series finds Toronto enjoying both the home-field advantage and the series lead. CBS.

* "Saturday Night Live" (11:30 p.m.-1 a.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Jeff Goldblum is one of the first good guest hosts of the season, based solely on the number of different roles and characters he is capable of embodying. (Shannen Doherty, on the other hand, was a one-note choice all the way.) Speaking of notes, The musical guest is Aerosmith. NBC.

Cable

* "The Last of the Mohicans" (8-9:55 p.m., HBO) -- HBO presents the cable premiere of this film.

* "A Life in the Theatre" (8-10 p.m., TNT) -- David Mamet wrote this entertaining play in 1977, and it's given a fine treatment in this 1993 TV version, starring Jack Lemmon and Matthew Broderick as different-generation equivalents of the same committed type of theatrical performers. Mr. Lemmon, who recently triumphed in Mr. Mamet's "Glengarry Glen Ross," does this "early Mamet" dialogue just as expertly, and Mr. Broderick keeps up with him every step of the way.

* "Tracey Ullman: Takes on New York" (10-11 p.m., HBO) -- VCR Alert: Borrowing the structure from "California Suite," this new HBO special tells different stories, all touching base at the same hotel -- and, in this case, all starring Ms. Ullman, embodying characters so disparate, and so convincingly, that each role, and each tight little story, is a total treat. Guest roles are played by everyone from Michael York and Joe Franklin to Michael Tucker and Jill Eikenberry, as well as Blythe Danner and Ms. Ullman's "Tracey Ullman Show" co-star, Dan Castellaneta. The stories even tie in together, making this as brilliantly written as it is performed. Ms. Ullman's amazing.

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