Cable has 'Antarctica,' ABC has prison


March 14, 1994|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,Special to The Sun

The two best things served up by TV today are on cable, and are far from mainstream choices. One is a brand-new three-hour nature documentary by Sir David Attenborough, whose programs about flora and fauna are as good as they get. Tonight he takes on his coolest subject yet: "Antarctica: Life in the Freezer." Earlier today, Cinemax kicks off a weeklong tribute to Harold Lloyd with a noon showing of one of most inventive full-length comedies.

* "Day One" (8-9 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- Remember the scene in "Network" in which Faye Dunaway handed out cameras to underground radicals to have them film life, and crime, from their perspective? That was satire. Tonight's "Day One," in which a convict with a minicam offers a guided tour of life behind bars, is reality -- of a sort. ABC.

* "Someone Like Me" (8:30-9 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Gaby Hoffman, the young co-star of "Sleepless in Seattle," gets her own TV sitcom beginning tonight, starring in what sounds like the female equivalent of "The Wonder Years." I say "sounds" because no preview tape was provided -- which may mean that NBC was concerned that someone, like me, wouldn't like "Someone Like Me." NBC.

* "Spenser: Ceremony" (9-11 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- Robert Urich returns to his character from "Spenser: For Hire," and to network TV, but he took the circuitous route. This two-hour telemovie premiered last year on the Lifetime cable network, with Tanya Allen playing a teen-age prostitute who happens to be the daughter of a would-be governor. ABC.

* "Murphy Brown" (9-9:30 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- There's a guest appearance not to miss tonight, as Marcia Wallace from "The Bob Newhart Show" appears -- in her old role. CBS.

* "Love & War" (9:30-10 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- There's also a notable guest star on this show tonight: Corbin Bernsen of "L. A. Law." CBS.


* "Safety Last" (noon, MAX) -- Lloyd beautifully builds up to the climax in this 1923 silent comedy, justifying exactly why he has to scale the outside of a tall department store -- showing off his athletic stunt work in the process. Great print, great movie -- and every day this week at this time, Cinemax serves up another.

* "Antarctica: Life in the Freezer" (8:05-11:05 p.m., TBS) -- There's one scene in this documentary in which, in the icy waters off Antarctica, an underwater cameraman gets so close to a whale that its tail flips into view in the foreground, obscuring the frame with bubbles from its powerful thrust. It's a fluke, but it's not a fluke: Attenborough's crews, like his observations about nature, are the best.

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