'Tales from Crypt' is no Mickey Mouse

TODAY'S TV

March 26, 1994|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,Special to The Sun

If you have cable, there's a lot worth watching tonight. If you don't, there isn't.

* "NCAA basketball tournament" (3:30 p.m.-conclusion, WBAL, Channel 11) -- When this afternoon's games are over, the NCAA will have 50 percent of its Final Four in place. CBS.

* "Figure Skating World Championships" (8 p.m.-11 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Tonya Harding's plea bargain prevented her from competing in this contest. When network executives scheduled prime-time coverage of tonight's women's finals, undoubtedly the visions of post-Olympics glory, or ratings, danced in their heads. No chance. NBC.

* "The Prince and the Pauper" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- Mickey Mouse plays two roles in this cartoon -- or, in that case, should he be called Mickey Mice? At any rate, this is the world TV premiere of this recent Disney short, which is paired with a showing of "Mickey and the Beanstalk." ABC.

* "Tales From the Crypt" (11:30 p.m.-midnight, WBFF, Channel 45) -- The conclusion of the second "Tales From the Crypt" episode shown tonight by Fox is particularly gruesome -- or at least it was when shown on HBO. How much, or how little, it will be toned down for Fox is an open question, and the answer arrives just before midnight. Michelle Johnson stars as the unfaithful wife of a lumberjack. Fox.

Cable

* "Faerie Tale Theatre: 'Hansel and Gretel' " (6 p.m.-7 p.m., Disney) -- One of the earliest and best episodes of "Faerie Tale Theatre," this one has Joan Collins in a dual role -- as the evil stepmother, and as the ugly crone who tries to fatten up Hansel for the kill.

* "Against the Wall" (8 p.m.-9:55 p.m., HBO) -- ABC made "Attica" in 1980, based on a book by Tom Wicker. Now, HBO, with director John Frankenheimer, does its own, starring Kyle MacLachlan as a novice prison guard and Samuel L. Jackson as a convict (a composite character) not as ruthless as many of his peers. The violence is filmed powerfully, as is the routine of daily prison life, but the script and characters are less adeptly drawn.

* "but . . . seriously" (9:40 p.m.-11:05 p.m., Showtime) -- Vintage news clips from the '50s on, accompanied by contemporaneous stand-up comedy.

* "Helter Skelter" (11:20 p.m.-3:20 a.m., TBS) -- The 1976 miniseries, starring Steve Railsback as Charles Manson. Better, and more tasteful, than you might expect -- and especially interesting after ABC's recent "Manson girls" edition of "Turning Point."

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