'Prime Suspect' best of several finales

TODAY'S TV

May 19, 1994|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,Special to The Sun

Tonight on TV, one of the best dramas of recent years serves up its final episode. Yes, it's the conclusion of "Prime Suspect 3" on "Mystery!" -- and, elsewhere on TV, "L.A. Law" presents its finale, too. Other noteworthy offerings include season-ending doses of "The Simpsons," "Seinfeld" and "Frasier."

* "Mad About You." (8-9 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Paul (Paul Reiser) loses his wedding ring just before his second anniversary -- a fitting topic to close the second season. Helen Hunt co-stars. NBC.

* "Twilight Zone: Rod Serling's Lost Classics." (8-10 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Two posthumously discovered Rod Serling stories form the basis of this brand-new production, which is narrated and introduced by James Earl Jones. "The Theater," a story treatment of Serling's written by Richard Matheson, is a lot like Paul Bartel's "Secret Cinema," and is about a young woman (Amy Irving) who sees her life played out on the local movie screen. The second and longer story, written by Serling himself, is called "Where the Dead Are," and is much better. Patrick Bergen stars as a man who learns that a fellow practitioner (Jack Palance) has discovered a way to raise the dead. The moral of the second story is vintage Serling: "To live beyond death," one character says somberly, "is like occupying someone else's room: You do so without comfort and without serenity." Those words of Serling's, coming, in a sense, from beyond the grave, are quite resonant. CBS.

* "The Simpsons." (8-8:30 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- Homer as a teacher? Counseling students on parenting and marriage? How can you miss this season finale? Fox.

* "Seinfeld." (9-9:30 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Or this one? In a typically strained chain of events, Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and George (Jason Alexander) find their fortunes reversed. NBC.

* "Mystery!: 'Prime Suspect 3.' " (9-10 p.m., WMPT, Channel 22 and Channel 67) -- Part 4 of 4. The best miniseries performance of the season belongs, once again, to Helen Mirren -- and her character's actions in this final episode may shock you. PBS.

* "Frasier." (9:30-10 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- "My Coffee With Niles" plays out in real time, as brothers Frasier (Kelsey 'u Grammer) and Niles (David Hyde Pierce) go head to head at the Cafe Nervosa. NBC.

* "L.A. Law." (10-11 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- A few years too late, but still deserving of a fond farewell, "L.A. Law" says goodbye -- with Richard Dysart, Jill Eikenberry, Michael Tucker, Alan Rachins and Corbin Bernsen going the full distance. NBC.

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