'Far Side,' 'Roseanne' will do the trick

TODAY'S TV

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

A lot of Halloween-themed shows appear on TV tonight, but the trick is to gravitate to the true treats: a "Far Side" special on CBS, the annual "Roseanne" Halloween bash on ABC and an Eagles concert on MTV.

* "Beverly Hills, 90210" (8-9 p.m., Channel 45) -- There's a Halloween costume party as part of tonight's show, which means the young women of "Beverly Hills, 90210" will be wearing even more makeup than usual. (To quote Count Floyd: "Oooh, that's scarrry, boys and girls.") Also part of the plot, though, is a violent showdown between Dylan (Luke Perry) and Steve (Ian Ziering) over troublemaking Valerie (Tiffani-Amber Thiessen). Fox.

* "Gary Larson's Tales From the Far Side" (8:30-9 p.m., Channel 11) -- There's hardly any dialogue in this first "Far Side" special, but strange images abound, and there's more than enough unusual, Larson-like material (most of it original for this TV production) to make watching it worthwhile. There's a quick sitcom parody called "The Bacon Bunch," in which one of the piggish Brady girls encounters a giant snake -- and boa, is it funny. Also, watch for an extended skit involving an insect airline, and, in the one animated sketch featuring words, a campfire song that gets out of hand when one cowboy claps out of time. CBS.

* "Roseanne" (9-9:30 p.m., Channel 13) -- More than any other weekly series, save the annual specials by "The Simpsons," "Roseanne" has claimed Halloween as its own. Each year, the show has the same task as the characters: to outdo last year's costumes. And always, always stay tuned for the closing credits. ABC.

* "The American Experience: Midnight Ramble" (10-11 p.m., Channel 22) -- This interesting hour recounts the history of films aimed specifically at African-American audiences until the '50s. Seeing surviving silent-film clips of black vaudevillians, or hearing the speeches of pride in some of the later films, is a revelation. Avery Brooks of "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" narrates in a voice that reveals both pride and sadness, and "Midnight Ramble" contains ample reasons for both.

Cable

* "Backstage With Tanya Tucker" (8-9 p.m., TNN) -- An interesting hour with a country music veteran.

* "The Eagles: Hell Freezes Over" (9-11 p.m., MTV) -- They were mellow then. Now they're mellowed with age.

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