For a reality good show, sample 'VR.5'

TODAY'S TV

March 10, 1995|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,Special to The Sun

Tonight's recommended lineup is simple, yet exciting: "VR.5" at 8, "The X-Files" at 9, "Picket Fences" at 10. Three excellent series; three new episodes. With "VR.5," since it's the premiere, you can't get any newer.

* "VR.5." (8 p.m.-9 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- Make plans to watch, and to tape, this new series, because after a few weeks -- when the series really launches into high gear and gets darker and stranger -- you may not only be hooked, but be wanting to go back and ferret out clues from earlier episodes. Lori Singer stars as a young woman with a tragic past, a fascinating present (she has the amazing ability to generate and experience lifelike episodes of "virtual reality"), and an uncertain future. Because of what she can do with her computer, and her subconscious, she becomes the employee, then the quarry, of a creepy organization known as the Committee.

Welcome to TV's newest hot cult series.

* "Under Suspicion." (9 p.m.-10 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- There aren't many these days, but here's a fresh "Twin Peaks" TV sighting: Grace Zabriskie, Laura Palmer's long-suffering mother, guest stars tonight on "Under Suspicion." CBS.

* "The X-Files." (9 p.m.-10 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- "Imagine aging 10 years every 10 minutes," says the ad for tonight's show. "In one hour, you'd be dead." I've felt that way watching many hour-long TV dramas -- but this isn't one of them.

John Savage, the loose cannon from "The Deer Hunter," guest stars. Fox.

* "Homicide: Life on the Street." (10 p.m.-11 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- This repeat features guest star Adrienne Shelly as a woman who disgusts, then enchants, Bayliss (Kyle Secor).

It's a wonderful episode, and Ms. Shelly's Tanya is a wonderful character. NBC repeat.

* "Picket Fences." (10 p.m.-11 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- As this episode begins, Marlee Matlin's Laurie leads detectives on the manhunt for suspected "freezer serial killer" Ed Lawson, and leads them to his own freezer. "What do we got?" asks a frustrated and skeptical Kenny (Costas Mandylor), who isn't at all interested in looking inside. "A freezer suicide?"

This episode, written by David E. Kelley, is refreshingly funny, with more laugh-out-loud lines than a lot of current sitcoms. CBS.

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