September 06, 2005

A Good Night on Television

There are all sorts of promising stuff on TV tonight, none of which I've previewed:

On PBS, tonight's POV (check local listings for time), The Hobart Shakespeareans chronicles a remarkable teacher in Los Angeles who produces an original Shakespeare production every year in his classroom.

On TCM, at 8:00 E.S.T., Kevin Brownlow's biography of Greta Garbo debuts. It includes never before seen footage of Garbo, including a screen test taken when she was forty-two.

On CBS, Big Brother and Rock Star: INXS enter the homestretch. I can't really defend my loyalty to Big Brother, but Rock Star turns out to be surprisingly fun. It doesn't hurt that many of the contestants are talented and most of them likable. The show does have its bizarre aspects (especially hosts Brooke Burke and Dave Navarro) and who really cared about INXS in 2005? Not me, but the current members of INXS turn out to be likable and low-key, the house band the best I've ever heard on a television series, and for once on a reality show, I even have a rooting interest. Go Marty! (I don't think he'll win, though)

During the Hurricane Katrina crisis, the cable news outlets have stepped up their game, especially Fox News and MSNBC. Keith Olbermann's Countdown has been extraordinary, full of compelling images and strong writing (8:00 E.S.T. and repeated at midnight, on MSNBC).