Under the radar TV: March 10-16
With so many networks producing so many original projects, it's easy for shows, movies and miniseries to get lost in the shuffle. That's why I'm starting the "Under the Radar" feature on Show Patrol. I'll highlight those TV productions that viewers may be interested in--if only they had heard about them. These aren't necessarily recommendations, just a big ol' FYI for you. Who knows, maybe you'll enjoy them--even if I didn't. Click here for my list of March premieres. (All times are Central.)
Song by Song: Dolly Parton
7 p.m. Sunday, March 10; Ovation
This six-part series takes a look at the stories behind country queen Dolly Parton's hits. With each episode focusing on one song, things kick off with perhaps her biggest success, "I Will Always Love You." "That song is just like an old milk cow," the effervescent star says. "I keep milking it for all it's worth." While the premiere examines "I Will Always Love You," the second half-hour episode looks at "9 to 5." Both keep their song-specific focus, but comments like Dolly's above make me hope for a more in-depth look at her entire life throughout the upcoming episodes.
"Coat of Many Colors" and "Jolene"--March 17
"Travellin' Thru" and "It's All Wrong, But It's All Right"--March 24
8 p.m. Sunday, March 10; Lifetime
I knew this show was a 10-hanky affair, but never moreso than in the Season 7 premiere when the tight-knit friends at the fictional Fort Marshall military base say good-bye to one of their own. A sad premise, for sure, but the first two episodes of the new season "Ashes to Ashes" and "From the Ashes," lay the sorrow on so thick I was more annoyed than anything. Between sobs--if the manipulative writing actually works on you--you'll meet new characters played by Ashanti, Torrey DeVitto and Elle McLemore. Later in the season, Brooke Shields and Jesse McCartney join the cast. And if that's not enough weeping for one night, you'll be bored to more tears if you stay on Lifetime at 9 p.m. for the Season 2 premiere of "The Client List."
8 p.m. Monday, March 11; TNT
"Dallas" swings from high camp to profound sadness in the span of one eulogy as Sue Ellen Ewing (Linda Gray) says goodbye to "the love of my life," J.R. Ewing. Larry Hagman, who played the legendary oilman, died late last year in the midst of filming the show's second season. This grand farewell for one of prime time's greatest anti-heroes features a reunion of characters and actor from the 1980s original "Dallas" when Lucy (Charlene Tilton), Gary (Ted Shackelford) and Ray (Steve Kanaly) return to Southfork to remember J.R. with Sue Ellen and Bobby (Patrick Duffy). J.R., of course, gets in the last word, revealing a shocking mystery for the Ewing clan to solve.
Hindenburg: The Last Flight
7 p.m. Monday, March 11; Encore
This two-part dramatization of the deadly 1937 dirigible disaster is badly dubbed, horribly acted and ploddingly paced. But the sets are cool! Watch if you want some unintended laughs. Part 2 debuts at 7 p.m. March 12.
Ring of Fire | Movie Trailer
Ring of Fire
7 p.m. Monday, March 11; Reelz
Reelz takes a page from Syfy's book with this two-part disaster flick about an oil-rig fire that causes volcanic eruptions that could cause the Earth to explode ... like the Hindenburg did. Terry O'Quinn ("Lost"), Michael Vartan ("Alias") and Agam Darshi ("Sanctuary") give the miniseries some heft, but Syfy can't be beat when it comes to cray-cray, end-of-the-world scenarios. Upcoming from that network is "Stonados," as in "tornadoes hurling stones." Part 2 of "Ring of Fire" debuts at 7 p.m. March 12.
World of Jenks
9 p.m. Mondays, MTV
Andrew Jenks, 26, made his first documentary at age 17 which led to his MTV series. He's tweaked the formula for the show's second season (which began March 4), following the lives of three young people for a year and cutting back and forth between them in the hour-long episodes. First there's Chad, a fan favorite from the first season who is autistic and in the process of graduating from high school. Jenks also introduces us to Kaylin, a fashion designer battling two different types of cancer, and D-Real, an Oakland-based dance phenomenon and new father who has given up the streets. Honest, real and inspiring, these three and Jenks truly earn the tears--happy and sad--that came to my eyes.
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