[dl] Small Screen
Here are the top TV and DVD offerings this month. By John Ross
DVD: Predator for Blu-ray ($40, 20th Century Fox)
IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE: With its dense jungle sets, blazing machine guns, and big, ugly monster, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s movie Predator is more deserving than most of high-definition, Blu-ray treatment.
SAY WHAT? There’s another reason it’s great to watch this movie in crisper detail: There’s not much going on dialogue-wise. Indeed, some of us can recite practically the entire movie, a feat that takes about 10 minutes. Our favorite exchange is typically simple: Poncho tells Blain (played by former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura), “You’re bleeding, man,” and Blain responds, “I ain’t got time to bleed.”
BUY IT: April 15
TV SHOW: Monk
STRIKE WON: Because the writers’ strike messed with the networks’ midseason schedules, several original cable series are getting called up to the big leagues. Monk, a USA Network series about an obsessive-compulsive detective, is among them. It moves to NBC early this month.
IT’S BETTER THAN JOEY: While not exactly groundbreaking -- Hey, Monk people, could you make the cases any easier to figure out? -- Monk is always an enjoyable way to pass an hour, thanks in large part to the understated performance of Tony Shalhoub in the lead role. It makes you wonder how much of a hit the show would have been had it been on NBC from the start.
BONUS VIEWING: Monk won’t travel alone from USA. That network’s Psych will be joining it.
SEE IT: Episodes of Monk and Psych begin April 4 on NBC.
TV SHOW: Bingo America
SHE’S TRASH, BOBBY, JUST PLAIN TRASH: So, it has come to this, has it? Handsome Patrick Duffy, the Man from Atlantis who took up residence on Dallas and even survived his own, well, death, is now a game-show host -- and not on just any game show, but on one about bingo. Oh, Bobby.
BINGO! Actually, it’s not all bad. For one thing, it’s not as boring as traditional bingo. There’s a bingo-style board, yes, but to fill in the spaces on that board, players first have to answer trivia questions. (For example: Name a former TV hunk who went on to join the ranks of Wink Martindale.) And the game is inventively interactive. Viewers can check GSN.com before each day’s show to get their own bingo cards to play along with. Prizes will even be awarded to home players. We suggest they give away a ranch.
SEE IT: Weeknights at seven p.m. Eastern time on the Game Show Network. (The show premiered March 31.)
TV SHOW: Carrier
THE DETAILS: It has two nuclear power plants and is home to about 6,000 people. No, it is not a small town in Middle America. It is the USS Nimitz, an aircraft carrier that has been sailing around the world for more than 30 years. But even if you know it is 1,092 feet long and has a flight deck that’s 4.5 total acres, do you really know what it’s like to be on this kind of vessel when it’s on active duty? No. But PBS can tell you.
SAILING AWAY: For this 10-part series, PBS followed the crew around for six months in 2005 while the Nimitz was in the Persian Gulf. Cameras caught the dull daily activity as well as the nail-biting tension on board while producing this series, one of the first in-depth looks behind the scenes of an aircraft carrier.
SEE IT: Carrier debuts April 27 on PBS stations.