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"Vanity Fair" and "Tobacco Wars"

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Natasha Little as Becky Sharp and a production that seems to have been inspired by Hogarth should be enough to make you watch Vanity Fair (Sunday and Monday, October 24 and 25; 8 to 11 p.m.; A&E), even if, like me, you hate the Thackeray novel.

Tobacco Wars (Thursday, October 21, 9 to 11 p.m.; Friday, October 22, 9 to 10 p.m.; TLC), talking for three hours to doctors, marketers, politicians, and cigarette-industry insiders, will confirm everything you've always suspected about the merchants of death. Nevertheless, I admit to missing bygone days when our Bogies and Bacalls gazed at one another through a pall of mall, before we became a shameless republic of moralizing busybodies, post-therapeutic vegetarian hysterics, and Rogaine-abusing Health Nazi joggers.


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