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Bad Apple

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Meanwhile, as if Willie Loman had done time as a speed freak, there is Bennett with his pencil mustache, Hawaiian sports shirt, and nonstop patter, a wiry jump-start, a chain-smoking Slinky who leaves the lot for the strip club, the strip club for a honky-tonk, and the honky-tonk for a hotel room where he still can’t sleep, calling home incessantly instead to the wife and daughters back in Orange County. “People just move too slow,” he says. “I vibrate.” So much so, in fact, that we reel away from the small screen, vowing perhaps an anchorite stint of silence, abstinence, and wild berries.

Jack (June 20; 8 to 9:45 p.m.; Showtime) is a careful, confident, and finally convincing TV-movie version of the A. M. Homes novel about a 15-year-old boy (Anton Yelchin) whose father (Ron Silver) leaves his mother (Stockard Channing) for another man. Jack, of course, will find out that every family has guilty secrets, even that of his best friend, Max (Giacomo Baessato), whose mother (Wendy Crewson) gets beaten by his father (Erich Anderson). If, like the novel, Jack is a bit preachy, its cause is just and its footwork savvy, and when Max gives Jack a pack of condoms for his 16th birthday, if you can’t smile, who would want to know you?

La Femme Musketeer (June 20, 10:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.; Hallmark) asks us to admire at mini-series length Susie Amy as Valentine, the gorgeous, headstrong, and swashbuckling daughter of D’Artagnan, who seems to be auditioning for the role of Catherine Zeta-Jones. And to forgive Gérard Depardieu, Michael York, Roy Dotrice, and John Rhys-Davies, who must have needed their checks in a hurry. Also, to root against Nastassja Kinski’s Lady Bolton, who has a sick investment in keeping France at war with Spain in a seventeenth century with more than its fair share of harps and feathers.


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