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In Brief: Tall Blondes, and more . . .

John Leonard reviews Tall Blondes, Bang Bang You're Dead, Gleason, and more . . .

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The Bronze Screen:
100 Years of the Latino Image in Hollywood Cinema

(October 9; 7 to 8:30 p.m.; Cinemax) talks to Jimmy Smits, Raquel Welch, Ruben Blades, John Leguizamo, Ricardo Montalban, Rita Moreno, and Edward James Olmos between clips from a hundred feature films.

And Thou Shalt Honor . . .
Caring for Our Aging Parents, Spouses, and Friends

(October 9; 9 to 11 p.m.; Channel 13), hosted by Joe Mantegna, explores the theory and practice of caregiving -- who does it, how it gets paid for, and what it says about us.

Liberia: America's Stepchild

(October 10; 10 to 11:30 p.m.; Channel 13), produced, directed, and narrated by Nancee Oku Bright, tells the story of the African republic from its creation by the U.S. in the 1820s to its horrific civil war throughout the 1990s.

Tall Blondes

(October 13; 8 to 9 p.m; Channel 13) -- a program that lives up to the great joke that is its title -- is actually about giraffes. Lynn Sherr and her big, gentle friends enthrall.

Bang Bang You're Dead

(October 13; 8 to 9:30 p.m.; Showtime) is a television production of William Mastrosimone's powerful play about teenage alienation and school violence that has been performed in thousands of American high schools since 1999. With Ben Foster as a "Mad Bomber" furious at the football-frat-boy bullies, Tom Cavanagh (Ed) as the drama teacher who offers Ben another outlet, and Janel Moloney (The West Wing) as a math teacher. "I didn't know it was going to be forever" is what these kids will learn about death.

Gleason

(October 13; 9 to 11 p.m.; CBS) stars Brad Garrett, who just won a supporting-actor Emmy for Everybody Loves Raymond, in a remarkable impersonation of Jackie Gleason, from his Brooklyn boyhood to the vaudeville stage to prime-time television: an angry clown, only bigger than usual. It seems to have been his father's fault.

The Safe House

(October 14; 9 to 11 p.m.; BBC America) is what a widowed psychologist (Geraldine Somerville) thinks she found for herself and her daughter in the coastal marshlands of Essex after her husband's inexplicable suicide. She discovers, instead, more dead bodies, a threat to her own family, and a questioning of her professional credentials. Very nice indeed.


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