What's on TV
SHOWS WORTH NOTING FOR AUG. 3-9
Armadillo (A&E, 9 p.m.-12 midnight): Mystery buffs will find this complicated tale a real thrill. Dashing James Frain ("Hilary and Jackie") stars as a claims adjuster for insurance companies. A suicide of a claimant leads the hero on a labyrinthine trail of insurance fraud and corporate intrigue that resonates with current events. Based on the bestseller by William Boyd, the story is set in contemporary London, but reaches into South Africa and beyond. What is most decidedly different about this thriller is its subtle wit. Then, too, the rather good-hearted insurance adjuster is an odd choice for a hero. He finds himself up against a world of greed, but here he finds his own true story, past and future.
Women vs. Men (Showtime, 8-9:30 p.m.): You have to wonder how connected to the real world Hollywood could possibly be. Two friends go out to a strip club one night and the wife of one follows them. What she sees makes her ill. She lets the other wife know about their spouses' adventure, and the two spend a good deal of time trying to teach their men a lesson. It's well made, well written, and clever. But it is also inane. Yada, yada, yada, men are beasts they can't help it. Women were born to put up with it. That's what Hollywood wants us to believe. Why don't these people have PTA meetings and jobs to worry about?
National Geographic Explorer Attacks of the Mystery Sharks (MSNBC, 8-10 p.m.): The endlessly fascinating fish can swim in salt water and fresh but is it guilty of attacking humans? Fabien Cousteau, the grandson of the famous Jacques Cousteau, investigates the capabilities of the bull shark.
Widows (ABC, Tuesdays through Aug. 27, 10-11 p.m.): Weird and gripping four-part miniseries about three women (Mercedes Ruehl, Rosie Perez, and Brooke Shields) whose thieving husbands portrayed as the authors of Boston's famous Gardner Museum heist are murdered during another art caper. Trying to find their husbands' murderer leads the widows to assorted villains that only one of them is smart enough to handle. The violence is heavy-handed, though.