What's on TV:
Shows worth noting for Jan. 12 - 18
The following are not necessarily recommended by the Monitor. All times Eastern, check local listings.
JKX: The Jamie Kennedy Experiment (The WB, 8-8:30 p.m.): It's "Candid Camera" rethought as in-your-face theater. Real people are confronted by stand-up comic Jamie Kennedy playing obnoxious roles, ranging from a terrible fiancé to an infomercial host. It's different and kind of fun when the jokester lifts his mask.
The Magnificent Ambersons (A&E, 8-11 p.m.): Orson Welles it is not. Nice scenery and costumes - appalling performances. A pointless and failed attempt to remake the classic film.
Monday Night Mayhem (TNT, 9-11 p.m.): John Turturro stars as sportscaster Howard Cosell in this surprisingly engaging tale of the emergence of Monday Night Football as entertainment television. John Heard plays Roone Arledge and the stormy relationship between Cosell and Arledge provides much of the drama.
The Good War and Those Who Refused to Fight It (PBS, check local listings): Those Americans who refused to take up arms against Nazis had few supporters. Mostly Quakers and Mennonites whose religious beliefs forbade killing even in war, these men were jailed and tormented before the government relented and allowed them to do alternative service. Conscientious objectors volunteered for horrendous medical experiments, served as medics, fought forest fires, and volunteered for service in a medieval-like insane asylum. In fact, they reformed that institution, transforming it from a tortuous prison into the more humane conditions of the modern mental hospital.
Roots - Celebrating 25 Years (NBC, 8-9 p.m.): The significance of the January 1977 TV miniseries based on Alex Haley's novel about slavery continues to surface to this day. This documentary gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the actors, producers, and supporters of the breakthrough TV event that confronted white and black America with the reality of slavery. Includes interviews with those who were deeply affected by the show.