What's on TV


Saturday 6/14

Varekai (Bravo, 8-10 p.m.): Cirque du Soleil is best appreciated in person, down front. But even on TV, the amazing acrobatics of the renowned company can sweep one away in wonder. The title means "Wherever" in Romany. An Icarus-like young man falls from the sky into a magical forest where anything can happen. The trademark music is becoming a bit tiresome, except when it sticks to its Asian and Russian influences. But the exquisite costumes, the transcendent lighting, and the breathtaking performances are well worth the time.

Monday 6/16

The AMC Project: Reality People (AMC, 10-11 p.m.): Oh dear. It turns out "reality" TV really does confer only a few moments of fame. Then the hope for continued public notice may be shattered when the "reality" contestants turn out to have little or no talent. This sad documentary follows three of the most recognizable contestants from various shows like "Big Brother" and "Road Rules," and reveals their dreams being dashed against the real, real world. Not a pretty picture. TV-PG

Tuesday 6/17

P.O.V.: Flag Wars (PBS, 10-11 p.m.): The "gentrification" of poor neighborhoods may sound like a good thing, if you're white and middle class. But what about the poorest of the poor who may own a ramshackle house and not have the money to make necessary repairs? This insightful documentary presents a black neighborhood invaded by white gays who seem at first unsympathetic to their black neighbors. But the seed of solution is here and it lies in unselfish volunteerism.

Friday 6/20

Monk (USA, 10-11 p.m.): At last, the disturbed detective is back, dusting the furniture and straightening up after those who fail to create symmetry with the couch pillows. Tony Shalhoub plays Adrian Monk, the ex-cop who may be a little nutty, but certainly not stupid. In the season opener, Monk investigates the death of a popular high school English teacher who turns out to have been pregnant. He recognizes instantly who did it - if not how he did it. The witty dialogue and especially Shalhoub's gentle heroics make the mystery a definite relief from the TV blahs. Andrew McCarthy guest stars.

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