What's on TV


Saturday 8/9

Tracy Ullman in the Trailer Tales (HBO, 8-9 p.m.): Ullman can be a tough cookie as she skewers the Hollywood moguls, stars, and backstage professionals for all their narcissism, racism, casual immorality, and general insensitivity. Here, she plays a Hollywood hairstylist who recounts how she retired and tried to get reinstated in the union all in one day (her stock was in Enron). Alas, it is easier to leave the union than to return to it - especially if the manager hates you. Gutsy as it is, this comedy may not suit everyone's taste. TV-14

Sunday 8/10

3 Non-Blondes (BBC America, 9-10 p.m.): A new unscripted comedy may sound like the rest of the unscripted bores on TV, but not in the hands of Jocelyn Jee Esien, Ninia Benjamin, and Tameka Empson. These English ladies draw on African and Jamaican wit to dive-bomb unsuspecting folk as they go about their business all over Britain. They can be crude, but they are seldom rude, and never downright mean. Great silly fun. TV-14

Hetty Wainthropp Investigates (PBS, 9-10 p.m., check local listings): Dear Patricia Routledge is back solving local mysteries - a little mayhem, perhaps, but never murder. In this first of three, Hetty's hairdresser asks her to investigate a savage beating her husband received. It might sound easy, but human motives are seldom simple, and Hetty gets to the bottom of a far more serious crime. The series is so civilized only the evildoer gets his comeuppance. TV-PG

Thursday 8/14

Latin Kings: A Street Gang Story (HBO, 9:30-10:45 p.m.): This tough-minded documentary focuses on "King Tone" Fernandez, leader of the Latin Kings, one of the largest urban gangs in New York, with a history of drug pushing and murder. The real tragedy of the story lies in the waste of human talent, ambition, and capacity for good that Antonio represents. His gift for oratory is clear, as is his leadership skill. There's a lot to be learned from this film, if only society would take notice. TV-MA

Keeping Time: New Music From America's Roots (Sundance Channel, 7:30-8 p.m., every Thursday in August): Who says that documentaries need to be two hours or longer? These 20-minute specials are bite-size and flavorful. In this episode, "Acoustic Innovators," the bluegrass band Nickel Creek is profiled.

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