Tuning in: What's on TV
Saturday July 9
The Colt (Hallmark Channel, 9-11 p.m.): In the middle of the American Civil War, Private Jim Rabb's mare gives birth after a battle. The young man is ordered to shoot the colt lest the animal prove a danger to the soldiers. Sure enough, the colt bolts during the next fray and the mare takes out after her, plunging her master into the heart of the battle. But the commanding officer's surprising response to the incident sets the tone for the rest of this poignant narrative. This adaptation of a Russian short story by Russian director Yelena Lanskaya skirts sentimentality while exploring life and love during war.
Amazing Animal Inventions: The Top 20 (Animal Planet, 8-10 p.m.): The show presents goofy objects such as a cat-grooming machine, headgear to attract humming birds, and a dog toy shaped like a giant tongue.
The Princes of Malibu (Fox, 8:30-9 p.m.): This "unscripted" comedy might be funnier if the family it depicts weren't so amoral. Composer David Foster tries to curb the extravagant self-indulgence of his wastrel stepsons, who have dropped out of college and moved home to Foster's 22-acre Malibu estate. But the boys try different schemes to avoid work. It's good to see where tax breaks for the rich are going.
Brat Camp (ABC, 8-10 p.m.): Troubled teens are sent to SageWalk, a wilderness camp run by seasoned counselors, when their parents can no longer deal with them. It's gripping television - especially since the boys and girls are given no warning that they're about to be shipped off - but one wonders whether it should be on TV at all. Will future episodes call parents to account for their indulgent or ineffective parenting?