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The televisionist

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WHOOMP: One-hit wonders.
  • WHOOMP: One-hit wonders.

100 GREATEST ONE-HIT WONDERS

5 p.m. Friday, April 3

VH-1

You've gotta feel for the one-hit wonders. Spend eight or 10 years working a band and then you finally get that break. You get a label! You make an album! One of the songs is a big hit!  Somewhere on the way to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, however, everything goes downhill. The new singles fizzle, your label drops you, and the next thing you know, you're a balding insurance rep in Flagstaff wearing long sleeved shirts to cover your “Born to Rock” tat and spending your days telling clients: “Yeah, I'm that dude from that band.” Though the temporary spike in income would be nice, I'd much rather be in some crummy band that only plays dumps than be a one-hitter. If the only thing you've ever played is dumps, you don't know any better. If, however, you've packed 30,000-seat stadiums and suddenly you're sacking groceries at Kroger … well, that's just sad. In this five-part series, VH-1 spins the platters that sorta mattered. Once.

 

HEAT (1995)

5 p.m. Sunday, April 5

AMC

Like a lot of movie buffs, I've got a list of pictures that I can literally watch over and over again. The list came about completely organically. They aren't necessarily the best movies in the world. To be honest, they're mostly flicks that have been on television so much that I learned through repeated exposure that I didn't mind watching them 15 times. At the top of that list of Repeat Offenders has to be the 1995 crime thriller “Heat.” Directed by the always-interesting Michael Mann, it's a landmark of the crime genre. While it's not necessarily the most original storyline in the world — a brilliant gang of thieves spars with an equally brilliant cop — the performances and action sequences are stunning. It helps that doing a good bit of that acting are two Hollywood legends, Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. Yeah, I know you've seen it already, but if my experience counts for anything, it's worth a second look. And a third. And a fourth.

 

NOVA: DOCTOR'S DIARIES

8 p.m. Tuesday, April 7

AETN/PBS

I'll go ahead and admit it: I don't like going to the doctor. In fact, I hate it. Doctors can only tell you three things: A) You're healthy; B) You're sick, but here's a pill that will fix you; or C) You're sick and you're screwed. If it's “A” you didn't need to be at the doctor's office anyway. “B” is okay, unless the pill happens to be one of those for which side effects have been reported, including dry mouth, insomnia, ringworm, blindness, hives, heart palpations, thoughts of suicide, bowel spasms, premature hair loss and death. Even at that, however, it's “C” that keeps me away from the whitecoats. He can't tell you “C” if you don't go see him, right? In this two-parter from the PBS series “Nova,” filmmakers give viewers an in-depth look at life from the other side of the stethoscope, with the personal stories of seven doctors and former doctors of all ages and races — who they are, why they went into the medical field and why some of them got out. 

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