TV heats up: Frankenstein faces off against Cinderella

Channel Flirting

Steven Devadanam

Thanks to last week's column, my cat is no longer speaking to me. And neither is my mother, as she feels he was wrongly "outed."

"Lots of cats have pink collars and a limp paw," she chastised, "that doesn't mean he's gay."

Sounds like a classic case of denial to me.

There's a lot at stake ...

NBC is hoping to scare you into Thanksgiving with their Halloween vampire thriller, House of Frankenstein 1997. Airing on Sunday and Monday night (8 p.m.), November 2 and 3, the story centers around a rash of grisly murders in L.A., with the victims viciously ripped and shredded.

The two streetwise cops investigating the murders are sure that a ritzy club owner, who's actually a vampire, is responsible. Most fingers in the city, though, are pointing to a newly emerged (and newly escaped) Frankenstein's monster.

Halloween for me has always been a bit traumatic. I vividly recall one fateful Halloween in 1983. I was decked out in my Luke Skywalker Rebel Pilot nylon costume. I had just started hitting the neighborhood when (gasp!) I saw some punk wearing my costume! I could see him smirking at me through his square-cut mouth space. Worse, he had cased my houses, so when I got to the nice old lady down the street, she said, "You've already been here, dear. It's not nice to be greedy!"

I wanted to punch him in his flame-retardant face, but I was a true Jedi. My polyester/nylon self had to settle for candied corn and pennies while my evil twin scored all the Snickers bars.

Dud-Line, NBC

Watching Dateline NBC on Mondays, I can't help but feel that something's missing. Ultimately, I feel it's the hosts, Stone Phillips and Jane Pauley. Pauley is sweet and believable enough, but Phillips couldn't be more appropriately named, unless he was known as "Rod Upend." Perhaps something to liven them up, maybe new names? Maybe Stone "Temple" Phillips, or Jane Pauley "Shore?" Suggestions?

"And the winner is ..."

This week's Velveeta( Award falls in the lap of ABC. The network is pushing their Honey, I Shrunk the Kids TV show, as if to punish us for something we did in our past lives. To illustrate, the father is played by Peter Scolari, the guy everyone forgot about when Tom Hanks left him in Bosom Buddies. (He was also in Newhart for quite some time.)

Smells like cheddar, but it ain't. The Velveeta( Award goes to Disney for Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, a product not even good enough to be real cheese.

Don't touch that dial

Disney has redeemed itself by offering (in consolation) its biggest Wonderful World of Disney yet. Sunday night, (Nov. 2, to combat NBC's thriller) Cinderella will grace the airwaves, played by teenage hip-hop songstress Brandy. The cast includes Jason Alexander (Seinfeld), Whoopie Goldberg and Bernadette Peters (one of the sexiest women alive) in what is sure to be the multi-cultural hit of the season.

Cinderella (produced, incidentally, by Whitney Houston) airs Sunday at 6 p.m.

You don't know Jack

Here are a few responses to the funniest Jack in the Box( commercial. Send them to

"My Fav: The guy taking the driving test that screams, 'Stop messing with my mind!'"

-Joe George, via e-mail

That one's great! I saw it again this weekend. Typical snotty teen. You offer him a burger, he screams at you.

"My favorite Jack commercial is the one where the antenna ball is in the car accident, survives and gets to ride on the fire truck. Wheeeeeeee!"

-Carol Jackson, via e-mail

Brilliant! The ball's face is dirty, and his nose and hat are melted. Excellent choice. And who can forget the driver making deer antlers with his hands?

"'That burger was never meant for elves!' not only saves the otherwise pointless commercial, but finally brings a decent bit to an otherwise disappointing campaign."

-James A. Martin, via e-mail

Well said, but sheesh, that's kinda harsh, James. Do you work for Wendy's?

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