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Bristol Palin shines as a small-town bigot on 'Life's a Tripp'

Photo: Courtesy photo, License: N/A

Courtesy photo


Saving Hope (8pm Thur, NBC)

This summer series began on a promisingly sexy note. Doctors Charlie (Michael Shanks) and Alex (Erica Durance) couldn’t keep their hands off each other as they planned their wedding, going at it during cab rides and in the hospital where they both work. But the light, frisky tone came to an abrupt end when Charlie went into a coma. To make matters worse, Charlie’s spirit inhabits a sort of melancholy afterlife. He roams the hospital corridors in a morose, philosophical mood that could pretty much ruin your whole summer.

Our only hope is for Alex to go into a coma herself so she and Charlie can resume sexytime in the afterlife.

Falling Skies (8pm Sun, TNT)

The aliens are still creepy and the humans still plucky in the second-season premiere of Falling Skies. It begins with a thrillingly staged street battle between the gooey insectoids and the Boston resistance fighters trying to preserve what’s left of Earth. Historian turned guerrilla leader Tom (Noah Wyle) returns from three months in captivity, haunted by terrible visions of his encounter with the alien leader. This fascist ectomorph insists that, for the humans, the battle is already lost. He rubs it in by claiming that the aliens’ genocidal tactics are drawn right from the Earthlings’ playbook: “It’s taken directly from your own history. Cambodia, Nazi Germany, Nanking, My Lai, the Trail of Tears.”

Zing!

That’s the genius of Falling Skies. Along with the great acting and stunning special effects, we get moral ambiguity. This is not a case of good humans versus evil aliens, but of compromised humans versus aliens who represent a part of us — the worst part. In this episode, however, we also see the best part of humanity, including courage, kindness, and community spirit.

Maybe the battle isn’t lost after all.

Chicagolicious (8pm Mon, Style)

Chicagolicious has all the ingredients for an enjoyable new reality series. The setting — a Chicago hair salon — is full of beautiful people and potential conflicts. And the cast of characters is a hoot, with big personalities to match the big hair. Salon owner AJ is a hustler who’s bucking for a national reputation. New makeup artist Katrell butts heads with veteran stylist Valincia, providing the series with its requisite catfights. All it takes is Katrell implying that Valincia has missed “flyaways” on a hairdo to kick off World War III.

The most original character is MaCray, the salon’s “extension specialist.” He’s a huge, flamboyant gay man with a weakness for strange shoulder wear. “I have no shame to my game,” he says, stating the obvious.

Indeed, anyone expecting shame had best stay far away from Chicagolicious. The rest of us can just sit back and enjoy.

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