Elvis Presley isn't just the king of rock 'n' roll. He's also a religious figure, inspiring Jesus-level awe and reverence. So it's no surprise that myths would spring up around his life and death, and that gullible acolytes would buy them wholesale.
Marking the 30th anniversary of Presley's death, TV Land's Myths and Legends (Friday, 6:30 p.m.) delves into the apocrypha. Some of it is easily verified or disproved. Did Ed Sullivan really censor Elvis by filming him from the waist up? Yes. Did President Nixon really make Elvis an agent of the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs? No. He merely stroked the King's vanity by handing him an honorary badge.
Other myths are harder to pin down, being of the supernatural variety. Did Elvis draw his otherworldly talent from his stillborn twin brother, whose spirit gave him the power of two men? And is Elvis still with us, living in a witness protection program after having testified against the Mafia 30 years ago?
Now it can be told: Elvis is still alive. I know because he told me so himself (in a vision, but still).
Gene Simmons Family Jewels
Sunday, 8 pm (A&E)
In an earlier episode of his reality series, Kiss star Gene Simmons boasted about having slept with almost 5,000 women. In this week's episode, a radio show challenges him to take a lie detector test to see if that claim is true.
If it turns out that Simmons has only slept with, say, 3,900 women, I, for one, will be scandalized.
Rock of Love with Bret Michaels
Sunday, 8 pm (VH1)
Sunday night is customarily the time for the networks' quality programming. It's when they air their classiest shows, like 60 Minutes or Law and Order.
On VH1, however, we get Rock of Love.
The reality series is designed to help rocker Bret Michaels find a gorgeous new groupie. The curvaceous contestants try to catch his attention with stripteases, skimpy outfits, mud wrestling, sloppy French kisses and offers that can't be printed in a family newspaper (or even in Isthmus).
Being an upstanding member of the community, I plan to uphold TV's tradition of quality by watching Law and Order this Sunday. (So could somebody please tape Rock of Love for me?)
Sunday, 9 pm (WE)
In this reality series, 12 American women vie to be the new Princess Diana. They're taken to England for "princess boot camp," where they learn proper etiquette, posture and grooming. They'll be judged on how well they hobnob with foreign dignitaries, play cricket and serve a formal English tea. Assisting them will be Princess Di's former butler, Paul Burrell.
The contest's winner will get an English title and a life just like Diana's. If memory serves, that means a loveless marriage, persecution by the media and a tragic demise. After which Burrell spills your most intimate secrets in a tell-all book.
Monday, 9 pm (TNT)
I'm a big Holly Hunter fan, but she's wasted in this series about an Oklahoma City detective who's visited by an angel. Last week's episode clearly demonstrated the pitfalls of mixing a gritty crime show with the sappy and supernatural.
After a homicide, Hunter's Grace must protect a witness who's receiving death threats. Confident of God's protection, he refuses to lock his door, despite the fact that psychos have poisoned his dog and scrawled "You Testify, You Die" on his property. Would even the most diehard fundamentalist be this foolhardy?
In the meantime, Grace searches for a purple door to walk through so she can achieve the next level of faith. And the angel unites her with a death-row inmate in their dreams so they can do God's will. Or something like that.
So much for the gritty crime show. It's hard to take the thriller elements seriously when the screen is filled with angelic fairy dust.
In the midst of this nonsense, Hunter shines. She's a born action hero, wielding her gun with fearsome intensity. But she's also no slouch in communicating Grace's psychological nuances. She makes you believe in both her toughness and her self-doubt.
If God's not completely turned off by Saving Grace, I hope He can find it in His heart to bestow Hunter with a better TV vehicle.
Wednesday, 7 pm (Fox)
We all suspected that TV news isn't about good reporting, but about high ratings at any cost. Now we have proof. Anchorwoman is a reality series about a beauty queen's stint in a Tyler, Texas, newsroom. Lauren Jones has no journalism experience, but she does have big breasts and blond hair, and that was enough for TV station KYTX. They installed her as an anchorwoman and allowed Fox to film the whole thing for prime time, 'cuz you just can't buy publicity like that. Why bother reporting stories of interest to the community when you can attract viewers simply by training the camera on a pretty face?
I forgot to mention that Jones is a former pro wrestler who's been known to take rivals by the hair and toss them 20 feet. So please don't tell her about this blurb.