TV critic's picks: Wednesday

  • Article by: NEAL JUSTIN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 1, 2013 - 4:49 PM

"Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," "Wag the Dog"

The candy men

There's a thin line between a masterpiece and a mess, as evidenced by Gene Wilder's wonderful performance in 1971's "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" (5 p.m., ABC Family) and Johnny Depp's misguided take as the eccentric inventor in Tim Burton's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (7:30 p.m., ABC Family).

The Young one

A certain generation associates Loretta Young with her self-titled TV show, but long before moving to the small screen, she was big in pictures, which explains why TCM is turning over Wednesday nights in January to the star. The first installment features her early work, starting with 1928's "Laugh, Clown, Laugh" (7 p.m., TCM), a silent film featuring the unlikely pairing of Young and Lon Chaney.

Going to the dogs

Fifteen years before Ben Affleck's "Argo," politicians were turning to Hollywood to wriggle out of a hairy situation in Barry Levinson's very clever satire "Wag the Dog" (8 p.m., Indie), featuring Robert De Niro, Anne Heche, Woody Harrelson and a particularly loose Dustin Hoffman.

 

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