Robert M. Young’s 1979 Rich Kids (Channel 5 Sunday at 6 p.m.) derives its strength and appeal from the charm of attractive, very bright young people trying to make their own way in a world their mucked-up parents have made a mess of. The girl is played by Trini Alvarado, whose parents (Kathryn Walker, John Lithgow) are maintaining an elaborate charade of solidarity that doesn’t fool her for a minute. The boy is played by Jeremy Levy, a new kid at school who lives most of the time with his swinging father (Terry Kiser). Young gets exceptionally natural performances from his young stars.
In Never Say Never Again (ABC Sunday at 8 p.m.) director Irvin Kershner and writer Lorenzo Semple Jr. have put the emphasis back where it belongs in this 1983 Bond adventure: on wit, intelligence and style. Sean Connery embodies all this and more, and for his return he’s got some adversaries worth his mettle: Barbara Carrera as the gorgeous and outrageous Fatima Blush and Klaus Maria Brandauer, who manages to be worldly, boyish and quite demented all at once. What’s at stake here are some stolen nuclear warheads.
Alas, in the 1985 Rambo: First Blood, Part II (NBC Sunday at 9 p.m.) Sylvester Stallone is John Rambo, a walking hunk of slaughter, a battalion of one, who takes on the combined Soviet and Vietnamese armies to rescue American MIAs singlehandedly. The result is a well-made but empty fantasy about winning a war lost over a decade ago.
The 1986 TV movie Dead Man’s Folly (Channel 13 Monday at 8 p.m.) kicks off a week of Hercule Poirot movies starring Peter Ustinov on Channel 13’s 8 p.m. movie slot.
In the 1987 TV movie Dangerous Affection (NBC Monday at 9 p.m.), a comedy thriller, Jimmy Smits plays a Seattle detective who falls for a woman (Judith Light) whose son is the only person who can identify a killer.
The 1986 Aliens (CBS Tuesday at 8 p.m.) is a perfectly honorable sequel to “Alien"--taut, inexorably paced yet not the equal of the original in cardiac-arrest value, if only because stainless steel teeth, repulsiveness and slime have gone about as far as they can go. It’s certainly successful when Sigourney Weaver is around, which fortunately is most of the time. Weaver returns to “Alien” territory only when she learns there is a space colony there, more humans to become hosts for the dreaded aliens.
If we were very lucky, we may once have had a teacher like the mesmerizing Jaime Escalante. The students at East Los Angeles’ Garfield High have Escalante, and Stand and Deliver (Channel 28 Wednesday at 8 p.m., again on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.) has Edward James Olmos as Escalante, and it seems a fair enough trade. Olmos’ self-effacing magnetism (which has won him an Oscar nomination) is at the center of a rousing true story of a man able to inspire a group of almost-dropouts at a school barely able to keep its accreditation--to galvanize them, give them pride in themselves and show them the road to earning it. Ramon Menendez and Tom Musca co-wrote the film, with Menendez directing and Musca producing.
The 1984 Country (Channel 5 Wednesday at 8 p.m., again on Saturday at 8 p.m.) is worthy but not very compelling. With all the empathy in the world for the plight of the small American farmer, you may nevertheless feel that sitting still for it is like watching the radio farm reports--dramatized but not very much. Jessica Lange (who also co-produced) and Sam Shepard star as a farm couple caught up in a bewildering and unrelenting downward slide as they struggle against the ravages of a tornado and an uncaring bureaucratic agency, the Farmer’s Home Administration.
Fatal Confession: A Father Dowling Mystery (NBC Friday at 8 p.m.), a routine 1987 TV movie/series pilot, stars Tom Bosley as a parish priest/amateur sleuth in the Father Brown tradition.
The Quiet Man (Channel 11 Friday at 8 p.m.) is John Ford’s tranquil 1952 classic about a former prizefighter (John Wayne) who returns to his native Ireland after killing a man in the ring to start a new life. A fiery Maureen O’Hara co-stars.