on the tube

By Dean Robbins

‘Shear Genius’ hairstylists say the dumbest things

“Shear Genius” (Wednesday, 9 p.m., Bravo) has a knack for finding the world’s least charming hairstylists. The new season features the usual group of crude, arrogant self-promoters, who must create “hot” (read: horrifying) hairdos for a $100,000 prize. They’re attended by a mentor who dispenses vapid advice like, “Make sure it looks like a hairstyle.”

The stylists are all puffed up with a sense of their own greatness. “God gave me a gift,” says Giacomo, who keeps his shirt half-unbuttoned at all times. All you can do is laugh, especially when you see the haircuts supposedly sanctioned by the Almighty. One monstrous creation frizzes out beyond the model’s shoulders while looking like a beanie on top. It’s as if a shag carpet had a bad hair day.

Suddenly, “make sure it looks like a hairstyle” seems like wisdom for the ages.


‘Temple Grandin’
Saturday, 7 p.m. (HBO)

Claire Danes stars as Temple Grandin, the autistic woman who overcame tremendous challenges to be a pioneering animal scientist and a best-selling author. Temple receives support from her mother (Julia Ormond), her aunt (Catherine O’Hara) and her science teacher (David Straithairn), who see potential that others don’t. The girl is “different, but not less,” her mother insists.

At its best, “Temple Grandin” looks at the world from Temple’s disoriented perspective. Sounds are overwhelming; metaphors are incomprehensible; and reality is a series of shifting diagrams. At its worst, the movie indulges in heartwarming clichés, an overemphatic score and a showy performance by Danes.

“Temple Grandin” is a decent piece of work, though I wish the filmmakers had the courage to defy TV-movie conventions and be “different, but not less.” CV



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