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TV highlights Jan. 27-Feb. 2 

NATIONAL LAMPOON’S ANIMAL HOUSE (1978) 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29 VH-1 (Comcast Ch. 56) Ah, academic life. Drinking. Partying. Drinking. Class. Partying. Double-secret probation, then a little more drinking. While not the best movie in the world — owing the majority of its laughs to the genius-level physical comedy of the late John Belushi — “Animal House” was a true low-budget success story. Directed by John Landis and starring a cast of then-unknowns, “Animal House” has since become a must-see for anyone who ever experienced college life, and a bar to clear for disgusting frat boys everywhere. SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS 9 a.m. Saturday, Jan 29 Nickelodeon (Comcast Ch. 61) Oh SpongeBob, you had to know those sponge-on-sponge home movies you made back in college were going to catch up with you sooner or later. That time came last week when James Dobson, founder of the right-wing group Focus on the Family, said that SpongeBob had appeared in a pro-homosexual video (actually, it was a film urging kids to take a “tolerance pledge.” — you know, like the one in the Constitution). Still, if we had to choose between Dobson’s idea of America and shacking up 30 fathoms deep with a homosexual sponge who lives in a giant pineapple, we’d be saying, “Where’s the scuba tanks, baby? Let’s get wet!” This week, SpongeBob teaches Patrick to tie his shoes; then the clearly transsexual Squidward takes a day off from work, probably to shop for pantyhose. INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1956) 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 31 Turner Classic Movies (Comcast Ch. 30) You know, since the last election, we’ve been waiting patiently for the pod people to come for us in the night and create perfect replicas of our bodies, which will then vote for Jeb Bush in 2008. Luckily, we’ll be ready, thanks to the prophetic “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” Filmed during some of the hottest years of the Cold War, when people suspected there was a Red under every bed, “Invasion” was a masterpiece of paranoia and politics, showing the results for society when no one can be trusted. Here, space aliens come to small-town America and begin creating clones, which emerge from egglike cocoons. No one is sure who is friend or enemy, and our paranoia soon causes us to defeat ourselves. A chilling scenario in our Orange Alert world, we would do well to listen to the underlying message.
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