Timothy Olyphant, Justified
On that rare occasion when someone tells you there's nothing good on TV — but honestly, why would you be talking to people like that? — gently point them toward Tuesday nights at 10/9c, a time period that became ridiculously overstuffed this week thanks to some of cable's best and most entertaining dramas. (And let's pause to give thanks to cable replays, for those with limited DVR capability.)
THE TUESDAY LOGJAM: Let's start with FX's Justified, fresh as ever in its third season. Still recovering from last season's wounds, wry U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) may not be up to snuff just yet — as his boss taunts, "You can't run and you can't shoot, what good are you?" — but the show is so assured in its blend of barbed humor and deadly menace that you can always expect at least once per episode to be found laughing on the edge of your seat. Mags Bennett may be gone, and there's no replacing the great Margo Martindale, but icy-eyed Neal McDonough is giving it a robust go...
Before ABC's Revenge came along to revive the prime-time soap in all of its shamelessly melodramatic splendor, there was an irresistible British potboiler called Mistresses, a sort of Desperate Housewreckers about four glam chums with a knack for making a mess of their torrid relationships. Of which they've had plenty.
Something less than a great escape, Fox's intriguing but formulaic Alcatraz (8/7c), from members of Lost's brain trust, proves a fairly tough "Rock" to crack. Basically a procedural with a 4400-style fantasy gimmick, this twists the America's Most Wanted concept by having its parade ...
If nothing else, Ricky Gervais is a master at upending our expectations. Last year, he drew blood as host-turned-heckler at the Golden Globes, redeeming his lackluster performance of the year before. Returning to the scene of his crime ...
"Keep TV out of this. We need TV. We got nothing else." Why do I relate to the Hecks of ABC's rollicking The Middle? This is why.
Nobody said loving a show this candid about its Fringe status would be easy.
There's a deadly serious competition brewing this calendar year regarding a peculiar sort of bragging right: Who has the worst new comedy of 2012? Is it ABC, with the clumsy drag farce Work It? NBC, with the shrill swill of Are You There, Chelsea? (Fox doesn't enter the fray until this weekend with the launch of the negligible animated ...
Knock knock. Who's there? Chelsea. Chelsea who?
No, make that Chelsea why? The answer to the question posed in NBC's squalid new sitcom Are You There, Chelsea? (8:30/7:30c) is "not really." Based on late-night spitfire Chelsea Handler's potty-mouthed party-girl memoirs — but dropping the Vodka from the title because that might be, you know, offensive — this smutty but toothless misfire puzzlingly reduces Handler to a supporting role: that of a mousy, whiny born-again sister to the fictional Chelsea, played by That '70s Show's Laura Prepon with a one-note husky-voiced crassness that grows stale long before the first scene (in a women's jail cell) ends with Glee's Dot Marie Jones leering at Chelsea. Which is maybe the only sexual advance Chelsea spurns. As long as she can be on top. Which she mentions a lot.
So You Think You Can Dance
Send questions to email@example.com and follow me on Twitter!
Question: I heard somewhere that Fox will be canceling So You Think You Can Dance after this season and that this season will be shaved down a bit. How can this be true? This is one of the very best "reality" shows on TV. It's classy, inspiring, emotional, and I keep being amazed ...