Sunday

Alias
Ain't it just like a woman to stab you in the lung, stand back and watch while you get kicked down an embankment, and then tell your buddies to come pick your carcass up out of the dirt? Well, it's just like this woman, anyway. And ain't it just like a guy to dream about her instead of the devoted wife who's teleporting around the hospital room while he hovers near death? Oy... love.

Oh, and it's a bummer about Sloane. I was really hoping to see him disarmed.

The Practice
Eugene and Jamie fight over a toothbrush — yup, they're a real couple, alright. And I've got to hand it to James Spader, who always keeps me guessing as Alan Shore, a guy who never met an ethic he wanted to get to know. I never figured him for a guy who'd have such a tough time making the first move on someone (Tara, in case you weren't watching) who really wanted him to. He's creepy and he's kooky. And I'd say David E. Kelley's once again got bragging rights on Sunday night's best lawyer drama if it wasn't for...

The Lyon's Den
Even though the ratings indicate I'm in a decided minority, my preference still lies with this lawyer drama. Steven Weber's Hannibal Lecter-esque legal eagle's got key info on Dan Barrington's death — or so he says — and Rob Lowe's Jack has to pry it out of him before he's executed that night. I figured I wouldn't be able to get past Brian from Wings playing a serial killer, but Weber has his game face on; he does a heck of a job as a psychotic hardass. It's not an easy call by any stretch, but if I had to pick one I'd say you guys are watching the wrong show.

Saturday

Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships
Racing past Medaglia d'Oro and Congaree in the stretch at Santa Anita, Pleasantly Perfect wins. Placing my bets as stupidly as possible on the Internet, I don't. These days the only horses I can count on are Lost My Rent and Wife Is Mad.

Barefoot Contessa
Ina Garten whips up enough desserts, candy and other sweets (chocolate truffles, etc.) to keep the kids running laps around the house for a solid week. For the finale, she's got sundaes with lit sparklers in them, which should give me a nifty idea for our upcoming Halloween party. Only I can't get past the childhood trauma of the time my dad served the same thing — with M-80s.

The World Series
Score a big one for the underdogs. The Yankees sport a 2003 payroll that's three times Florida's. Derek Jeter makes more than the entire Marlins infield. Nice to know the money men can't win 'em all. In fact, tonight, they can't even score a run.

Saturday Night Live
You know, the beauty of an ensemble cast is that when one player's stuff isn't working, another inevitably comes up with something to pry a chuckle out of you. So while I give the SNL folks credit for not airing yet another rerun, the idea of building a package around one member doesn't do him or her any favors. Tracy Morgan's a funny guy. But sitting through multiple skits built around his characters (or any other SNL-er's characters) in one 90-minute shot? As Brian Fellows would say, "That's crazy!"

Friday

Boston Public
Dennis Miller's full of surprises. When I thought he was just another Saturday Night Live Weekend Update host who could generate a few giggles with current events and slide shows, I watched his first HBO special, Mr. Miller Goes to Washington, and was shocked to see how funny he could be. When he recently began letting his political views hang out, I was shocked to see how right-wing he is. And with his guest stint on Boston Public, I'm shocked to see how well he fits into a David E. Kelley show as a white-collar criminal sentenced to do his public service at Winslow High. "But he's a criminal," protests Principal Steven Steven Harper (Chi McBride). "Now he's a math teacher," replies the judge. So let's see: off-the-scale smarm, one big smirk in a suit (and a leer when he's not smirking)... What's the big surprise again? Oh, wait — he cares. OK, got me. That's almost enough to make me forgive his Monday Night Football debacle. Almost.

Hope &#038 Faith
Faith crashes Hope's book club and talks about everything but the book since she hasn't read it, which puts her right in there with about 50 percent of the people in any book club I've ever belonged to. Then they hit a strip club to hoot and holler at some guy dancing in only a pair of workboots. And that's so unfair. I mean, I wore the same damned outfit to my club and shook my groove thing and now they won't even tell me where the next meeting is. And we were gonna read The Stinky Cheese Man, too.

I Love the '80s Strikes Back
Juliette Lewis calls Samantha Fox a "skeeze," and suddenly I'm thinking, pot and kettle. And you know what else? Biz Markie was a genius.