Friends
We waited all summer for this. The first episode of the final season, the beginning of the end in 45 glorious minutes. So why are Joey and Rachel wasting so much precious (Precious!) time trying to break their news to Ross? Phoebe dumped Mike's girlfriend for him in a nanosecond, probably because she comprehends that there are only 17 more episodes left. Hopefully the unraveling of Monica's cornrows will not extend into the holidays. Although it could make for a "very special episode..."

Survivor: Pearl Islands
Yo-ho-hum. Drake wins both challenges and takes Morgan's tarp as their reward. And all the while we're led to believe that cry-baby Osten is going to be the next ouster, and then, of course, they vote off Skinny Ryan. Don't get too comfortable, Lil. As a scout, I'm sure you're aware that trapped animals chew off their own limbs.

Kill Bill Commercial
Oh, look. It's Crouching Charlie's Hidden Angels...

Will & Grace
Karen didn't drown, Jack and Will didn't do it and Harry Connick Jr. didn't come to his senses and leave that shrill shrew Grace. But the script did contain a shameless plug for one of NBC's new sitcoms!

CSI
This techno-geek crime show is way cool. The cast is able and attractive, the effects and editing are, as my high-school psychology teacher liked to put it, T.D. (top drawer). I'm a loyal gal, but if W&G doesn't right itself soon, it's nice to know there's something this good waiting in the wings.

Coupling
In this "sexy new comedy" exploring the "complex and ever-evolving relationships between adults," six singles swap partners in front of each other and then start hanging out together. Complex? It's Melrose Place with a laugh track. (Trust me, only nitrous oxide in the ventilation system would make a studio audience laugh at this.) Everyone's a caricature, especially the guys (no clue who plays whom), an interchangeable trio of overgrown frat boys, and Lindsay Price, who's doing some weird Jennifer Tilly impression. Even the title theme, an albeit lame cover of the classic tune "Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps," can't keep my instincts from screaming "Never, Never, Never."

Without a Trace
Another very, very good crime series, about missing-persons investigations. True the case-a-week format is as ubiquitous as a Patricia Heaton product endorsement, but this week's storyline about a hijacked school bus riveted me. And don't judge, I gotta get this off my chest: Anthony LaPaglia is strangely appealing. But not enough to keep me from...

ER
Bend It Like Beckham's Parminder Nagra joins the cast as a new med student (and hopefully a love interest for Gallant), and Carter returns from the Congo. Sadly, Abby took it easy on Carter by returning his stuff in a plastic bag hanging on his locker. She should have used his belongings for kindling on a cold Chicago night.

The Last Samurai Commercial
You know how you can tell a movie's going to tank by how far in advance the commercials start airing? This new Tom Cruise epic doesn't open until Dec. 5!