The West WingLike I said last week, this ain't your father's West Wing. Tonight's episode makes me think that the days of long hallway walk-and-talks debating the relative merits of public housing and the census are officially over. What clued me in? Hard to say. It was either the jump-cut montage of Matt Santos on the campaign trail set to

Steve Miller's "Jet Airliner" or the Jerry Bruckheimer-esque Top Gun homage near the show's end.

All that's OK, though, because watching Josh frantically try to put Band-Aids on a thousand political paper cuts  from the "siesta" scandal to the broken bed to the Mommy Problem  makes for an entertaining hour of television. Can anyone play pompously irritated better than Bradley Whitford? Hey, wait! Janeane Garofalo just answered that question! While Garofalo's turn as acid-tongued media consultant Lou Thornton might not exactly be a huge stretch, she does provide a much-needed foil for Josh inside the campaign. He can only ignore everyone, including his own candidate, for so long. Lou should be a boon to a show that has always put a premium on smart, funny female characters.

Speaking of smart, funny female characters, didn't C.J. used to be one? So far this season, it's been nothing but furrowed brows and knowing looks from Allison Janney. I just don't get C.J.'s relationship with jailed reporter Greg Brock. The show's writers spent no time developing his importance, and the whole straight-from-the-headlines plot feels tacked-on. Couldn't one of NBC's 37 Law & Order franchises fictionalize the Judith Miller case?

(Want more of The West Wing? Click here to watch our exclusive interview with Richard Schiff.)  Jon McDaid

Desperate Housewives
Um, I hate to break it to ABC, but the wives are becoming less desperate and more psychotic. Seriously, I understand the horror of a messy house, but Lynette's releasing a rat in her own home to "bend Tom to her will" has me fearing that she shares a few too many attributes with certain serial killers who tortured animals in their youth. Then there's Susan "accidentally" backing her car over Edie. Unless it was the Suzanne Somers roller-disco finery that sent her into a rage blackout. That I can understand. Otherwise, nobody deserves a broken tibia just for shacking up with her neighbor's ex. Who, by the way, is aging very nicely. Well done, Richard Burgi. (Now give 'Cooler's Rhoda Charles a call, would ya? She wants to uh, talk about In Her Shoes. Yeah, that's it.) I'll give a break to Gaby and Bree, though. Bree is in enough trouble now that the Arzt guy who blew up on Lost is keeping tabs on her coziness with crazy George, and Gaby is so going to get what she deserves for subjecting Carlos to prison bitchery just to win control of her finances. Plus the sight of our widow Van De Kamp clocking her whiney mother-in-law was delicious. And I'm not even married. Unlike Betty, Wisteria's biggest wacko. As glad as I am to hear that it's her bastard of an abusive hubby in those shackles downstairs instead of a random stranger or the not-so-late Mr. Huber or something, it's still pretty out there, you know? Thankfully, the glory that is Alfre Woodard gives me hope that we can expect more than just a loony Lifetime-movie mess once Mr. Applewhite busts loose.

(To watch our exclusive interviews with the Desperate Housewives stars, click here.)  Damian J. Holbrook

Grey's Anatomy
This show keeps getting better and better. The main story line of tonight's intense hour the car-crash family with the abusive father was made even more intense by the constant pounding of the son's fists on the hospital bed. It made you think: Would you save your alcoholic father by giving him your liver even though he continually beat up your mother? The end result was a great one, but only because the son said, "I have a couple of conditions." Good for him especially the "You and I are moving out enough is enough" line. Best moment of the show. As for the other story of the dude who swallowed 10 doll's heads, I'm glad we never got to find out why he did it. That would have been TMI, for sure.

Meanwhile, the soap-opera portions of the show went a bit further (well, except for the Meredith-Shepherd situation she's still not budging). I'm glad Cristina and Burke are being nice to one another, and it was very nice of George to finally be honest with Olivia maybe too honest. George is still my favorite character, and that's because T.R. Knight makes him so likable. Nice to see Waiting to Exhale and Boston Public's Loretta Devine on the show as Richard's wife.

Another great thing about this show is the music it just adds to the mood of each episode. Apparently the creators of the show agree, since they released a soundtrack CD last week. Of course I'll be getting that.   Dave Anderson