Arrested Development
Why does Tobias use the word "junk" to describe his... you know? Isn't the idea to make it more attractive to the ladies?

And isn't the guy at the Bluth Company board meeting the one in the commercial who's always bitching about losing loan business to, uh, Ditech? I think it's Ditech. Here's where my dad would point out that the ad is obviously not very effective.

And yes, I laughed out loud at the DustBuster gag, but that was nothing compared to the "Goofus and Gallant" reference, which made my week. I got gift subscriptions to Highlights for years as a kid (once I convinced my parents that reading it for free in the doctor's office didn't cut it and they needed to shell out the bucks for my own copy). And I was going to make a joke about that Highlights wooden-puppet family, too, but I can't remember their stinkin' name. Here's where my dad would point out that I'm not very effective. (But do me a favor: Will somebody send me some feedback mail if you remember that stupid family's name? Thanks.)

And here's where I throw in yet another plea to you guys to support this show. It's so damned funny, and it's doing so damned lousy in the ratings. So watch Arrested Development. Please? I mean, c'mon. It's got Fonzie, and that nice Richie Cunningham narrating and everything. — Michael Peck

Desperate Housewives
Finally, Desperate Housewives is back — but it's a repeat. (Dammit!) Still, it has one of the best scenes of the series so far: Edie chucking Mrs. Huber's ashes all over Susan after finding out how her house burned down. You gotta figure when Teri Hatcher read that script, she must've hoped beyond hope that it would be a one-take only situation. Because I seriously doubt they used CGI to create the effect of that dust covering her face and mouth. Yuck. Loved Susan's line at the end, "I guess I should go take a shower and wash Mrs. Huber off me." Well, Edie took care of that for her in what was surely another treat of a scene to shoot for Ms. Hatcher.

What else? Well, I'm not sure if Martha Stewart is a big Desperate Housewives fan, but if she was watching, especially if it was with friends, it must've been a little awkward when Carlos was explaining his house arrest and the mechanics of the "electronic monitoring device" on his ankle. Maybe during that part Martha decided to go bake a pie or paint a lamp or something (just not too far away, of course). — Danny Spiegel

"Even in an Eden like this, wrongs sometimes occur." — Sol Star

That they do, Sol, but at least in the beginning of this hour, we seem to get a brief respite from the mayhem. Here we have a setup episode, which, given the action we've seen in Deadwood's previous two weeks, is perfectly understandable. And it's some good setting-up, too. A scary power broker's operative shows up in town; the hapless E.B. tries to con him, and Joanie and Maddie have ideas of their own (which I'm betting have better odds than E.B.'s quick-to-form disaster). In the meantime, Alma's planning to make E.B. as miserable as she can, even though he's already doing a great job of it on his own.

And oh, the painful climax. Remember when I said that all of Al's ills couldn't have happened to a nicer guy? If you're thinking I'll say the same about tonight's little stone-passing activity with Doc, you've got gleets on the brain. (And I'm only too happy that the family nature of this site prevents me from going into any more detail.) Nobody has that coming. Nobody. Hell, I'm not even sure we deserved to watch it.

And speaking of watching, your eyes aren't deceiving you. The actor portraying the newcomer, mining-company scout Francis Wolcott, is played by Garret Dillahunt, who also played Wild Bill's killer, Jack McCall. — MP

Boston Legal
This episode was a classic-TV fan's dream. First you start with regulars Candice Bergen and William Shatner, along with Rene Auberjonois from Benson. Then you throw in guest star Shelley Long as a nymphomaniac on trial (oh, how I love when actors play against type). But who does David E. Kelley give us as one of the judges? Henry Gibson from Laugh-In, back as Judge Brown. I was a kid in a candy store. The only person missing was Betty White's recurring secretary character, but I digress. I predict Long will be getting a guest actress in a drama nomination come Emmy time. I never thought I'd see Diane Chambers as a dirty bird — loved it! Her best line: "Now whenever I look at an able-bodied man, my southern region turns tropical."

Meanwhile back at the ranch, it was great to see Ray's Kerry Washington as Chelina. Not only is she lovely to look at — that girl can act. How many of you saw her kiss with Alan (James Spader) coming? After she called him pretty boy, I just waited for it. They're a great pair so it will be nice to see their characters take this further. We'll have to wait a while, though — ABC will be airing Grey's Anatomy in the same time slot for the next six weeks.

Favorite exchange:
Shirley: "Come again?"
Denny Crane: "I don't like it when you say that, Shirley. Puts pressure on me." — Dave Anderson


Saturday Night Live If Saturday's show had been a baseball game, Ashton Kutcher had a hot and cold night at the plate, but that monologue was out of the park. Let's check the box score:

Best bit: A hunched-over Demi Moore ambled up onto the stage in old-age makeup and a walker during Kutcher's monologue to address their age gap. "I love you, too, Nana," sassed the young'un, who promptly received a love tap from his lover's handbag. Nerts to you, tabloids.

Worst bits: The office push-up contest fell flat on its face; the "Gays In Space" camped in a vacuum; Chris Parnell's painful rap about Kutcher dared viewers to change the channel.

Biggest laughs: Seth Meyers' embittered weatherman ("This just in, I've been drinking!") and Horatio Sanz's blooper-obsessed schlub of a sportscaster turned a silly local news spoof into a giddy delight.

Update quip of the night: "O.J. Simpson got a new golfing buddy today." — Tina Fey, on Robert Blake's acquittal from murder charges. Alas, nothing was said about Fey's resemblance to Battlestar Galactica's Mary McDonnell, which would have been great if Tina were visualizing adders writhing on her news desk.

Cast members to watch: Kenan Thompson scored hits both as Update's baseball-bat-swinging consumer advocate and the old coot in the Baptist church skit; Rachel Dratch has a scrappy, put-upon comic charm worthy of Dudley Moore.

To summarize: Gwen Stefani looks great in braids; if a red light breaks down, Will Forte can just impersonate Zell Miller until it's repaired; TV makes Ashton and Demi look like a fun couple. — G.J. Donnelly


Battlestar Galactica
Y'know, very few leading TV men look better with age, but I just realized the years have given Richard Hatch's face a weathered intensity he never had in his Streets of San Francisco or original-Galactica days. It's easier to take him seriously on this version, I think. Tigh's star-floozy wife sure seems to think so, anyway.

Meanwhile, Helo says that no matter how close to human the new-generation Cylons get, they'll never be the real thing: "No human could do the things they've done — kill billions of innocent people." One of his first illusions is shattered when he figures out Boomer's a "toaster." His second, the one about the genocide, will have to wait till he makes it to Earth and reads our history books.

As for Baltar's new career in politics? He's perfect. He's got a beautiful playmate hidden away, he doesn't let anyone know who's really advising him and he has no loyalty whatsoever. A politician born, I say. — MP