Sex and the City: A Farewell, Sex and the City Finale
Looking for 60 minutes of off-the-scale self-aggrandizement, self-stroking and self-importance? Me neither, and it's even more galling that I'm paying 20 bucks a month extra to see it in this retrospective. There's so much going on, in fact, that there's hardly any room for the outside observers to kiss up. Speaking of which, who've we got commenting? Former Average Joe hostess Kathy Griffin and Star Jones. That's some lineup. What, Kato Kaelin and Linda Tripp weren't available? Still, the touching high point of the look back was absolutely the tribute to the crew. And one other thing I got from this: No one in the biz hands out good-sport awards, as far as I know. But when they create one, Kim Cattrall should get the first.

Overall, this show has always been a like-'em, like-'em-not affair, with one episode making me care for these gals and another making me absolutely hate them. But it's always been a smartly written, class endeavor, and that's how it ended: Big comes through. Baby does, too. Miranda shows her soft side, and Samantha and Smith are the real thing. Good night, ladies. You got on my nerves a lot, but what the heck? That's love.

(For more on the Sex and the City finale, click here.)

Screen Actors Guild Awards
The Return of the King, Tim Robbins, Charlize Theron, Johnny Depp, Tony Shalhoub, Meryl Streep. Yeah, yeah, yeah — all solid choices. But I'm still launching my hunger strike to protest the From Justin to Kelly, Juwanna Man and Mullets snubs.

Malcolm in the Middle
And the best-delivered line of the evening is Malcolm talking to Reese, who's managed to impress a couple of girls with an engineless vintage Mustang: "You are a god. A god of a special universe, where no one thinks of consequences and where those of us constrained by intelligence and common sense are not allowed. But you have invited me in. And from now on, I will follow you anywhere." As for Aunt Laurie Metcalf's gifts to the boys — a $5,000 savings bond, a cotton-candy machine and the aforementioned classic car — I'd say I wish I'd had that woman for an aunt, but I know that wouldn't do it. I wish I'd grown up on TV. Also, on the occasion of this show's 100th episode — in case you didn't know, it is — I must say the writers and producers won the genetic crapshoot when it came to casting the boys in this show. All have grown out of their childhood cuteness without threatening the show's basic premise of, well... childhood cuteness. That's always the biggest danger of making a 10- or 11-year-old kid your main draw. If you don't give the character room to grow, you end up with the Urkel Syndrome, where you've got a grown man running around in big glasses and suspenders.

American Dreams
Chris Isaak takes time off from his Showtime series to put in an appearance as Roy Orbison. Jennifer Love Hewitt takes time off from being perky for a living to return as Nancy Sinatra. Me, I'm hoping this show stays on long enough to make it into the '70s — and wondering who they're gonna get to play C.W. McCall reciting "Convoy," or Larry Groce doing "Junk Food Junkie." In the meantime, ancient Mrs. Flood thinks something's wrong with her TV because it goes from black-and-white to color and then back again whenever The Wizard of Oz is on? Poor old woman's too slow on the uptake to realize what techno-savvy folks such as myself learned through experience: They can't fix that. I paid my local repair place for five years running and I haven't seen the twister scene in color yet 'cause I don't like springing for a new set.


Cops: "Stupid Criminals"
A guy who hides underneath the mattress instead of the bed. A bike thief who pedals right past his victim's house and gets spotted. Here's a sign I've matured, I suppose: In the wilder, less reflective days of youth, I laughed at the antics of these knuckleheads. Now, no matter how "stupid" they are, I can't help but cringe at the spectacle of them methodically ruining lives — theirs and others'. It's not that I've grown humorless; it's that it's just not funny anymore.

If the silencer-wielding assassin was such a pro, then why did he shoot his drunken victim with Olshansky standing right there as a witness? Same reason the poor sap's cheesy femme-fatale wife (played just awfully by Ally McBeal alum Jane Krakowski) wears only sleeveless cocktail numbers in the dead of winter and lights up in a hospital without anyone saying anything. It's also why a beefy cop can be delayed by throwing a tray of left-behind turkey loaf and apple cobbler at him. Basically, if you have to ask, you have no business watching Hack, man. Can you believe people actually mock me for watching this show every week? It's like they think it's not realistic or something.


Joan of Arcadia
Once again, this is not the religious family show you're probably dreading if you haven't yet seen it. For one, before the teaser's over, a guitar-strumming God appears in dreads (nice touch having him sing the show's theme song, by the way) and both Grace and Joan tell him he sucks. Did you get that? God sucks. Davey and Goliath this ain't. And just as I think this week's installment is lapsing into a straightforward, on-the-nose exercise lacking the trademark offbeat humor and spirituality I've come to expect, it pulls it out at the end with the disappearing-friend twist and an unexpectedly moving father-son bonding scene. And what other series has the Almighty appear as a school mascot who has to pull his beak up to talk?

Johnny Bravo
Why spend a Friday-night half hour with Johnny Bravo? Would it be the animated versions of Jessica Biel and Alec Baldwin? That's a start, but it was the cartoon Don Knotts that roped me in, the CGI Mark Hamill that kept me there — and the Jabberjaw cameo that made it all worth it. Nyuk-nyuk-nyuk.