SurfaceWell, on the upside, this week our marine-biologist-waitress-heroine Laura finally got up close and personal with one of the big bad sea monsters. And when I say big, I mean, big like something

Donald Trump would try to build out of gold big. On the downside, we didn't really get any of the rock -'em, sock-'em apocalyptic events we've grown so used to over the last few episodes. No massive sinkholes drying up entire lakes. No enormous jaws swallowing boats whole. And darn it, no lava-spewing geysers or exploding playhouses. Surface, you can't set me up with these sorts of expectations and then leave me with angry radar blips and a beach full of dead calamari. We do get to a bit of expository housekeeping, though: Creepy Scientist Guy informs us (and a roomful of very uncomfortable government types) that this new unknown species is an invasive one, blah blah, tip the balance of the oceanic ecosystem, blah blah, near-unintelligible accent, blah blah, omnivorous, which means they'll eat anything and everything. Um duh?

That's all well and good, but let's get down to it: I'd say this week's theme is "Nobody's gettin' any." Rich's wife leaves him after he goes mental and loses his job; Miles can't make it to first base with a buxom member of his sister's skank patrol; and Laura finds herself stranded at sea with a frustrated former fling. See? Deep down they're all the same. Just water-worldly folks who can't seem to connect with much other than really big fish. Kinda sweet, if you squint a little.

Moment of the night: Cosmic retribution takes its toll on an innocent bystander when Miles' baby-beastie Nimrod makes lunch of that Mean Girl's fluffy white dog. Guess the Doc wasn't lying about 'em being omnivores. And what have we learned today, kids? Play nice, or Princess is toast.    Chana Shwadlenak

Channel Surfing
"Friendship over" were the two simple words that Barney uttered as he stormed out of the bar when he discovered that his best friend, Ted, had once dumped a porn star. Simple moments like that on How I Met Your Mother crack me up, as well as just how far they can push the boundaries of family comedy with the clever use of language. When Ted tells a different girl that the reason for the demise of their relationship is ineffable, she loudly responds "I'm not F-able?" Ah, that and all the lovely jokes about nipples barely prepared me for... Two and a Half Men. I expect raunchy and outrageous comments out of the mouths of Charlie, Alan and Berta the show's so-called adults. Like when Berta quips to a downtrodden Alan, "It's a shame you're paying all that money for your ex-wife and your ex-wife's house and you're not allowed in either of them." Not shocking. But it still gets me whenever pint-size, scene-stealing Jake comes across with something a little bit off-color. "I'm masticating," he tells his father, with a smirk. "Don't worry; it doesn't mean what you think it means." When a stunned Alan asks what he think its supposed to mean, Jake just shrugs and says, "You know." With that cherubic little face, he can get away with just about anything.... And because everyone keeps writing in and asking about Medium, I decided to give the show a shot. Hey, I ended up liking Ghost Whisperer. I totally love Allison's eldest daughter, who learns a hard lesson about helping out an older guy who takes advantage of her "lucky" ability. So sweet and realistic. And does Allison have the most understanding husband on earth or what? Sure, he got frustrated that his wife was sleepwalking, taking cash out of their bank accounts and wandering into traffic, but that seems normal under the circumstances. I was way more invested in the family drama than the case, though; it just seemed so secondary. But that's OK by me, since I get overloaded with all the crime-fighting shows out there. Angel Cohn