FOX, Jan. 16, 8 p.m. ET/PT |
The cells of Alcatraz, the notorious penitentiary on an island off the coast of San Francisco, were emptied out and the whole place shut down in 1963. But what if the inmates actually vanished, along with the staff, into thin air? It could be Prison Break starring David Blaine, except that Alcatraz is the latest show from the perverse, industriously prolific mind of Lost and Fringe producer J.J. Abrams. These inmates suddenly begin popping back into modern-day society, their criminal tendencies uncurbed and their bodies not a day older despite the nearly 50-year layover. The opening hour sets up this conundrum with an efficiency that borders on the blunt. But then Sam Neill, as a sour-looking federal agent who has some idea what's going on, turns up and enriches the action with a flourish of playful, conspiratorial menace-and we're hooked. He's joined on his peculiar manhunt by a local cop (Sarah Jones) who's more intimately connected to the mystery than she knows, as well as an underemployed Alcatraz buff (Lost veteran Jorge Garcia). The show has the makings of great-what else can I say?-escapist entertainment.
CBS, Thursdays, 8:30 p.m. ET/PT |
We now know that, should Jon Cryer ever go the Charlie Sheen route, he can be replaced on Two and a Half Men by Rob Schneider. On this dull new sitcom, Schneider cringes, quakes and panics with Cryerian finesse as a finicky, borderline-compulsive newlywed whose attempts to fit in with his bride's Mexican-American family backfire. As his grumpy father-in-law, Cheech Marin mumbles his way through the obvious gags-a wise approach.
CW, Jan. 17, 9 p.m. ET/PT |
Modeling executive Paul Fisher is quite a character: With his shiny dome, he bears more than a passing resemblance to Californication and Sex and the City actor Evan Handler, while the staccato contempt of his delivery makes him sound like Kevin Spacey. But this show dilutes his personality. While Fisher runs around the country, bullying the sad-sack agencies that he wants to enlist in a new umbrella operation, we also follow the models he plans to develop into stars. Who'd you rather watch-runway flavors-of-the-month or Evan Spacey?
It's audition night, and Jennifer Lopez begins her second season as tearful queen of the judges' panel. FOX, Jan. 18-19.
Lucy Liu (with Michael Cudlitz) joins the tense, hard-boiled Los Angeles cop drama as it starts season 4. TNT, Jan. 17.
THE GOLDEN GLOBES
Duck and cover, Hollywood! Ricky Gervais is back hosting the awards and insulting the stars. NBC, Jan. 15.
Just as season 1 ended, co-creator Ryan Murphy announced he'll scare up a new scenario and new actors for its return. How about this killer lineup?
All those seasons staring in disbelief at the other Real Housewives of New York City have left the Bravo star wide-eyed, possibly with terror. A natural!
If that black latex suit is reused, the abs of the Jersey Shore star will fill it like a dream! Not a problem if he keeps the hood on all season or has no lines.
The former Gossip Girl star won't make as sympathetic a kid as season 1's Taissa Farmiga, but she's shown enough Goth attitude to spook a ghost.
Kids love Nick Jr.'s Yo Gabba Gabba!, but imagine this thing leaping out at you in a dark basement. "Let's gabba gabba get outta here!"
To replace Jessica Lange, you need an actress north of 40 with real chops. Who better than the screaming star of the horror classic The Shining?
FX's contemporary Western Justified lopes back into town Jan. 17. If last season was dominated by the wonderfully mean backwoods mama Mags Bennett (Margo Martindale)-the old girl's now in the cold, cold ground-the first three new episodes are full of impressively strong criminals. Some are polished professionals, most are hillbillies in dirty denim, all are chasing drugs and itching to kill. Timothy Olyphant, as Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, sizes them up, cool but pleased: He's the kid who got into the freak show for free.
FOX's animated series Napoleon Dynamite (premiering Jan. 15) actually improves on the smug 2004 movie, even though the show uses the voices of many of the original's cast (including star Jon Heder). Flat cartoon imagery somehow strips the hip condescension off this tale of a self-absorbed nerd, described in the first episode as an "annoying kid ... you just wanna see bad things happen to." It's still not funny, but at least I wasn't hoping he'd be crushed by an asteroid.
YOU WERE RACHEL ZOE'S ASSISTANT. NOW YOU'RE STYLING ON YOUR OWN. EVER GET STARSTRUCK?
All the time. I'm from small-town Ontario. I still turn into a dork when I see someone like Gwen Stefani.
AFTER YOU LEFT, RACHEL SAID YOU TRIED TO STEAL HER CLIENTS.
I don't think I did anything wrong. I left to spread my wings and soar. I don't know where she got the idea that I was going to leave to become a housewife.
ARE YOU NICE TO YOUR EMPLOYEES?
I'm very mindful, but I was passive aggressive initially. Now I try to be direct.
EVER WISH YOU COULD WEAR THE LOOKS YOU PUT TOGETHER FOR WOMEN?
Absolutely. Trust me, I do actually put some of it on!
WHO IN HOLLYWOOD REALLY NEEDS A MAKEOVER?
I try not to be too Judge Judy about other people's styles, but I'd be happy to polish anybody up.