ABC (Wednesdays, 9 p.m. ET)
I'm in love. Suave, self-deprecating, smashing in tails: Who knew J. Peterman was such a hot number? That the former Seinfeld day player—a.k.a. actor John O'Hurley—dances a mean quickstep is just one of the many unexpected pleasures of this strangely time-warped show. Heavy blue eye shadow? Check. Grease dance routine? Check. Oddball assortment of no-list celebs looking like they boogied on over from the Fantasy Island nightclub? Oh yeah. All that, plus a game Evander Holyfield cha-cha-cha-ing to "Respect." Just try not to grin.
Of course, none of this makes much sense. From the random "stars" (including O'Hurley, Holyfield, model Rachel Hunter and former New Kid on the Block Joey McIntyre) to the even more random song selection—one night featured Enrique Iglesias's "Hero" and "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)"—the entire show feels like a fever dream after a long pub crawl. And yet the show's off-kilter European sensibility—it first emerged as a hit in Britain—just adds to the fun. The setup is simple: Each celeb is paired with a professional dancer; the duos then hoof it in an effort to win over viewers, who get to vote for their favorites, American Idol-style. A panel of three judges helps determine who gets the hook.
Enter Bruno Tonioli, Dancing's barking Chihuahua of a judge (think Simon Cowell but smaller and with an Italian accent). After observing Holyfield stomp his way through the quickstep he declared, "It was a bit like watching Terminator keeping up with Tinkerbell." To Hunter he gushed, "You have the potential of being a looove goddess of the dance floor!"
It's all so much fun, in fact, that I propose Dancing viewing parties: Break out the wine and crackers and let ABC provide the delicious, calorie-free cheese.