FOX, April 13, 9:28 p.m. ET/PT |
The show's first new episode since December is all that fans could want. Glee is becoming less a comedy with music than an unabashed musical comedy buoyed by teen spirit. Everyone in this high school singing club seems to have access to an internal jukebox of pop classics to express their emotional hiccups. High point: Cory Monteith's angrily charged cover of the Doors' "Hello, I Love You." The week after is even better, one of the happiest hours of TV I've seen in a long time: the much hyped episode featuring Madonna's music. Her songs work so well dramatically you wonder why her back catalog hasn't been staged-Madonna Mia! The classic "Vogue" video is served up with a shot-by-shot homage that's also a wicked parody. Later in the season there will be Lady Gaga songs. I might explode.
Showtime, April 11, 9 p.m. ET/PT |
The final season of Showtime's sexed-up romp through the reign of Henry VIII finds the middle-aged king (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) starting on Wife No. 5, flagrantly unfaithful Katherine Howard (Tamzin Merchant). It's odd to devote five episodes to the downfall of this sad airhead, who lasted less than two years before meeting the ax. (Joely Richardson arrives later in the season as the last Mrs. Henry, Catherine Parr, who seems to have been eminently sensible.) But Tudor history is irresistible, even if the bedroom gymnastics here seem more in keeping with the Playboy Mansion than a royal palace.
9 by Design
Bravo, April 13, 11 p.m. ET/PT |
This is Bravo's Jon & Kate Plus 8. That's not a sentence I anticipated writing in this lifetime. Bob and Cortney Novogratz have a hip home-design firm in Manhattan and seven kids. (The oldest is 12. An infant son arrives with the second episode.) The entire family is charming, attractive and comfortably informal on-camera. But the concept is padded. This might have played better if the focus were strictly on raising houses instead of family.
ABC, April 12, 9:32 p.m. ET/PT |
Alyssa Milano plays a divorced mom making a tentative foray back into the dating world in this inert sitcom. In the premiere, she can't decide whether she should keep seeing a good-looking guy who bores her with his endless talk about foraging for mushrooms. Meanwhile, all the actors are on a desperate scavenger hunt for laughs. The jokes have no discernible kick, although Kelly Stables, as Milano's more sexually knowing sister, very nearly provokes a few smiles by twisting her mouth and rolling her eyes. It's a valiant if futile effort, and we thank her.