Tis the mid-season for television

After an unbearably long hiatus, “Scrubs” is back on NBC. The show premiered last week with back-to-back new episodes to whet the appetites of fans and perhaps to entice new ones. Writing, directing and starring in the feature-length film “Garden State” seems to have had little effect on Zach Braff’s portrayal of J.D., the awkward and clueless main character of the show. And that’s a good thing. This season J.D. and Turk (Donald Faison) seem to be grappling with the fact that they’re getting older, and watching them come to terms with the fact that they are grown ups has a narcotic effect.

Scrubs airs Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. on NBC.

by Patricia Soper Speer

The first half of the fifth season of “Smallville” was action-packed with cliffhangers – will Clark and Lana stay together? Will Lex have a change of heart and escape the shadow of his evil father? Will General Zod finally make an appearance? We’re all dying to know – except we already do. Clark ditches Lana for Margot Kidder, Lex becomes a criminal mastermind, Jonathan Kent dies and General Zod says, “Kneel before Zod!” several times before meeting his doom. Why the hell do we watch this show?

New episodes of Smallville resume on Thursday, Jan. 12 at 8 p.m. on the WB.

by Treasure Porth


Four Kings
NBC’s new comedy “Four Kings” is set in the magical backdrop of New York City that only exists on TV. Characters do little or no work; they live in a large, posh apartment, which one of the characters inherited from his dead grandmother, and they drink milkshakes in barely crowded coffee shops while discussing each other’s relationships. Created by “Will and Grace” creators Max Mutchnick and David Kohan, “Four Kings” is basically “Will and Grace” without the gayness. But “Will and Grace” also has the comedy tag team of Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally, while most of the comic weight on “Four Kings” rests on Seth Green’s shoulders. And while Green is funny in small doses, the “Johnny One Note” routine gets old real quick. Kinda like “Four Kings.”

By Daniel Krow

American Idol
A fresh crop of crooning idiots is waiting to charm you in the fifth season of America’s favorite singing competition. I wish I had more to say, but it’s another year of the same old shit – Paula gets drunk, Randy says “you da man dawg,” Ryan Seacrest makes really esoteric gay jokes and you find yourself driving to Rite Aid at three in the morning to buy Pop Tarts and you don’t know why. Enjoy.

American Idol begins Jan. 17 at 8 p.m. on Fox.

by Treasure Porth


The Bachelor: Paris
If you’re into vapid white dudes courting vapid white and off-white chicks, you probably watch “The Bachelor.” This season the roses will be given to a bevy of bachelorettes in a 14th century chateau in Paris. Napoleon Bonaparte must be turning over in his grave. The big catch is Travis Stork, an ER doctor who graduated magna cum laude from Duke University. While it’s debatable whether a man can find true love courting a stable of women on reality TV, it’s pretty much a given that if you need an hour to completely veg out between hitting the books and the bong, this is your best bet.

The Bachelor: Paris” airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on ABC.

by Patricia Soper Speer

Emily’s Reasons Why Not
Heather Graham was Roller Girl in “Boogie Nights,” but I’m not sure she’s cut out for picking up where “Sex in the City” character Carrie Bradshaw left off. In “Emily’s Reasons Why Not,” Graham plays Emily Sanders, a confident career woman whose love life is in the crapper. As Emily navigates her way through the jungle of being single, she devises a list of, well, reasons why not. The “why nots” are the peccadilloes of the pervs she dates, and the hope is that she’ll find true love by documenting her bad dates.

Emily’s Reasons Why Not airs Mondays at 9 p.m on ABC.

by Patricia Soper Speer