The New Shows color code: red means don’t bother; blue means maybe; green means good; magenta means great.
SATURDAY, MARCH 22
John Leguizamo’s Ghetto Klown (HBO)
Leguizamo has created a one-man autobiographical show that is incredibly honest and, therefore, can be tough to watch. While parts of it are hilarious, parts of it are brutally frank. I found myself caught up in his story, but wondered if all the stories were strictly necessary. I recommend this, but go into it ready to be mildly disturbed by some of what you hear.
Sorority Surrogate (Lifetime)
SUNDAY, MARCH 23
American Dream Builders (NBC)
This is a clone to every reality/competition show you have ever seen, the premise being a group of designers working together to redesign various types of homes. If you like these types of shows, you will probably like this one. If you don’t, skip it.
Ron White’s Comedy Salute to the Troops (CMT)
Every year, White does a comedy show to support the Armed Forces Foundation, a truly worthy cause. While I applaud his efforts, his comedy leaves a lot to be desired. Luckily, he brings along some other comics who were marginally more funny than he. Not horrific, but not one I would suggest you go out of your way to see.
MONDAY, MARCH 24
TUESDAY, MARCH 25
Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge (Syfy)
Another reality/competition show in which the contestants build creatures that are then put on film at Jim Henson’s studios. Unlike the builders above, I got caught up in this one as watching the imagination and creativity of these ten people come together was fascinating. The end of this episode was also interesting as the person I expected to go did not. The eliminated person deserved to go, a rarity in shows like this.
Story of the Jews (PBS)
If you have yet to come across Simon Schama, you are in for a treat. He is blessed with a gift of being able to take sweeping historical eras and turn them into great television and even better books. His history is not derivative and it is not all encompassing. Instead, he finds the small moments that reflect on the larger scale happenings of the time and makes them accessible to all. If you are even slightly interested in history, watch this.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 26
Psych After Pshow (USA)
I loved the first five or so seasons of Psych. So much that I have stuck with the show long after it leaped a Great White and landed not with a splash, but with a resounding thud. This final season, especially, has been almost unwatchable, yet somehow I muddled through. The finale was an interesting combination of the old and the new. The first three fourths were as bad as it has ever been and I was becoming more and more disappointed that this once wonderful show was going out so badly.
Luckily, the writers pulled it back in the last quarter and gave us some wonderful resolution. Yes, it was hokey and yes, it was predictable, but what else do you want from characters with whom you have spent eight years? I finished the show, and the series, with a huge grin on my face.
The after show was exactly what you would expect. Fan tweets and videos, reminisces from the cast and creator, and the usual “we were a family” that all casts seem to believe necessary now. It was fun, but nothing special.
THURSDAY, MARCH 27
Surviving Jack (Fox)
What a pleasant surprise this one was! I went into it with no expectations. Yet another sitcom set twenty-five years ago, complete with voiceover. This one works. Christopher Meloni as the father is perfect. His sarcasm made me laugh and the final scene with his son brought tears to my eyes. Rachel Harris as the mom is wonderful and both kids are very well cast, able to hold their own with these two vets. This will be one I stick with for a while.
FRIDAY, MARCH 28
How I Met Your Mother finishes Monday, March 31st on CBS at 8:00.
Continuum returns Friday, April 4th on Syfy at 10:00.