Thursday, January 30, 2003

Let's see what's on TV tonight! (All times CST)

CBS has "Star Search" (7:00pm), and if you've ever seen the show, you know why they call it "Star Search" and not "Star Find." Most of the really good performers are the ones who can tread that narrow path between Embarrassment and Genuine Entertainment without actually achieving either one. It's a path that host Arsenio Hall knows well.

"Joe Millionaire" on Fox (7:00pm), another alleged reality show that's so hilariously contrived it might as well be an old rerun of "Match Game '76" for all the insight on human nature it provides.

My listings describe "WWE Smackdown" (7:00pm) as a "sports non-event." Hard to add anything to that, except that there's evidently some friction between Vince McMahon and Hulk Hogan—did somebody forget an anniversary again?

On ABC, the movie "Columbo Likes the Nightlife" (7:00pm). I haven't sat through a Columbo movie in years; are they still as good as they used to be? I'm not as discerning as I used to be. Anyway, you'll have an hour before deciding whether to switch over to "Diagnosis Murder" (PAX, 8:00pm).

NBC "super-sizes" tonight's "Friends"/"Scrubs"/"Will & Grace"-o-thon (7:00pm). I'd tag "Scrubs" as the least embarrassing of the three. "Friends" is still surprisingly watchable, while "Will & Grace" is still surprisingly smarmy and self-congratulatory. All right, I'll say it: I actually like the characters on this show, even the irritating ones, but doesn't anything else besides their own gayness ever strike them as funny?

It may be a sign of my own impending mental collapse, but I always liked the animal videos best on the old Bob Saget program, so it's no surprise that "The Planet's Funniest Animals" (Animal Planet, 7:00pm) is one of my favorite shows. Honestly, the capers those varmints get themselves into.


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