TV column for Monday, Feb. 16


TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: "The Bachelor," 8-10 p.m, ABC.
We're at the maybe-sexual part of the show, a week from the finale.
Tonight, Jason Mesnick takes the three women to New Zealand for bungee-jumping and a botanical-garden tour. They also have overnight stays, where they might or might not consummate the relationships.
Then Mesnick chooses the finalists. The women: Jillian, 29, a Canadian; originally from Peace River in Alberta, she's now an interior designer in Vancouver. Melissa, 25, a sales rep from Dallas; and Molly, 24, originally from Grand Rapids, Mich., and now a department-store buyer in Milwaukee.
TONIGHT'S MIGHT-SEE: "Spectacular," 8-10 p.m., Nickelodeon.
Another channel jumps into Disney's "High School Musical" turf, with fairly good results. The plot is warped and the dancing is so-so, but the dozen songs bring a teen-pop joy.
Nikko (Noland Gerard Funk) is a power-rock singer, so annoying that his band dumps him. Along comes Courtney (Tammin Sursok), the too-precise leader of a show choir. Her rival (Victoria Justice) has stolen  
her star singer; she needs Nikko.
Plot twists, some quite absurd, keep growing. Nikko's character is so sketchy that Funk gives a flat performance.
All of that is forgiven, however, when the music starts. Matthew Gerard and Robbie Nevil, who have written for many of the Disney projects, included 10 new songs and added a couple old ones. Funk sings powerfully and the others -- Sursok, Justice and Simon Curtis -- do a solid job.
TONIGHT'S ALTERNATIVE: "Stealing Lincoln's Body," 9 p.m., History Channel.
A lot of stories were told prior to Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday, last Thursday. Here, however, is one more, a good one.
Some fools decided to steal the president's body. They bumbled everything and didn't detect two undercover spies. The arrests were also bumbled.
This went on and on. Lincoln, after all, had a dozen funerals; he was reburied 10 times and his coffin was re-opened often, even 26 years after his death.
This documentary works too hard at padding the early part. Still, it's a compelling story.
Other choices include:
--"House of Cards," 8 a.m., 8 p.m. and midnight, CNBC. On Tuesday, PBS' "Frontline" will have a compelling look at last year's emergency deals to save the economy. Before that, catch this strong look at the mortgage market that spurred this. Starting with the World Trade Center attacks, we see a nation eager to see the economy bounce back. It was an era, insiders say, in which pizza-delivery drivers became loan officers; one-fifth of all new loans were done with shaky, sub-prime mortgages. Prices outstripped income. One man describes buying a house for $584,000 -- more than 10 times his annual income; he figured it would be worth much more two years later, when his interest rate could go up.
-- "House," 8 p.m., Fox. Here's the episode, originally scheduled for last week, in which a priest feels he saw a bleeding Jesus.
-- "Big Bang Theory," 8 p.m., CBS. In a funny rerun, we see Sheldon banning Penny from the apartment for minor offenses.
-- "Chuck," 8 p.m., NBC. Chuck and Sarah pose as a suburban couple. They meet such archetypes as the friendly neighbor (Andy Richter) and the vixen (Jenny McCarthy).
-- "Heroes," 9 p.m., NBC. Government people start to have doubts about Nathan's plan to round up everyone with special abilities. Meanwhile, Claire battles the man (known as HRG) who raised her, trying to protect a young man. Meanwhile, Hiro and Ando are in India.
-- "American Experience: The Lobotomist," 9 p.m., PBS (check local listings). For a time, Americans assumed a lobotomy was an ideal solution to mental problems. This well-crafted documentary looks at Dr. Walter Freeman, who believed intently in that.
-- "Worst Week," 9:30 p.m., CBS. In a night stuffed with reruns, here's a new episode originally set for last week. It's the final new "Worst Week" of the season, with Mel ready to have her baby -- and Sam racing to the wrong hospital.
-- "Medium," 10 p.m., NBC. Allison acts strangely, after visiting a crime scene.