TV column for Wednesday, Feb. 18


(Please note: Due to a glitch elsewhere, I'm temporarily putting the current columns here. This is strictly short-term, however.)

TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: "Important Things With Demetri Martin," 10:30 p.m., Comedy Central.
Last week's debut had hilarious moments. Now the second week, examining "power," is even better.
We see guys trying to be terribly macho while fighting for a parking space. Notes on the screen reveal secrets about them.
We see "The Revenger," a superhero shocked to learn he has nothing to avenge. And a cartoon about how to get rid of rats by nudging them into a holy war.
And we see what Martin is best at -- doing doodles, singing odd songs and telling dry jokes. Instead of simply saying "You are here," he feels, a mall map should say, "You are here, Brian." Most people would simply consider that weird; a few would think this is the most awesome mall ever.
TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: "American Idol," 8 p.m., Fox.
After endless preliminaries, we're finally to the part that counts.
On Tuesday, a dozen people sang and viewers voted. Tonight, three will be promoted to the final 12. Others might have a chance later, when the judges make their picks.
Other choices include:
-- "Lost," 8 and 9 p.m., ABC. First is a rerun of last week's episode, in which Locke tried to stop the island's fierce time shifts. Then comes a new episode, with fresh jolts: It will change (again) our views on who is dead; it will also bring back the vision of a fierce smoke monster.
-- "American Masters: JeromeRobbins: Something to Dance About," 9-11 p.m., PBS (check local listings). After growing up as Jerome Rabinowitz, the son of an immigrant deli owner in Depression-era New Jersey, Jerome Robbins showed a knack for movement. "Give me something to dance about," he once said,"and I'll dance it." As a choreographer, he hooked up with young composer Leonard Bernstein, to create "Fancy Free"; later, they would link again on the historic "West Side Story." Robbins had his flaws, including a demanding nature -- he was dumped as co-director of the "West Side Story" movie -- and his decision to give names while testifying to the House Unamerican Activities Committee. This profile includes clips and interviews with admirers and with an actress who said the testimony ruined her life.
-- "Lie to Me," 9 p.m., Fox. Lightman hears of a plot to kill the South Korean ambassador. When someone else is shot, he begins digging into family lies and secrets.
-- "Life," 9 p.m., NBC. A construction man has been killed, after cheating people. That leaves a long list of suspects.
-- "High School Reunion" season-opener, 10 p.m., TV Land. The Chandler (Ariz.) High School Class of 1988 gathers in a gorgeous Hawaiian setting. That includes the former high school star and the cheerleader and homecoming queen he married. They might get back together again. Then again, she has a middle-aged-lady hairdo and one of their classmates, previously unnoticed, looks hot. It's a moderately interesting start.
-- "Life on Mars," 10:02 p.m., ABC. There are double problems for Lt.Hunt. After a shoot-out at the station, he shuts everybody inside. He also has a confrontation with his daughter.