TV column for Wednesday, March 21


TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: “Bent” debut, 9
and 9:30 p.m., NBC.

“Can I be honest?” the building
contractor (David Walton) says.

“Doesn't seem like it,” his
would-be client (Amanda Peet) replies quickly.

She's a lawyer and a divorced mom. Her
sex life is stagnant; his is not. They're perfect for TV comedy.

“Bent” has sharp dialog, skillful
stars and great a great supporting cast, including Jeffrey Tambor,
Jesse Plemons (“Friday Night Lights”) and J.B. Smoove.

TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE II: “Missing,”
10 p.m., ABC.

If you missed this show's terrific
opener, catch this rerun on the eve of the second episode.

When a teen disappears in Europe, his
widowed mom (Ashley Judd) searches. We soon learn she has bigger
skills – and faces a bigger plot – than we had imagined.

The result has intensity, intelligence
and great action scenes. The only problem is that it's a serialized
show, giving readers no real satisfaction tonight … or, probably,
on Thursday.

TONIGHT'S ALTERNATIVE: “Interior
Therapy,” 9 p.m., Bravo.

Maybe all of TV's despots need a good
meal.

On “Flipping Out,” Jeff Lewis is
arrogant, antsy and abusive; on this show – living with clients for
a five-day makeover – he downright pleasant. Tonight – served by
a great cook – he mellows further.

That's in a home so stuffed with art
that there's little room for design. Lewis finds clever solutions.

Other choices include:

– “Nature,” 8 p.m., PBS (check
local listings). In 2009, a bush fire seared a million acres of
Australia's Victoria. But nature is resilient; so is man. This rerun
traces the comeback,

– “The Middle,” 8 p.m., ABC. Some
kids claim their dog ate the homework, but in this rerun Brick says
his brother did. That's what happens when you make a map out of
dough.

– “Suburgatory,” 8:30 p.m., ABC.
In a rerun, Tessa's dad wins an Atlantic City trip and brings the
guys.

– “Modern Family,” 9 p.m., ABC.
This rerun has Phil panicking after not getting the results of his
medical test. Also, Manny's dad (Benjamin Bratt) reappears.

– “Nothing Personal,” 9 p.m.,
Investigation Discovery. Making a fortune from the “Deep Throat”
porno film, mobsters became fat and greedy, this documentary says.
They were so greedy that they stole from each other and a hit man was
hired. And so fat that one man absorbed multiple bullets and
survived.

– “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,”
10 p.m., CBS. When she was 12, Elisabeth Harnois was Alice in the
Disney Channel's “Adventures in Wonderland.” Now she's Morgan,
helping probe a murder at a wedding that had an “Alice in
Wonderland” theme; also, Hodges tries to convince his mom (Jaclyn
Smith) that he's dating Morgan.

– “Hot in Cleveland,” 10 p.m., TV
Land. At 82, Ed Asner can still be the young one. Here, he's the
president of a country club the women want to join. They need Elka
(Betty White, 90),who knows him.