TONIGHT’S MUST-TRY: “Ironside” debut, 10 p.m., NBC.
In the first version of this series, Robert Ironside
(Raymond Burr) fit the prevailing image of a paraplegic. He caught crooks, but needed
a full-time aide and two nearby cops.
Now, 46 years later, he’s the toughest guy in town. He has
cops working for him, played by Spencer Grammer (Kelsey’s daughter), the superb
Brent Sexton (“The Killing”) and Pablo Schreiber (fresh from terrorizing Benson
on (“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”); still, he seems ready to end
Many critics hate this show’s over-the top approach and its
police brutality. We agree with the second part, but admire the fierce
intensity and Blair Underwood’s blistering performance.
TONIGHT’S MISMATCH: “Modern Family” and “Super Fun Night,” 9
and 9:31 p.m., ABC.
First is the show that has won the best-comedy Emmy every
year; it’s clever, classy, restrained. Then comes the debut of a show that is
none of those things.
Kimmie (Rebel Wilson) has a dreary law job, two friends, a
weekly fun night and little else. Then comes the vague possibility of romance;
she brightens … then flops thoroughly.
Sure, it’s fun to laugh at proud, pompous people who fail.
But Kimmie is merely a well-meaning person who seems beyond hope. We can’t
laugh with her and feel awful about laughing at her.
TONIGHT’S ALTERNATIVE: “Law & Order: Special Victims
Unit,” 9 p.m., NBC; “Top Chef,” 10 p.m., Bravo.
First, we see Cybill Shepherd as a celebrity chef charged
with murder. After a string of rapes in upper-income New York, she shoots a
young man, then gets a strong lawyer (Jeffrey Tambor).
Then … well, real-life people are trying to become celebrity
chefs, as usual. This edition, the 11th, uses its New Orleans
setting for rich backdrops.
Other choices include:
“Rango” (2011), 7:30 p.m., FXX; or “Madagascar 3” (2012),
7:45 p.m., HBO; or “Wreck-It Ralph” (2012), 8:10 p.m., Starz. Choose between
three immensely popular animated films.
“The X Factor,” 8-10 p.m., Fox. Early in the auditions, judges
kept changing their minds about which category they were hoping to mentor.
Tonight, that gets settled.
“Revolution,” 8 p.m., NBC. Last week’s season-opener ended
bizarrely, with Zak killed – or maybe not -- and Miles captured. Now Rachel and
her dad (a doctor) try to revive Za.
“The Middle,” 8 p.m., ABC. The first day of school brings
fear to Brick and Joy to Sue – who can finally enjoy high school without Axl
“Back in the Game,” 8:30 p.m., ABC. Terry (Maggie Lawson)
scrambles to find a job, so she and her son can move out of her dad’s house.
Meanwhile, that dad (James Caan) has offbeat coaching methods.
“Sixteen Candles” (1984), 9-11 p.m., ABC Family. This is the
movie that ignited John Hughes’ brief-but-important career as a movie director.
He would direct only seven more, peaking quickly with “The Breakfast Club” and “Ferris
Bueller.” For a few years, he showed a deft touch with teens in transition.
“The Bridge,” 10 p.m., FX. This excellent series began three
months ago with a body in the middle of the bridge between El Paso and Juarez.
That created the uncomfortable partnership of an American and Mexican cop. Now,
in the season finale, they race to rescue a girl.