TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: “Happy Endings,”
8 and 8:30 p.m., ABC.
This starts with a hilarious sight gag
– a pinata party gone bad – before getting to its plot: On
couples game night, the hyper-competitive Jane and Brad face Penny
and her fiancee, plus Max and a sort of random stalker. There are big
laughs, followed by a key plot change.
The second episode has Penny's reaction
as she creates the theater event, “Black Plague: A Love Story.”
That's moderately funny – but the final scenes are hilarious …
which is how this hour starts.
TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE II: “Live From
Lincoln Center” and “Michael Feinstein's American Songbook,” 9
and 10 p.m., PBS (check local listings).
First, Josh Groban has an intimate
concert, mixing his older songs with ones from the current “All
That Echoes” – his third album to reach No. 1 on the Billboard
chart and seventh in the top 10.
Then Feinstein visits radio, both new
(his own NPR show) and old. With old film footage, he avoids our
expectations. It's Martha Raye as a gifted jazz singer, not a
comedian. And Cole Porter's “Don't Fence Me In” sung by Bing
Crosby, not Roy Rogers. And Rose Marie, long before “The Dick Van
Dyke Show,” as a 4-year-old radio superstar; she reminisces about
that, 85 years later,
TONIGHT'S ALTERNATIVE: “Spartacus”
finale, “Da Vinci's Demons” debut, 9 and 10 p.m., Starz.
One series concludes and another
starts, each with an epic, international story. Each is beautifully
crafted and richly overstated; then come the differences.
“Spartacus” is tied to the
real-life limits of its character and his slave rebellion. It manages
to be honest about that, while offering smidgens of hope.
Leonard da Vinci, by comparison, brings
few limits. “Demons” takes legends about him as an inventor,
dreamer, swordsman and lover, then expands them to the max. It
surrounds him with nasty schemers, gorgeous settings and beautiful
women. Except for some excess brutality, this is a strong start.
Other choices include:
– “Kitchen Nightmares,” 8-10
p.m., Fox. Gordon Ramsay needs two hours to straighten things out. At
Boston's La Galleria 33, he feels, the recipes are tasteless and the
two sisters who run it have a hostile attitude toward their workers
and their customers.
– “Fashion Star,” 8 p.m., NBC.
This time, the store people aren't just sitting on a panel making
bids; they have one-on-one consultations with the designers.
– Movies, 8 p.m., cable. Disney
reruns “Toy Story” (1995), an animated gem. Hallmark has “Hachi:
A Dog's Tale” (2008), a Japanese film about a man and his dog;
Lasse Hallstrom (who has two Oscar nominations as director), showed
his usual subtle skill. Based on a true story, this is quietly
– “Grimm,” 9 p.m., NBC. Jaime Ray
Newman – now a “Red Widow” co-star – has her third guest shot
as Angelina. This time, she has bad news for Monroe, who then needs
– “Vegas,” 9 p.m., CBS. Last
week, Yvonne landed a music audition and the sheriff's son lost his
brief-but-hot romance with a starlet. Tonight, those two arrive in
– “Blood Brothers,” 10 p.m., CBS.
It's a husband-vs.-wife conflict: Danny (Donnie Wahlberg) wants to
interview a key witness who's hospitalized; Linda won't let him until