TONIGHT’S MUST-SEE: “The Neighbors,” 8:31 p.m., ABC.
Ever since reaching Earth a decade ago, the aliens have worn
golf shirts and driven golf carts. Now Larry, their leader, has finally seen
golf. “It’s just walking around with sticks,” he groans.
So he’s switching to football … just as Debbie (an
earthling) wants to avoid it. “Love doesn’t exist in this house between
September and Super Bowl Sunday,” she says. This could have been played for
broad laughs; instead, it’s fairly funny, but adds moments of real warmth.
TONIGHT’S MUST-SEE II: “MasterChef Junior,” 8 p.m., Fox.
This all started with 24 chefs, young (ages 8 to 13), bright
and surprisingly talented.
Now we’re down to four. Two – Dara and Troy – are California
12-year-olds; Alexander, 13, is from New York City; Jack, 10, is from East
Rockaway, NJ. Tonight, they each make a chicken dish; next week – wrapping up
what was once planned as a two-hour finale -- the final two make three-piece
TONIGHT’S ALTERNATIVE: “Grimm” and “Dracula,” 9 and 10 p.m.,
After all the Friday reruns, we’re glad to see NBC with two
new scripted shows, flaws and all.
“Grimm” starts where last week’s season-opener left off: Partly
overcoming the effects of a fierce injection, Nick escaped kidnappers. Now he’s
loose and dangerous: Will his fellow cops find him in time? Will they cover up
his violent deeds? It’s a taut and reasonably well-made hour.
Then “Dracula” gives us a newspaper reporter who is earnest,
honest, underpaid and unappreciated; all of that rings true in real life. He
also is terribly handsome and is offered lots of money; that part doesn’t. He’s
an interesting character; alas, Grayson (Dracula’s new identity in Victorian
England) is not. He lacks the charisma of a vampire hero or – despite some tries
– the depth of an anti-hero.
Other choices include:
“Last Man Standing,” 8 p.m., ABC. Mike is suspected of
stealing his neighbor’s campaign signs. Also, Eve gets mixed messages when she
asks her sisters for romantic advice
“Great Performances,” 9 p.m., PBS (check local listings). “Moby-Dick”
is the “Les Miserables” of operas, with thundering choruses, powerhouse solos
and a story built on sheer obsession. This multi-media production from the San
Francisco Opera provides a macho, high-adrenaline experience.
“Hawaii Five-0,” 9 p.m., CBS. A day late, here’s an episode
set on Halloween, with a zombie-like man killed. Rumer Willis (daughter of
Bruce Willis and Demi Moore) returns as Max’s girlfriend.
“Blue Bloods,” 10 p.m., CBS. The focus shifts to Jamie, the
youngest of the Reagan-family cops. His actions are questioned after the death
of a gang member he was chasing.
“Strike Back: Origins,” 10 p.m., Cinemax. Last week’s opener
saw former colleagues go in opposite directions after a shootout. One (Andrew
Lincoln of “Walking Dead”) heads a commando force; the other crumbled into
alcohol and despair. Now he has his comeback try, after a TV reporter (Orla
Brady) is kidnapped. This hour is excessive – he intentionally becomes a
prisoner – but packs kinetic power.