TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: “The Closer,” 9
Changing its style, a good series
offers one of its best episodes.
Usually, viewers don't know who the
criminal is; this time, they see the crime in the first, jolting
moments. They also see the canny efforts to cover it up.
That's propelled by great performances
from Elizabeth Perkins and others, plus sharp writing and more. At
least two “Closer” characters are recovering alcoholics; that
helps fuel this powerful episode.
TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE II: “American
Masters,” 10 p.m., PBS (check local listings).
It all started with a chair. Charles
Eames and his wife Ray designed a curvy, plywood one, then had to
wait until World War II ended to make it. They sparked the
“modernist” designs of post-war suburbia.
But they were about much more. They
worked in art, architecture and animation; they made quirky movies
and lived quirky lives.
Charles had his flaws, this superb
documentary says. He was clumsy with words and colors; he was bad at
sharing credit. Ray, a great colorist, seemed happy to be in the
background; others had misgivings. Together, however, they brought a
sleek look to mid-century America.
TONIGHT'S ODDITY: “Who's Still
Standing?” debut, 8 p.m., NBC.
There is much to like and dislike about
this game show, which will air for four straight nights.
It has questions viewers can play along
with. It's quick and slick, with losers zipping down a chute.
The bad part? Instead of covering a
broad range, questions are absurdly easy (a three-letter word for a
type of bird, starting with “o”), then nearly impossible.
Contestants are hyper enough for a WWE wrestling bout. And an odd bit
– an off-camera Santa – has been clumsily tacked on for the
Other choices include:
– “Terra Nova” season-finale,
8-10 p.m., Fox. This began, just three months ago, with a two-hour
epic that took people from a crumbling world in 2149 to one 85
million years ago. Now the season ends the same way. We see that
future world, where people plot against the colony. We see the
arrival of the latest colonists; war erupts, changing the colony and
killing a key person.
– “The Mortified Sessions,” 8
p.m., Sundance. This interviews Megan Mullaly, 53, a double
Emmy-winner for “Will & Grace,” and her husband Nick
Offerman, 41, of “Parks and Recreation.”
– “Rollin' With Zach,” 8 and 8:30
p.m., Oprah Winfrey Network. Zach Anner continues an adventurous
life, despite cerebral palsy. Tonight, visiting San Francisco and New
York, he ranges from sailing to speed-dating, from comedy to
– “You Deserve It” (ABC) and
“Fear Factor” (NBC), 9 p.m. Here are opposite games –
good-hearted and cruel. Tonight, “Fear” covers one person with
snakes; another must move them via mouth.
– “Two and a Half Men,” 9 p.m.,
CBS. In a rerun, Walden (Ashton Kutcher) searches for a new love
while Alan tries to get back with his recent love, Lyndsey (Courtney
– “Rock Center,” 10 p.m., NBC. An
organized ring in Spain has been stealing and selling babies for more
than 40 years, Kate Snow says here. Also scheduled : Harry Smith on a
tour of American Muslim comedians … Dr. Nancy Snyderman on the
Giants fan who remains disabled after a brutal beating from two
Dodger fans … and Brian Williams' live chat with Steve Martin.