TONIGHT’S MUST-SEE: “24” finale, 9 p.m., Fox.
This has been a grand experiment, facing key questions: Can
the high-octane “24” formula work at 12 episodes, instead of 24? Will audiences watch a well-made, scripted
network show in the summer? And can Jack Bauer save the world yet again?
He’s faced a canny villain who seized American drones, but
he’s been helped by key women – his friend Chloe, the tech whiz; his ex-lover
Audrey, the president’s daughter; and Kate, the tough CIA agent.
TONIGHT’S MUST-SEE II: “Seed” debut, 9:30 p.m., CW.
An amiable bartender has spent his life avoiding
involvement. Then a kid shows up at his door; the guy learns he’s a father.
Yes, that was also the plot for a CW drama, “Life
Unexpected.” But this Canadian show is done for laughs – which build quickly.
The guy was a sperm donor (anonymous, he thought), so a second kid and a third
possibility soon arrive. He meets parents who are opposites in funny ways. And
in the proper TV tradition, he’s a smart, caring guy under that party surface.
A surprisingly good comedy emerges.
TONIGHT’S ALTERNATIVE: “Going Deep with David Rees” debut,
10-11 p.m., National Geographic.
At one point in the 10:30 episode, Rees proudly introduces
the man with the world’s best Website about shoelaces. (No, we don’t know if
there’s a second-best one.) Indeed, Professor Shoelace flew in from Australia,
to make his American TV debut.
That’s part of a “How to Tie Your Shoelaces” half-hour that
ranges from parachutists to seamen. In this episode – and the 10 p.m. one on
making ice cubes – we learn that there are experts on everything. Rees – who
wrote a book on how to sharpen a pencil – makes them seem fun and interesting.
Other choices include:
“The Bachelorette,” 8-10:01 p.m., ABC. After sending Marcus
home last week, Andi Dorfman takes the final three to the Dominican Republic.
She swims with Nick, rides horseback with Chris, plays baseball with Josh (a
former pro player) and Dominican kids. She may invite each for a “fantasy suite”
“Backpackers” debut, 8:30 p.m., CW. Shortly after an engagement,
there are second thoughts. She’s gone off to Europe; now he and a friend
backpack to find her. That’s sandwiched by “Whose Line Is It Anyway” (8 and 9
p.m.), in a comedy line-up concluding with “Seed.”
“Brain Games” return, 9 p.m., National Geographic. First, a
baby sees two identical-looking teddy bears, one acting rudely, the other
politely; then she gets to choose. Each baby, this interesting half-hour says,
chooses the nice bear. (Our cynical side says when she’s older, she’ll choose
the bad boy who will fail to pay child support.) The message is that compassion
is a natural state; a new 9:30 episode views the brain’s role in addiction. Those
two rerun at 11 and 11:30 p.m.; older episodes rerun at 7 and 7:30.
“Two and a Half Men,” 9:30 p.m., CBS. Jenny moves in with
her grandmother Evelyn (Holland Taylor) and Evelyn’s fiancé Marty (Carl Reiner).
“Under the Dome,” 10 p.m., CBS. As the food stock dwindles,
Big Jim starts a census.
“Mistresses,” 10:01 p.m., ABC. Karen’s romance gets an
encouraging sign, but the others are shaky.