“The Slap” debut, 8 p.m., NBC.
Skipping all the
usual elements – cops, crooks, lawyers and doctors – this drama
centers on the tangled turf of families and emotion. It centers on a
single incident at a party, then broadens out.
With only eight
episodes, “Slap” was able to assemble a superb cast. Peter
Sarsgaard plays an earnest guy on his 40th birthday,
loving his family but obsessing on the babysitter who works for his
wife (Thandie Newton). A single action by his intense cousin (Zachary
Quinto) stirs debate among the partygoers (Uma Thurman, Melissa
George, Thomas Sadoski, more) ... and among viewers.
“American Idol,” 8 p.m., Fox; “Project Runway,” 9-10:32 p.m.,
preliminaries, both shows get serious. First, “Idol” trim to its
final 48 – a number that will be halved next week; then “Runway”
picks its champion..
Last week, one past
champion (Michelle Lesniak) was ousted, but another (Dmitry Sholokov)
survived. He faces previous 5th-placers, Sonja Williams
and Helen Castillo, designing four-season wardrobes.
ALTERNATIVE: “Babylon” finale, 10 p.m., Sundance.
Over six weeks, this
mini-series has transformed. It started as a broad satire of
officialdom, focusing on Liz, a police chief's public-relations
chief; then her boss killed himself and it became a solid drama, as
she began pushing someone to become the first female chief.
Another story, about
a police shooting and a planted gun, has been so-so. But now
everything – the shooting, a riot, the vacant chief's job –
swirls together for a strong and emotional finish.
“The Big Bang
Theory,” 8 and 9:30 p.m., CBS. TV's best comedy has a pair of
reruns. In the first, Sheldon overreacts to Leonard's minor surgery;
in the second, he's finally required to teach a class.
p.m., CBS. Always barely getting by as a waitress, Christy finds new
problems when she's promoted to manager. Also, someone wants her mom
fired as building manager.
9 p.m., NBC. Separatists in Uzbekistan have captured an undercover
agent. Now the task force tries a daring rescue, with Red warning
about the abduction mogul involved.
“Two and a Half
Men,” 9:01 p.m., CBS. A week from its finale, this show has Walden
and Alan officially end their phony marriage. Walden offers Alan a
gift of his choice – causing new trouble.
p.m., NBC. Last week's opener left Alex – a rising young CIA brain
– on the brink of learning that his parents are deeply embedded
Soviet spies. Now we see his mom (Hope Davis) take extraordinary
steps at the beginning and end of the hour, to salvage impossible
situations. Yes, this requires us to suspend disbelief as the
coincidences pile up; at times, it's worth it.
p.m., FX. Speaking of spies, it's best to not put Archer in charge of
any baby, even his own. He gets distracted easily; in this animated
romp, that starts when Christian Slater (playing himself, only now a
spy hero) booms in with a Pakistani defector.