(Right below this one, you'll find my regular TV column for Tuesday, Jan. 28. That day, however, has substantial differences on the West Coast; as a result, here's a separate one for the Pacific time zone.)
TONIGHT’S SHOULD-SEE: State of the Union, 6 p.m. PT, ABC,
CBS, NBC, Fox, PBS and news channels.
After a year ranging from slowdowns to shutdown, this night
lets both sides re-think and re-energize. Barack Obama’s speech and the
Republican response (by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, chair of the
House Republican conference) will get heavy attention.
Coverage goes to 7:30 p.m. on ABC, CBS and Fox, 8 p.m. on
NBC and PBS, forever on news channels.
TONIGHTS MIGHT-SEE: “Cougar Town,” 10 p.m., TBS.
It’s Buccaneer Week in Gulf Haven, bringing complications
for everyone. Laurie boosts her cake shop by baking erotica, Bobby stirs a
“Jaws”-like panic by complaining about jellyfish … and as mayor, Andy makes the
ultimate request: For the first time in 10 years, his acerbic wife Ellie should
Like all “Cougar Town” episodes, this is scattered and
inconsistent, but has bursts of sharp humor. Using its sunny setting, this
provides a bright backdrop and (by comedy standards) an epic feel.
TONIGHT’S ALTERNATIVE: Fantasy shows, 9 p.m., CW and cable.
This is the hour when fantasy fans get extra choices. On
“Supernatural” (CW), Sam and Dean demand to know where Garth has been … then are
stunned by what they learn. On “Ravenswood” (ABC Family), Caleb and Miranda
probe Collins’ secret; Remy and Luke probe Dillon’s.
Then there’s “Face Off” (Syfy), one of the better reality
competitions. This is the first week of individual challenges for the talented
make-up people and it requires them to create dragons. They push hard – “I
might be a little insane,” one says – with impressive results.
Other choices include:
“Agents of SHIELD,” 8 p.m., ABC. Next week, this show
returns to new episodes for the second half of its season. First, this rerun
has Coulson work the system to find secrets that endanger Ward and Fitz.
“NCIS,” 8 p.m., CBS. Launching a night of CBS reruns, Tony
and McGee are working as civilians, probing a fatal blast at a black-tie
“NCIS: Los Angeles,” 9 p.m., CBS. A murder victim was the
head of a company making a secret vaccine.
“The Goldbergs,” 9 p.m., ABC. In a transplanted rerun, Brenda
intervenes in the busy romantic life of her dad (George Segal). Meanwhile, her
sons discover a “channel between the channels” on their TV.
“The Haves and Have
Nots,” 9 p.m., Oprah Winfrey Network. Jeffery suspects Wyatt was involved in
the hit-and-run. That reruns at 10 p.m. and is preceded by an 8 p.m. rerun.
“Building Wild,” 9 p.m., National Geographic. Each week,
this show has two mismatched guys build clever places in the wilderness, often
with found material. Tonight, they try a cabin that rotates.
“Justified,” 10 p.m., FX. A relative threatens Boyd.
Meanwhile, Raylan searches for a missing informant.
“Person of Interest,” 10:01 p.m., CBS. This rerun goes back
to when Carter was still alive. Tonight, she gets a rookie partner; the new person-of-interest
is an Online entrepreneur.