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Picks and Pans Main: TV

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ABC, Tuesdays, 9 p.m. ET |


This new, final season of Lost floats a powerful thought: Maybe the castaways will deplane back on land, resume their old state of humdrum unhappiness and realize life was richer on the island. Worse, maybe they won’t even remember it—in which case viewers will be the ones left with all the crazily vivid tourist memories, including that mammoth stone foot, flickering in their imaginations. The premiere returned us to a narrative arc more like season 4 (the show’s pinnacle), with parallel realities that most likely will merge. The time travel appears to be halted—good!—although people still move in and out of the shadow of death with baffling ease. Can all the questions in this swamp of enigmas be resolved by its May 23 end? No. But then, if everyone had all the answers, no one would go exploring.

How to Make It in America

HBO, Feb. 14, 10 p.m. ET/PT |


In this eight-episode series, Bryan Greenberg and Victor Rasuk play two friends hustling to break into the designer-jeans market in Manhattan. Visually, the show is absolutely of the moment—the pavements these guys frequent look as if all the dream money has been vacuumed up or hosed away by street cleaners. Designer John Varvatos has a cameo, but Tim Gunn and his dapper urbanity have gone missing. There isn’t much of a story, though. The best thing is the terrific song in the opening credits: Aloe Blacc’s “I Need a Dollar.” It has the sort of itchy desperation that should have driven the whole show.