Tom Gliatto, Liza Hamm, and JANINE R. RUBENSTEIN
March 31, 2014 12:00 PM

LINDSAY

OWN, Sundays, 10 p.m. ET/PT |

REALITY

By now, Lindsay Lohan‘s brain has probably hard-wired itself so that her entire organism needs to be attached in some form to stardom, just as a leaf must hang on a tree or be accounted lost. Her new docureality show on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network is just her latest attempt to keep her hand in show business after a series of personal and professional disasters. Only a movie star down on her luck would agree to participate in a show about her days as a movie star down on her luck. By Hollywood standards, you would feel like Fantine.

The show’s first two episodes are incredibly sad. Out of rehab and relocated to New York City, Lohan is stuck for weeks in a hotel while trying to find an apartment. She does absolutely nothing of interest, really, other than exist – which she does with a movie star’s power. Lohan is so good on-camera, so heartfelt (if practiced) at explaining her predicament and her commitment to righting her course, Lindsay pulls us into her space and makes us feel protective. When a trainer-life coach shows up, asking her to define herself in terms of candlelight versus electricity, you wonder if Lohan wouldn’t be happier out on the curb with the paparazzi. But the coach is just a canary in a mine shaft: We know this situation is going to deteriorate, and eventually Oprah herself will arrive. Oprah has her own expansive palette of emotions, but “incredibly sad” is not among them.

SURVIVING JACK

FOX, March 27, 9:30 p.m. ET/PT |

COMEDY

So: another sitcom set in the recent past (1990s) and narrated by the former boy at the center. I just wish we could have a fresh voice-over perspective – the family lawn mower, for example. Jack has an excellent cast, though, and maybe the writing will catch up with them. Christopher Meloni, suggesting Robert De Niro in Meet the Parents but with more rigid posture, is Jack, strong-willed doctor and dad. Rachael Harris, a clever actress who can knit a perfect-fitting character out of nothing, is his wife. And Connor Buckley, as their son, has an endearing way of blinking and gulping when surprised, as if he were the ostrich next door.

CHRISLEY KNOWS BEST

USA, Tuesdays, 10 p.m. ET/PT |

REALITY

Todd Chrisley, Atlanta businessman and father of five, is a wholly original reality personality. Attention must be paid to such a man—especially when he insists on it with both patriarchal authority and a campy bossiness one step removed from Paul Lynde. The kids’ personalities range from sullen to cheerful, but they too seem authentically themselves. This is the best “family” reality series since Here Comes Honey Boo Boo or even The Osbournes from several centuries ago.

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