Picks and Pans Main: TV
Dancing with the Stars
ABC, Mondays, 8 p.m. ET/PT, Tuesdays, 9 p.m. ET/PT |
American Idol is being anxiously overhauled, but ABC’s reality powerhouse has just launched its 11th season untweaked and to great ratings. It’s easy to dismiss DWTS as Swan Lake for C-listers: How can a cast as freakishly diverse as Bristol Palin, Florence Henderson and the Situation share a stage without triggering a Fringe-like rip in the space-time continuum? But the show is closer to an intergalactic space parliament. Four ego-driven species-judges, dancers, celebrities, cohosts-are given equal room on-camera, and audiences like the resulting laughs and goodwill. Who ever leaves a loser? Maybe David Hasselhoff, bounced after week 1. The poor guy arrived having already overdone the self-mocking camp. DWTS is the chance to try a new step.
FOX, Tuesdays, 9:30 p.m. ET/PT |
Will Arnett has one of the best deliveries in comedy. He speaks in a low, sarcastic growl that occasionally flares up into a squeal of panic. I just wish he’d run away from this dead horse of a sitcom. Arnett plays a silly, spoiled oil-company heir smitten with a penniless woman who’d like to reform him-yet wouldn’t object to being pampered herself. Keri Russell, as the love interest, doesn’t have the comic instincts to play off Arnett. She’s charming at times, but mostly blank-eyed and earnest. Then again, Amy Poehler couldn’t have made this twerpy farce work either.