I will admit, I liked “Smash,” in the beginning. It was a welcome change from “Glee,” and that show’s manufactured music. Real Broadway actors were involved, and the backstage drama was All About Eve-y enough to hold my interest. But recently, it’s turned up the soap opera aspects, (do we really care about Julia’s marriage, at all?), as well as the auto tuning and spontaneous bursts into song, and, frankly, I don’t like the direction the musical-within-the musical is going. And now they’re shoving Uma Thurman into the mess! Tune in tonight at 10 P.M. on NBC to see if she can save the show. Either of them.
There are a lot of procedural crime dramas to choose from on any given night of television, and a majority seem to have “CSI” in the title. The only one I continue to watch is the original Las Vegas-set show, and I really have no reasoning for that; habit I guess. But it has made me curious about what real CSI work and offices might be like, which is why I’m excited about Tuesday’s episode of “Frontline,” called “The Real CSI.” I can tell you one thing I’m pretty sure is different between the fake and factual labs: The real labs probably have lighting that is brighter than what appears to be the 40 watt bulbs most of the fake CSI offices seem to use. And I bet they go into crime scenes with more than flashlights. 10 P.M. on KQED.
Of all the girl-centric shows that have premiered this year, I’m finding “Best Friends Forever” one of the most enjoyable. Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham really sell the friendship involved, and it has just the right amount of absurdity, but still feels grounded. Wednesday, April 18th’s episode isn’t being shown on its usual network, NBC, because of baseball, so be sure to check those TiVo’s and DVR’s and set them for 8:30 P.M. on channel 6 instead!
On Thursday, Thursday April 19th, Bravo premieres “Kathy,” a new weekly talk show hosted by Kathy Griffin. I guess they got tired of filming her stand-up specials, and yet, didn’t want to lose her. The thing is, the only people who are going to like this show are people who like BOTH Kathy Griffin and Bravo TV shows because, frankly, that’s all she seems to talk about these days. Not that that audience doesn’t exists. I mean, “Watch What Happens Live” is, inexplicably, still a thing. 10 P.M. on Bravo.
Since we’re on the topic of comedians, let’s continue with Friday April 20th, and the premiere of a new season of “The Ricky Gervais Show,” which, if you don’t remember, is an animated version of the popular series of podcasts featuring Gervais, Stephen Merchant, and Karl Pilkington. I suppose fans of the podcast might find what are, essentially, animated reruns entertaining enough, but it really seems aimed at people who aren’t into the podcast thing, (“Podcast? Is that like radio? Do I need the mePods to listen to it?”), and missed it all the first time around. 9 P.M. on HBO.
Saturday, April 21st, brings us another brilliant comedian: Patton Oswalt, who has a new stand-up special called “Patton Oswalt: Finest Hour.” His comedy CDs are like great rock n’ roll. You can listen to tracks over and over, and always get the same amount of pleasure from it, and this one is no different. Watch it on Comedy Central at 10 P.M.
Which brings us to Sunday, April 22nd, and some unintentional comedy, in the return of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” which will, apparently, feature a slew of Jersey-ites visiting our fair city, and complaining about how the Golden Gate Bridge isn’t gold, it’s red, and it just, you know, looks like a bridge. 10 P.M. on Bravo.