A look back at the best and worst of TV in the past week (Feb. 6-12), and a peek at what’s coming up.


1. “Burn Notice” (USA). I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: Tim Matheson is such a great bad guy. This week’s episode got good and dark, with Michael being pushed to the limits of his code of honor. The whole “client” bit was forgettable and unnecessary, but amoral burned spy Larry and freelance psychopath Gilroy made up for it with brilliant villain acts.

2. NBC’s Thursday comedies. For the first time in a long time, all three (“Community” doesn’t count, I gave up on that long ago) were actually funny. “Parks and Recreation” had the hilariously whacked-out John Larroquette, “The Office” bounced back in a big way with Andy giving a new meaning to “Nard Dog” and offered a hint that Jim will go back to his likable slacker ways (that tie-in-the-coffee gave me hope), and “30 Rock” had the brilliant interplay between Jack and Avery (Elizabeth Banks) and Jenna’s wistful montage reminiscing about her stalker, which left me gasping for breath, I was laughing so hard (the doll heads in the fridge!).

3. “Damages” (FX). The twists just keep on coming. The revelation of Joe’s affair? I did not see that coming. And his willingness to let Danielle die? Again, didn’t see that coming. After starting out an innocent, he’s rapidly showing his dark side strays just as far as his father’s. Meanwhile, I had been wondering what would drive Ellen back to Patty’s side; turns out, parental verbal abuse and meth. Yikes, pretty scary when Patty Hewes is the more appealing alternative to Ellen’s incredibly messed-up family.

Honorable mention: “Modern Family” (ABC). Claire and Phil – errr, I mean, Julianna and Clive Bixby – were awesome as they got their groove back. Phil/Clive was so incredibly unsmooth that he somehow went full circle and kinda was smooth.


1. Missing “Lost” (ABC). Still haven’t seen it, and it’s killing me. I swear I set my DVR, but it didn’t record. And Comcast is taking its sweet time before making it available On Demand. I might break down this weekend and watch it online. I still have 8 “Lost”-related e-mails in my In Box that I’ve avoided reading.

2. “Amazing Race” spoiled. Damn Associated Press sent a story over the wire Friday that ruined the ending of Sunday’s season premiere. That’s so not cool.

3. Bad music. “The Who” looked and sounded completely uninspired at their Super Bowl halftime show. The weird giant light show around the stage was more entertaining. And did anyone notice that three of the songs in their medley were various “CSI” themes? Which, coincidentally, air on CBS. Lame. The new “We Are the World” video that debuted during the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies was unbelievably weak too, just a jumble of bad vocals. And Justin Bieber opening the song? Are you f-ing kidding me? This is exactly why I hate pop music.

Looking forward to . . . .

1. “Amazing Race” (8 p.m. Sunday, CBS). Even though I know who gets eliminated, I want to see how it happens. I refuse to let some idiot from AP ruin the season premiere of my favorite show.

2. “Ricky Gervais Show” and “Life & Times of Tim” (9 and 9:30 p.m. Friday, HBO). It’s the series premiere of Gervais’ show, basically an animated version of his hilarious podcasts with Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington. “Tim” was one of my favorite news shows last year, and I’m looking forward to a second season of horrible misunderstandings and awkward situations.

3. Winter Olympics (NBC). I love me some Alpine skiing and hockey. Throw in a little bobsled, speed skating and snowboarding and I’ll be a happy camper. I’d be happier if the primetime events were shown live, but . . . .

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