‘My Boys’ enters the comfort zone
Some shows excite viewers and others repel them. In the end, some are created for comfort – something to slip into like a favorite shoe. The comedy “My Boys” (9 p.m., TBS) is just entering its sophomore season, and it already has that old-sneaker feeling. And that is precisely its charm and its limitation.
For the uninitiated, “Boys” stars Jordana Spiro as the pretty Chicago-based sportswriter P.J. Franklin. Most of her pals are guys and all of her habits – creating fantasy-baseball rosters, playing poker and hanging out at dive bars – make her just like one of the boys. At the end of last season, we catch P.J. and her longtime roommate and platonic pal Brendan (Reid Scott) locked in a romantic embrace. Will this change everything? I’ll never tell.
P.J.’s miserably married brother (the affable everyman Jim Gaffigan) has moved to the suburbs, so now he can add commuting to his list of complaints. Her sportswriting rival, Bobby, has been “promoted” to covering NASCAR, but nobody seems to consider it a promotion or NASCAR a sport. Mike (Jamie Kaler) has settled too comfortably into unemployment and the furtive Kenny (Michael Bunin) seems to have found himself a girl (Nicole Sullivan).
OK, the sports-metaphor voiceover is laid on a tad thick. The Chicago tourist attractions seem pretty obvious. And must Brendan wear a Ramones T-shirt in every scene? He’s a rock DJ. We get it!
Much like P.J.’s circle of friends, you’d think you’d want to outgrow “My Boys” and move on to something more sophisticated. But at a time when new sitcoms are so rare and so few are worth watching (if you don’t believe me, check out the excruciating “House of Payne” and the mystifyingly lame “Bill Engvall Show”), “My Boys” stands out. Besides, who wants to get rid of an old shoe when it’s so darned comfortable?
¢ Only one more night for Christmas in July. Chris and his dad take second jobs to earn holiday cash on a sweet repeat episode of “Everybody Hates Chris” (7 p.m., CW). And in what must be the most wretched Christmas episode ever, “Two and a Half Men” (8 p.m., CBS) manages to mingle mistletoe with casual jokes about incest. Also, Whoopi Goldberg stars in the 2001 made-for-TV movie “Call Me Claus” (7 p.m., Lifetime Movie Network).
¢ Brash, opinionated and passionate about food and life, the series “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations” (9 p.m., Travel Channel) enters a new season with a trip to Shanghai, China.
Tonight’s other highlights
¢ “History Detectives” (7 p.m., PBS, check local listings) looks at artifacts linked to Howard Hughes’ plane crash.
¢ Stephen gets a second chance on “Kyle XY” (7 p.m., Family).
¢ The streets heat up on “The Closer” (8 p.m., TNT).
¢ The final three turn up the heat on “Hell’s Kitchen” (8 p.m., Fox). Last week’s episode repeats at 7 p.m.
¢ Musicians perform in hopes of a record deal on the special “Six Degrees of Martina McBride” (8 p.m., ABC).
¢ Margene proves exhausting on “Big Love” (8 p.m., HBO).
¢ The final episode of “Simon Schama’s Power of Art” (9 p.m., PBS, check local listings) profiles Mark Rothko. The series is now available on DVD.
¢ Baby-sitting can be murder on “CSI: Miami” (9 p.m., CBS).
¢ Scheduled on “Dateline” (9 p.m., NBC): A trial comes 10 years after a shooting.