Archive for Monday, September 20, 2010

‘Lone Star’ shines among new shows

September 20, 2010

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The best series borrow from the best. “Lone Star” (8 p.m., Fox) is shot like “Friday Night Lights” and evokes the sense of personal alienation and loss so central to the movie “Up in the Air” and the drama “Mad Men.”

James Wolk stars as a con man and the son of a con man who lives two entirely separate lives in different ends of Texas and treats his wife and lover and their family and friends as marks, all lined up and duped in pursuit of a huge score.

In Houston, he’s Bob, an ambitious salesman married to Cat (Adrianne Palicki “Friday Night Lights”), the beautiful daughter of an oil company tycoon Clint (Jon Voight). Hundreds of miles to the west, in Midland, Texas, he’s Robert, where he lives with Lindsay (Eloise Mumford), as naive as she is luscious. Her family and neighbors have no idea that they have been investing in oil and gas fields Robert doesn’t own.

• Clearly aimed at “Lost” fans, “The Event” (8 p.m., NBC) unfolds in overlapping flashbacks and flashbacks that explain flashbacks. The president (Blair Underwood) wants to free a mysterious group of detainees from some frozen Alaskan Guantanamo. We don’t know who they are or where they are from, but the CIA and other heavies think this is a bad idea. Is it because their leader is played by Laura Innes from “ER”? You know she’s formidable.

• “Mike & Molly” (8:30 p.m., CBS) marries an old-fashioned sitcom style to a potentially sweet story about two lonely young people (Billy Gardell and Melissa McCarthy), who meet at an overeaters anonymous meeting. The AA-meeting format allows both to testify/perform like standup comics. Mike’s (Gardell) job as a Chicago cop allows his partner, Carl (Reno Wilson), to pretend he’s in some kind of “Rush Hour” remake. Worth noting: Molly’s sister (Katy Mixon) is a major pothead, always trailing a cloud of smoke.

• “Hawaii Five-O” (9 p.m., CBS) and “Chase” (9 p.m., NBC) will appeal to people who think there are never enough Jerry Bruckheimer-influenced shoot-’em-ups on television.

Both are remarkably unremarkable. Of the two, “Chase” is worse.

Tonight’s season premieres

• Ted’s old flame returns on “How I Met Your Mother” (7 p.m., CBS).

• Linda Hamilton plays Chuck’s mother on “Chuck” (7 p.m., NBC).

• House and Cuddy call in sick on “House” (7 p.m., Fox).

• “Dancing with the Stars” (7 p.m., ABC) returns.

• A surrogate surprise on “Rules of Engagement” (7:30 p.m., CBS).

• Charlie cuts back on “Two and a Half Men” (8 p.m., CBS).

• Under arrest on “Castle” (9 p.m., ABC).

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